OIG Seal
Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General
Michael J. Missal, Inspector General

OIG Reports

| 18-00711-211 | Summary | Report | Redacted

Recommendations (7)Toggle Content


OpenClosed - ImplementedClosed - Not Implemented

No. 1   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA); Office of General Counsel (OGC)

The under secretary for health confer with VA Office of General Counsel and the VA Boston Healthcare System Human Resources Office to determine if administrative actions should be taken concerning VA Boston Healthcare System officials responsible for the $1.6 million in inappropriate payments to the Boston VA Research Institute.

No. 2   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The under secretary for health determine appropriate actions for the inappropriate overpayments, made by VA Boston Healthcare System officials, associated with salaries and fringe benefits for ineligible Boston VA Research Institute administrative staff, as well as duplicate employer retirement contribution payments.

No. 3   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The VA Boston Healthcare System director determine appropriate actions to ensure the VA Boston Healthcare System Human Resources Office develops procedures to require reviews of VA-affiliated nonprofit corporation Intergovernmental Personnel Act agreements for compliance with VA Handbook 5005, Staffing, prior to approval.

No. 4   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The VA Boston Healthcare System director determine appropriate actions to ensure the VA Boston Healthcare System Research and Development Budget Office develops procedures for adequate review of VA-affiliated nonprofit corporation invoices to prevent duplicate payments in accordance with VA financial policy prior to approval.

No. 5   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The VA Boston Healthcare System director determine appropriate actions to ensure procedures are developed that require the VA Boston Healthcare System Research and Development Budget Office supervisor to conduct periodic reviews of VA-affiliated nonprofit corporation invoices authorized for payment by staff, as required by VA Financial Policies and Procedures, volume VIII, chapter 1A.

No. 6   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The VA Boston Healthcare System director establish procedures to ensure research and development budget office staff review VA-affiliated nonprofit corporation invoices to make certain services were performed or the goods have been received in accordance with the agreement prior to payment.

No. 7   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The VA Boston Healthcare System director establish procedures to ensure the Research and Development Budget Office supervisor conducts periodic reviews of VA-affiliated nonprofit corporation invoices authorized for payment by staff to prevent improper payments, as required by VA Financial Policies and Procedures, volume VIII, chapter 1A.

Total Monetary Impact of All Recommendations

These recommendations have no monetary value.

| 18-06294-213 | Summary | Report

Recommendations (8)Toggle Content


OpenClosed - ImplementedClosed - Not Implemented

No. 1   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The Under Secretary for Health ensure the Payment Operations and Management directorate identifies its facilities that receive appeals but do not have sufficient staff assigned to process them, and then promptly transfers unprocessed appeals from those facilities to a Payment Operations and Management appeals-processing facility to ensure they are processed.

No. 2   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The Under Secretary for Health ensure the Payment Operations and Management directorate updates communications to direct claimants to submit appeals to its facilities with designated appeals-processing staff.

No. 3   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The Under Secretary for Health clearly define the roles and responsibilities of an accountable OCC official to oversee the Payment Operations and Management directorate’s appeals function.

No. 4   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The Under Secretary for Health ensure the Payment Operations and Management directorate implements and communicates effective policies and procedures for its staff to promptly process their pending appeals workload.

No. 5   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The Under Secretary for Health ensure the Payment Operations and Management directorate completely and accurately identifies and records its pending appeals inventory in a standard system of record and implements controls to effectively maintain the pending appeals inventory in the system of record.

No. 6   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The Under Secretary for Health ensure all Payment Operations and Management directorate appeals processors obtain access to Caseflow promptly, and that Caseflow includes fields that are necessary to effectively manage Payment Operations and Management appeals.

No. 7   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The Under Secretary for Health ensure the Payment Operations and Management directorate implements and communicates to all staff effective policies and procedures for processing and managing appeals under the new appeals process, including timeliness standards.

No. 8   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The Under Secretary for Health ensure the Payment Operations and Management directorate completes a comprehensive assessment of its appeals workforce and inventory, and then reevaluates its appeals staffing needs.

Total Monetary Impact of All Recommendations

These recommendations have no monetary value.

| 19-05960-244 | Summary | Report

Recommendations (5)Toggle Content


OpenClosed - ImplementedClosed - Not Implemented

No. 1   to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

The Under Secretary for Benefits implements the Veterans Benefits Administration’s commitment to update its Privacy Act release policy and begin redacting third-party personally identifiable information.

No. 2   to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

The Under Secretary for Benefits ensures VA’s website is updated to reflect current Veterans Benefits Administration policy regarding release of third-party personally identifiable information.

No. 3   to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

The Under Secretary for Benefits implements a plan to ensure the Records Management Center complies with requirements for mailing Privacy Act responses in accordance with VA Directive 6609.

No. 4   to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

The Under Secretary for Benefits establishes a plan to ensure that Records Management Center management receives a report for any site visit of the Records Management Center completed by the Veterans Benefits Administration and takes corrective action as needed.

