Report Summary

Title: Review of VHA's Management of Travel, Duty Stations, Salaries and Funds in the Procurement and Logistics Office
Report Number: 11-01653-300
Issue Date: 9/30/2013
City/State: Washington, DC
VA Office: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Report Author: Office of Audits and Evaluations
Report Type: Audits, Reviews & Evaluations
Release Type: Unrestricted
Summary: We conducted this review to determine the merits of four allegations claiming the Veterans Health Administration’s Procurement and Logistics Office (P&LO) mismanaged travel, duty stations assignments, salaries, and funds. We substantiated two of the four allegations: P&LO did pay some employees the incorrect salaries for their duty station locations and P&LO did improperly use the VA Supply Fund to pay for travel. However, we did not substantiate that P&LO authorized excessive, unnecessary travel or that employees were virtually stationed away from where they needed to work. We determined P&LO needed to strengthen internal procedures for approving travel. P&LO needs to ensure authorizing officials have direct knowledge of employee travel plans and only authorize travel after validating the necessity of the travel. P&LO paid three employees incorrect salaries due to inaccurate duty station assignments in FY 2010. Prior to our review, P&LO identified the errors for two of the three employees, and corrected the salaries and recouped related overpayments. The third employee was overpaid about $18,000 into FY 2013 because P&LO did not have standard procedures in place to ensure accurate duty station assignments. Finally, P&LO improperly augmented FY 2010 appropriations by using the VA Supply Fund to pay travel costs for an employee whose salary was funded through appropriations. P&LO did not have procedures in place to ensure appropriate use of the VA Supply Fund. We recommended the Chief Procurement and Logistics Officer implement controls to strengthen employee travel review and authorization. P&LO should initiate a periodic review of all employee duty station assignments to correct assignment errors and recoup incorrect payments as appropriate. While the Under Secretary for Health concurred, the Principal Executive Director, Office of Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction generally concurred with our report recommendations.