US Dept. of Veterans Affairs signs $13M contract with Google Cloud for better API management

The department will use Google's Apigee platform to improve its Lighthouse API program, which lets veterans share their data with third-party applications.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs has signed a $13 million, multi-year deal with Google Cloud, the company said Wednesday, to help the department improve its management of APIs. 

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The VA plans to deploy Apigee, Google Cloud's API management platform, to improve its Lighthouse API program. The program, launched in 2018, gives developers secure access to VA APIs as they develop new tools and services for veterans. For instance, developers can use the VA's Benefits API to create applications that help veterans submit and track electronic benefits claims. Until recently, veterans weren't able to digitally share their VA records with third-party applications. 

"Google Cloud's Apigee will help the VA to continue scaling the VA Lighthouse API program for third-party developers in a cost-efficient manner, offering Veterans more choice in the applications and tools they use to obtain access to their data and services," VA Lighthouse Director Dave Mazik said in a statement. "This partnership is a logical next step to better connect Veterans with VA services, innovate with trusted third parties and continue to offer a high-quality, digital-first customer experience to which they're accustomed to in other areas of their lives."

The Apigee platform is FedRAMP-authorized, so the department can ensure its handling of veteran data remains in compliance with security and privacy standards like HIPAA. Google has made a concerted effort to ramp up its public sector business, along with a handful of other key verticals, since 2019. 

Back in November, Google said that more government agencies will be able to use their tools now that Google Workspace has achieved FedRAMP High authorization and Google has earned IL4 authorization from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). Additionally, Google in November rolled out a new series of "public benefits solutions" -- a suite of Google tools and capabilities packaged together for specific social services challenges.

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