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GAO Adds Veterans Affairs Procurement to High-Risk List

The way the Department of Veterans Affairs buys goods and services from government contractors is at high risk of waste, fraud and abuse, the Government Accountability Office said this week.

VA acquisition management and personnel security clearance procedures across the government were both added to the GAO high-risk list, Comptroller General Gene Dodaro told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

The list identifies government operations with vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, or that are in need of overhauling  to address economy, efficiency, or effectiveness challenges.

VA suffers from “fundamental management weaknesses and is one of the most challenged in the federal government,” Dodaro said, adding that constant changes or vacancies in leadership positions and a lack of accountability are problems at the sprawling department.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie “has a plan but there’s not a lot of detail” for implementing longstanding GAO calls to overhaul the department’s outdated procurement system that relies too heavily on expensive emergency procurements, Dodaro said.

Off the list this year: the Defense Department’s supply chain management and a program to mitigate gaps in weather satellite data.

Read more at Government Executive

Read the complete GAO report on its high risk list here

The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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