Report Summary

Title: Administrative Investigation of the FY 2011 Human Resources Conferences in Orlando, Florida
Report Number: 12-02525-291
Issue Date: 9/30/2012
VA Office: Office of Acquisitions, Logistics, and Construction (OALC)
Office of Human Resources and Administration
Report Author:
Report Type: Administrative Investigation
Release Type: Redacted
Summary: VA OIG opened an administrative investigation upon receiving allegations of wasteful expenditures related to HR conferences held in Orlando, FL, in July and August 2011. While VA reported lower estimates of conference costs to Congress, we reconstructed the costs of the two conference events to be approximately $6.1 million, but could not gain reasonable assurance that this figure represents a complete accounting for these conferences. In our opinion, VA held these conferences to fulfill valid training needs. However, VA’s processes and the oversight were too weak, ineffective, and in some instances, nonexistent. Thus, many conference costs were not sufficiently documented, which made them difficult to clearly justify, or identify whether they were accurate, appropriate, necessary, or even reasonably priced. In fact, we questioned about $762,000 as unauthorized, unnecessary, and/or wasteful expenses. Further, we found that eleven VA employees, tasked with conference management responsibilities, improperly accepted gifts from contractors seeking to do business or already doing business with VA. The VA Secretary agreed to take action on our findings and OIG will monitor the Department’s progress on implementing all proposed corrective actions.