Thursday, July 29, 2010

VA accounting system deserves an F

Lawmakers: VA accounting system deserves an F

By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Jul 28, 2010 14:05:32 EDT

Incredulous lawmakers sat steaming as government auditors gave the Veterans Affairs Department a “B” grade on efforts to correct an accounting system that has almost twice as many unexplained charges today as it did two years ago.

“I would not underestimate the anger my colleagues on both sides feel. I would not underestimate the sense we are really mad,” said Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, who said he would have given VA an “F.”

The problem involves something called “miscellaneous obligations” —purchases made outside of the normal contracting system, usually for items that are needed quickly, such as medical supplies, but sometimes also for bigger items such as vehicles and furniture.

In 2008, the Government Accountability Office, the auditing and investigative arm of Congress, found $6.9 billion in these miscellaneous charges, many with inadequate or nonexistent documentation to explain the bill.

A new review found $12 billion in miscellaneous charges, and many of the same problems with a lack of justification.
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VA accounting system deserves an F

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