VA remains “High Risk” in many categories

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.



Published by: Dr. Eric Hannel

Dr. Hannel retired from the United States Marine Corps and later served as a congressional military liaison and the Staff Director/lead investigator for the Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations in the House Veterans' Affairs Committee. While in Congress, Dr. Hannel contributed to the amicus curiae brief presented to the Supreme Court of the United States regarding Kingdomware Technologies, Inc. v. United States, spoke at length with the UK Defense Minister on veterans’ issues, and as part of the House Democracy Partnership he addressed Members of Parliament from Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Peru, and Timor-Leste and most recently the Secretary General of the Sri Lankan Parliament. Dr. Hannel has more than two decades of experience addressing systems, information, personnel, and personal security issues.

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