Report Summary

Title: Veterans Benefits Administration Review of New Hire Productivity and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Hiring Initiative
Report Number: 09-01814-85
Issue Date: 2/18/2010
City/State:
VA Office: Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)
Report Author:
Report Type: Audits, Reviews & Evaluations
Release Type: Unrestricted
Summary: In FYs 2007 and 2008, Congress appropriated $185 million to VBA to hire claims processors. In FY 2009, VBA received $150 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to hire about 2,300 claims processors. The Office of Inspector General conducted a review to assess VBA’s efforts to meet its hiring goals and the impact of VBA’s increased workforce on compensation and pension (C&P) claims workload. VBA met its FY 2008 hiring goals and filled almost all of its ARRA-funded positions in FY 2009. However, VBA’s rating and non-rating claims inventory is expected to continue to grow in FYs 2010 and 2011. Also, because VBA does not collect data on how many overtime hours are worked or local regional office performance measures, it cannot accurately determine its workforce capacity and future workforce needs. We recommended the Acting Under Secretary for Benefits collect information on overtime hours worked and regional office performance standards and how staff are performing in relation to these standards. We also recommended that VBA issue guidance to regional offices requiring that temporarily promoted supervisors complete a standardized core curriculum of supervisory training. The Acting Under Secretary agreed with our findings and recommendations. We consider the planned actions acceptable and will follow up on their implementation.