|Title:||VA’s Compliance with the VA Transparency & Trust Act of 2021 Semiannual Report: March 2023|
|VA Office:||Office of Management
Office of the Secretary
|Report Author:||Office of Audits and Evaluations
In November 2021, Congress passed the VA Transparency & Trust Act of 2021 (Transparency Act) to facilitate oversight of VA’s spending of COVID 19 emergency relief funding, including Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) funds. To comply, VA must provide a detailed plan to Congress outlining its intent and justification for obligating and expending FFCRA funds. Additionally, the Transparency Act requires VA to submit biweekly reports to Congress detailing its obligations, expenditures, and planned uses, as well as justification for any deviations from the plan. The act also requires the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) to submit semiannual reports comparing how VA is actually obligating and expending covered funds to those planned. In this third such report, the OIG found VA generally complied with the Transparency Act because VA provided justification for its programs and activities and largely aligned VA provided obligations and expenditures to the detailed plan. The OIG review team relied on VA provided obligations and expenditures of $60 million from April 1, 2020, through August 23, 2022, to identify VA’s general spending of FFCRA covered funds. However, VA did not provide sufficient supporting documentation requested by the team to assess line-level details needed to make a full assessment. When that documentation is received, the OIG will review the affected FFCRA topics and any updates to VA’s plans or the biweekly reporting mechanisms for other Transparency Act covered funds in subsequent semiannual OIG reports. Although the OIG did not make recommendations in this report, there are two unimplemented recommendations from a March 2022 OIG report related to Transparency Act funds that could interfere with VA’s long term compliance with the act if not addressed.