Veterans Affairs improperly spent $6 billion annually, senior official says – The Washington Post

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.

via Veterans Affairs improperly spent $6 billion annually, senior official says – The Washington Post.

I’m gonna skip over the outrage phase of this and just note:

The normal, legally mandated contracting and purchasing methods for the federal government are so unwieldy and burdensome that little money, and no time would likely have been saved.

You find people buying pizzas and scotch on their purchasing card, sure, I’m livid

You find them buying prosthetics for an amputee in a timely manner?

That’s a little harder to be upset about.

4 thoughts on “Veterans Affairs improperly spent $6 billion annually, senior official says – The Washington Post”

  1. What do you think about the notion of cutting out the corpulent middleman? Go away the VHA and give vets vouchers for health insurance.

    1. My general experience, and from many people I’ve talked with, is that the actual quality of care tends to be good. It’s the monumental task of simply navigating the VA bureaucracy that is so difficult. I suspect any voucher system would likely be just as much an administrative burden.

      Further, there are some specific types of care that vets can really only effectively get through the VA.

  2. I currently live about 3 miles from the regional VA hospital. I can have all my care there. After they sent me home with a run away blood sugar over 500 (really bad) then told me I could get an appt with a doc in three weeks, I no longer trust them with my care.

  3. “the official accuses other agency leaders of “gross mismanagement” and making a “mockery” of federal acquisition laws”

    Who doesn’t make a mockery of federal acquisition laws? Including those laws, themselves. Quality medical care is assured by using artificial hip joints from the low bidder? Really? Who is mocking who?

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