No. 5   to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

The Records Management Center director implements a plan to improve quality reviews and ensures staff are held accountable for the accuracy of their Privacy Act releases.

Total Monetary Impact of All Recommendations

These recommendations have no monetary value.

| 19-07247-251 | Summary | Report

Recommendations (16)Toggle Content


OpenClosed - ImplementedClosed - Not Implemented

No. 1   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer continue the system modernization efforts that provide VA with the capability to generate the required DATA Act reporting files containing the necessary elements to meet compliance with the DATA Act. Ensure the modernization will provide the following: a. Accurate reporting of object class, program activity codes, program activity names and all other elements required by the DATA Act. b. Store award identification to allow VA to be able to develop a File C and reconcile the File C to both summary level data (Files A and B) and award level data (File D). The reconciliations should be performed prior to the quarterly certification. c. Report reconciliation with its subsidiary systems. d. A mechanism to ensure transactions are reported that currently may be excluded due to the use of 1358s. e. Standardize data field use to allow for management to record an award ID across financial and supporting systems.

No. 2   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer Ensure a DQP is finalized and implemented for future DATA Act submissions which meets the requirements for DATA Act reporting. In addition, the Office of Management, Office of Internal Control, and the Office of Enterprise Risk Management should ensure that the DQP supports the annual assurance statement and quarterly certification.

No. 3   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer Implement a grants management solution that will be either integrated with the new financial system or interface into it once completed. The VA should identify a grants management solution that can be implemented across all of VA’s grant programs.

No. 4   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer Work with the SAO and component level SAO’s to ensure that all certifications are signed, dated by the component SAO and received prior to the submission date.

No. 5   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer Ensure that the four CFDA programs (64.014, 64.015, 64.026, and 64.024) report obligations according to the definitions established for FABS reporting or obtain OMB and Treasury’s approval for any deviations.

No. 6   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer Ensure the Office of Budget implements monitoring controls over CFDA numbers to ensure any CFDA numbers that require activation are identified and activated promptly to avoid interruptions in expenditure reporting.

No. 7   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer Research the basis for the delays in reporting expenditure data for FABS for the VHA Veterans Prescription Service program (CFDA # 64.012) and implement a corrective action plan for timely reporting going forward. The VA PMO should also seek an exemption from OMB and Treasury regarding the reporting delays for the program if no viable solutions are identified to mitigate the timing delays.

No. 8   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer Obtain and document guidance from Treasury and OMB on the proper treatment of payments to contractors for VA’s Veterans Choice Program as either contract award (File D1) or financial assistance (File D2).

No. 9   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer Obtain and document guidance from Treasury and OMB regarding inclusion of payroll and contract costs in the FABS (File D2) and the duplication of the same contract costs in the FPDS-NG (File D1).

No. 10   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer Implement internal controls and update policies and procedures to improve the accuracy of and completeness of the information submitted for FABS reporting. The internal controls should ensure the following: a. Excluded payments not reported due to zip code issues are researched, cleared, and reported in VBA’s sub certification. b. The default code “90” for Congressional District is not used when the county or zip code are unknown; instead, perform research to obtain the required data. c. Support from Treasury and OMB on the proper reporting of face amount of insurance in its FABS submissions. d. The information submitted for each data element is adequately supported and readily available. e. All data elements are reported in compliance with the definitions established by the DAIMS.

No. 11   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer Improve review procedures prior to submission to identify errors and ensure all transactions are included in procurement and financial assistance data.

No. 12   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer Perform research to determine the extent to which 1358 transactions are not reported for File D1 and develop solutions.

No. 13   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer Develop solutions and continue system modernization efforts to reduce the use of the default object class. Research and develop program activity crosswalk for medical services.

No. 14   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer Strengthen procedures over the process to report all program activity names and program activity codes that are reported in the quarterly OMB MAX Collect Exercise in accordance with the latest Budget Data request requirements.

No. 15   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer Reinforce guidance for Contracting Officers concerning areas where exceptions were noted in DATA Act reporting.

No. 16   to Office of Management

We recommend the Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer Obtain OMB and Treasury approval for aggregating and reporting transactions based on beneficiary address. Ensure controls around the aggregation process are implemented and operating effectively.

Total Monetary Impact of All Recommendations

These recommendations have no monetary value.

| 18-04608-212 | Summary | Report

Recommendations (3)Toggle Content


OpenClosed - ImplementedClosed - Not Implemented

No. 1   to Office of Information and Technology (OIT)

The OIG recommended the assistant secretary for the Office of Information and Technology enforce blacklisting or formally assess and document the approach of using training as the mitigating control to prevent users from downloading and using non-VA-approved applications.

No. 2   to Office of Information and Technology (OIT)

The OIG recommended the assistant secretary for the Office of Information and Technology use configuration management tools to prevent premature or late updating of mobile devices or develop proactive policies and procedures to ensure users do not update mobile devices and applications until after the mobile device management team has conducted testing.

