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Veterans Affairs improperly spent $6 billion annually, senior official says


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I'm not going to comment. After a career dealing with purchasing rules and overseeing major construction projects here and abroad for the military, these revelations are beyond comprehension.

 

Excerpt:

 

"The Department of Veterans Affairs has been spending at least $6 billion a year in violation of federal contracting rules to pay for medical care and supplies, wasting taxpayer money and putting veterans at risk, according to an internal memo written by the agency’s senior official for procurement.

 

In a 35-page document addressed to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, the official accuses other agency leaders of “gross mismanagement” and making a “mockery” of federal acquisition laws that require competitive bidding and proper contracts.

 

Jan R. Frye, deputy assistant secretary for acquisition and logistics, describes a culture of “lawlessness and chaos” at the Veterans Health Administration, the massive health-care system for 8.7 million veterans.

 

Frye describes in detail a series of practices that he says run afoul of federal rules, including the widespread use of purchase cards, which are usually meant as a convenience for minor purchases of up to $3,000, to buy billions of dollars worth of medical supplies without contracts. In one example, he says that up to $1.2 billion in prosthetics were bought using purchase cards without contracts during an 18-month period that ended last year.

 

He also explains how VA has failed to engage in competitive bidding or sign contracts with outside hospital and health-care providers that offer medical care for veterans that the agency cannot provide, such as specialized tests and surgeries and other procedures. Frye says VA has paid at least $5 billion in such fees, in violation of federal rules that the agency’s own general counsel has said since 2009 must be followed.

 

Frye alleges further violations in the agency’s purchase of billions of dollars worth of prosthetics and in the acquisition of a wide range of daily medical and surgical supplies. He says many products are bought without the competitive bidding and contracts essential to ensure quality care, effective use of tight dollars and proper government oversight."

 

This very long, very detailed, bombshell expose of an agency out of control is here with a whole lot more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/va-improperly-spent-6-billion-on-care-for-veterans-senior-agency-leader-says/2015/05/13/ab8f131c-f5be-11e4-b2f3-af5479e6bbdd_story.html?wpisrc=al_alert

 

After reading, or instead of plowing through the whole thing, here is a synopsis of nine takeaway points from the scathing report:

 

9 big takeaways from memo accusing VA of making a ‘mockery’ of spending rules

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2015/05/14/9-big-takeaways-from-memo-accusing-va-of-making-a-mockery-of-spending-rules/

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