According to a March 2019 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continues to show little or no progress in addressing numerous longstanding problems.
One persistent area of concern is the continued lack of complete and reliable data, which underscored GAO’s concerns about Veterans’ access to timely health care.
The lack of accurate data, which has been known since the Wait Time Scandal uncovered in 2012 by the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee under Chairman Jeff Miller, contributes to VA’s inability “to oversee its programs, hold its workforce accountable, and avoid ambiguous policies and inconsistent processes that jeopardize its ability to provide safe, high-quality care to veterans.”
Additionally, VA continues to experience Information Technology challenges, staff training deficiencies, and inadequate oversight. Not surprisingly, GAO created an entirely new high-risk category due to VA’s persistent procurement problems. The category, VA Acquisition Management, highlights the need for “greater leadership commitment and strategic planning to ensure efficient use of [VA’s] acquisition funding and staffing resources.” Efficient and appropriate procurement is critical in VA given it’s $86.5B (yes, Billion) discretionary budget.
To learn more about these and other continuing problems, take a moment to review the latest GAO report.