No. 3   to Office of Information and Technology (OIT)

The OIG recommended the assistant secretary for the Office of Information and Technology validate that users of mobile devices are completing the required annual Mobile Training: Security of Apps on iOS Devices before user accounts are activated.

Total Monetary Impact of All Recommendations

These recommendations have no monetary value.

| 19-06125-218 | Summary | Report

Recommendations (3)Toggle Content


OpenClosed - ImplementedClosed - Not Implemented

No. 1   to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA); Office of Information and Technology (OIT)

The assistant secretary for information and technology and the under secretary for benefits provide remedial training to users on the safe handling and storage of sensitive personal information on network drives.

No. 2   to Office of Information and Technology (OIT)

The assistant secretary for information and technology establishes technical controls to ensure users cannot store sensitive personal information on shared network drives.

No. 3   to Office of Information and Technology (OIT)

The assistant secretary for information and technology implements improved oversight procedures, including specific facility-level procedures, to ensure that sensitive personal information is not being stored on shared network drives.

Total Monetary Impact of All Recommendations

These recommendations have no monetary value.

| 18-03979-204 | Summary | Report

Recommendations (4)Toggle Content


OpenClosed - ImplementedClosed - Not Implemented

No. 1   to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

The under secretary for benefits implements controls to identify and address unreported monthly loan status in the upgraded VA Loan Electronic Reporting Interface system and implement compensating controls in the interim.

No. 2   to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

The under secretary for benefits ensures that loan servicers report when loss mitigation letters are sent and impose necessary regulatory infractions when required.

No. 3   to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

The under secretary for benefits ensures post-audit and adequacy of servicing reviews are compiled and trended and generate key loan servicer performance statistics.

No. 4   to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

The under secretary for benefits develops a plan to implement a formal tier-ranking system following the implementation of the upgraded VA Loan Electronic Reporting Interface system.

Total Monetary Impact of All Recommendations

These recommendations have no monetary value.

| 19-00260-215 | Summary | Report

Recommendations (12)Toggle Content


OpenClosed - ImplementedClosed - Not Implemented

No. 1   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Assign a room number and designate a custodial officer to the second-floor operating room storage location and allocate responsibility to identify inventory and update the equipment inventory listing for the appropriate medical center services.

No. 2   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Ensure barcodes are affixed to all storage locations and items to properly track and identify nonexpendable equipment.

No. 3   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Verify and update the information in the Automated Engineering Management System/Medical Equipment Reporting System to ensure all equipment in the second-floor operating room storage location is entered into the system and has accurate item status and location.

No. 4   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Ensure Logistics Service management complies with requirements for completion of reports of survey for equipment identified as lost or stolen.

No. 5   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Develop and implement a process to ensure Logistics Service staff adhere to requirements for proper disposal of equipment that is no longer needed.

No. 6   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Ensure Logistics Service staff use the auto-generate function within the Generic Inventory Package to identify the appropriate quantities for supply orders.

No. 7   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Require Logistics Service management to conduct monthly verifications of the Generic Inventory Package reports to ensure staff use of the system for the receipt and distribution of supplies.

No. 8   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Ensure barcodes are affixed to all storage locations, storage shelves, and bins to properly track and identify expendable supplies.

No. 9   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Ensure Logistics Service management monitors and reviews the weekly verification of expired inventory and ensures log sheets are properly annotated and maintained.

No. 10   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Ensure a staffing plan is implemented to continue filling vacancies based on clinical and administrative workload and includes contingencies for any positions with high turnover rates.

No. 11   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Ensure national requirements for ordering procedures are strictly followed to ensure requestor, approving authority, and receiver for all purchases are not the same individual.

No. 12   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

Implement a process to sufficiently and timely address and correct deficiencies identified during the Veterans Integrated Service Network quality control reviews.

Total Monetary Impact of All Recommendations

These recommendations have no monetary value.

| 18-01944-214 | Summary | Report

Recommendations (1)Toggle Content


OpenClosed - ImplementedClosed - Not Implemented

No. 1   to Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

The OIG recommended the director of the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston, South Carolina, ensure a process is established requiring that the Veterans Integrated Service Network 7 capital asset manager be informed, prior to construction contact awards, if construction is not planned to start within 150 days after contract awards, so that prudent decisions can be made in a timely manner regarding project funds.

Total Monetary Impact of All Recommendations

These recommendations have no monetary value.

| 19-06565-217 | Summary | Report

Recommendations (3)Toggle Content


OpenClosed - ImplementedClosed - Not Implemented

No. 1   to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

The Director of the Salt Lake City Regional Office ensures the Fiduciary Hub workload management plan establishes timeliness goals for the various action mail tasks.

No. 2   to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

The Director of the Salt Lake City Regional Office makes certain fiduciary hub managers measure performance and monitor adherence to timeliness goals for action mail tasks once established.

No. 3   to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

The Director of the Salt Lake City Regional Office establishes a requirement within the Fiduciary Hub workload management plan for routinely reviewing and resolving duplicate action mail tasks.

Total Monetary Impact of All Recommendations

These recommendations have no monetary value.

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