Tighter controls save VA more than $1B

VA IG's Semiannual Report to Congress gives overview of past six months

The Veterans Affairs Department’s Office of Inspector General has questioned the progress of some IT programs in a report that also claimed that the office's efforts had resulted in $1.2 billion in savings, avoided costs and other monetary benefits in a six-month period.

According to its Semiannual Report to Congress, the IG's office also reviewed several contracting and IT programs at VA. Those reviews found that:

  • Ineffective controls over cost, schedule and performance could threaten the viability of a pilot project of the Financial and Logistics Integrated Technology Enterprise program for strategic asset management.
  • Teleradiology contracts lack information security protections and oversight.
  • Providing employees with secure credentials under Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 is nearly two years behind schedule.


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The report also states that 682 previous recommendations made by the IG's office remain open, without corrective actions completed to date. Seventy-six of those recommendations have been open for a year or longer.

George Opfer, VA's IG, published the report Nov. 30. It covers the period from April 1 to Sept. 30.

Oversight work performed by IG's Office of Audits and Evaluations found that in fiscal 2009 the Veterans Health Administration made net overpayments of $120 million on inpatient care for veterans at non-VA facilities, the report states. Without changes to the payment process, those problems could result in overpayments of more than $600 million in the next five years.

The IG recommended consolidating the claims-processing system for non-VA inpatient care for an estimated cost savings of $134 million in the next five years.

The report did not include comments from VA officials.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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