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

Report Summary

Title: Review of Alleged Mismanagement of VA's Human Resources and Administration Contract Funds
Report Number: 16-00327-209 Download
Report
Issue Date: 6/1/2017
City/State:
VA Office: Office of Human Resources and Administration
Report Author: Office of Audits and Evaluations
Report Type: Audits, Reviews & Evaluations
Release Type: Unrestricted
Summary:

In September 2015, the Office of Inspector General received an allegation that the Office of Human Resources and Administration’s (HR&A) VA Learning University (VALU) management authorized vendor payment for a Dashboard Tool before receiving the deliverable. In addition, the complainant alleged HR&A provided a competitive advantage to a vendor by helping the vendor develop a performance work statement for a future contract to maintain the Dashboard Tool. The Dashboard Tool is a web-based interface designed to organize and manage HR&A and VALU program data, such as performance metrics and training outcomes. We substantiated the allegation that VALU management authorized final payment in April 2015 for the Dashboard Tool that had not been delivered. We determined VALU did not accept the Dashboard Tool because it did not have the capability to operate the tool. Authorizing final payment before delivery did not allow VA to determine whether the Dashboard Tool conformed to applicable contract quality requirements. The former Dean of VALU did not assign responsibility for identifying and procuring a hosting solution to any individual or office. The former Dean also did not take timely action to obtain about $3,200 in funding to purchase a hosting solution.

As a result, HR&A was unable to use its estimated $3.7 million investment in the Dashboard Tool. As of March 2017, HR&A had not purchased a hosting solution on which to operate the Dashboard Tool. The Dashboard Tool remained in the possession of the vendor. We did not substantiate the allegation that HR&A provided a competitive advantage to a vendor for a future contract to maintain the Dashboard Tool. We found that HR&A officials drafted a performance work statement for a Dashboard Tool maintenance contract. An Office of Acquisition Operations contracting officer appropriately refused to approve the performance work statement determining the contract was unnecessary because VALU officials could not demonstrate that they were in possession of the Dashboard Tool. We recommended the Acting Assistant Secretary for HR&A assign responsibility to assess hosting solution options for the Dashboard Tool, and evaluate funding a hosting solution needed to test and use its estimated $3.7 million Dashboard Tool. The Acting Assistant Secretary for HR&A concurred with our recommendations. We consider Recommendation 1 closed and will follow up on the implementation of the remaining recommendation.