Report Summary

Title: Review of Alleged Mismanagement of VHA's Patient Transportation Service Contract for the Jesse Brown VAMC in Chicago, IL
Report Number: 15-03357-180
Issue Date: 6/27/2017
City/State: Chicago, IL
VA Office: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Report Author: Office of Audits and Evaluations
Report Type: Audits, Reviews & Evaluations
Release Type: Unrestricted
Summary: In March 2015, the Office of Inspector General received an allegation of mismanagement of the patient transportation service contract for the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Chicago, IL, which resulted in a waste of funds. We substantiated the allegation of contract mismanagement. Specifically, the Great Lakes Acquisition Center (GLAC) contracting officer (CO) did not adequately validate performance requirements to determine the required quantity of transportation trips. The CO did not adequately determine price reasonableness or fully fund the contract prior to obligating the Government. Finally, the CO did not document required contract information in VA’s Electronic Contract Management System (eCMS). This occurred because the GLAC CO did not ensure required reviews were performed for the awarded contract and for four modifications that either funded or extended the contract, increasing its value from about $885,000 to more than $6 million. Also, VA did not solicit competition to ensure fair and reasonable pricing. As a result, VA lacks assurance that the amount paid was the best value to the Government. In addition, VA potentially violated the Antideficiency Act (ADA) if funds were not available at the time VA incurred obligations for the services performed.
We recommended that the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) ensure compliance with policies to perform required oversight reviews and ensure eCMS includes complete contract information. We also recommended that VA compete future patient transportation service contracts. Lastly, we recommended that VHA determine if an ADA violation occurred.
The Acting Under Secretary for Health concurred with our report and recommendations, and provided a plan for corrective action. We considered the plan acceptable and will follow up on its implementation.