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Union Activities: VA Should Improve the Way It Tracks the Amount of Official Time Used by Its Employees
GAO-17-412T: Published: Feb 16, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 16, 2017.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) cannot accurately track the amount of work time employees spend on union representational activities, referred to as official time, agency-wide because it does not have a standardized way for its facilities to record and calculate official time. Specifically:Recording official time—VA uses two separate time and attendance systems that capture official time...
VA Health Care: Actions Needed to Ensure Medical Facility Controlled Substance Inspection Programs Meet Agency Requirements
GAO-17-242: Published: Feb 15, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 2017.
GAO found weaknesses in the way four selected Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities were implementing their controlled substance inspection programs. Two of the four did not conduct monthly inspections of controlled substances as required by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). For example, one facility missed 43 percent of monthly inspections in critical patient care areas a...
Veterans Affairs Information Technology: Management Attention Needed to Improve Critical System Modernizations, Consolidate Data Centers, and Retire Legacy Systems
GAO-17-408T: Published: Feb 7, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 7, 2017.
GAO noted in July 2016 that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) had moved forward with an effort to modernize its health information system—the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA)—but that the department is uncertain of its long-term plan for addressing its electronic health record system needs beyond fiscal year 2018. Beyond modernizing VistA, GAO repor...
Union Activities: VA Could Better Track the Amount of Official Time Used by Employees
GAO-17-105: Published: Jan 24, 2017. Publicly Released: Feb 3, 2017.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) cannot accurately track the amount of work time employees spend on union representational activities, referred to as official time, agency-wide because it does not have a standardized way for its facilities to record and calculate official time. Specifically:Recording official time —VA uses two separate time and attendance systems that capture official ti...
Federal Health Care Center: VA and DOD Need to Develop Better Information to Monitor Operations and Improve Efficiency
GAO-17-197: Published: Jan 23, 2017. Publicly Released: Jan 23, 2017.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense's (DOD) evaluation to determine whether the Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center (FHCC) should continue operating as an integrated facility or revert to a “joint venture” included conducting both separate and joint reviews. As an integrated facility, the FHCC has a unified governance structure, workforce, and b...
Veterans Health Administration: Management Attention Is Needed to Address Systemic, Long-standing Human Capital Challenges
GAO-17-30: Published: Dec 23, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 23, 2017.
The Veterans Health Administration's (VHA) limited human resources (HR) capacity combined with weak internal control practices has undermined VHA's HR operations and its ability to improve delivery of health care services to veterans.Attrition of medical center HR staff increased between fiscal years 2013 and 2015, due to HR staff transferring to other federal agencies. VHA officials note a lack o...
Homeless Veterans: Management Improvements Could Help VA Better Identify Supportive-Housing Projects
GAO-17-101: Published: Dec 21, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 21, 2016.
As of September 2016, for veterans who were homeless or at risk of homelessness, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) had developed 35 enhanced-use leases (EUL) for supportive-housing with low cost rental housing and coordinated access to medical, rehabilitative, mental healthcare, and other services. Each supportive-housing EUL is located on a VA medical center campus. Some lessee representati...
VA Health Care: Improved Monitoring Needed for Effective Oversight of Care for Women Veterans
GAO-17-52: Published: Dec 2, 2016. Publicly Released: Dec 2, 2016.
The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Veterans Health Administration (VHA) does not have accurate and complete data on the extent to which its medical centers comply with environment of care standards for women veterans. VHA policy requires its medical facilities, including VA medical centers, to meet environment of care standards related to the privacy, safety, and dignity of women veterans. V...
Veterans Health Care: Improvements Needed in Operationalizing Strategic Goals and Objectives
GAO-17-50: Published: Oct 21, 2016. Publicly Released: Nov 21, 2016.
The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Veterans Health Administration (VHA) uses a multi-step strategic planning process to develop its strategic goals and objectives, which includes two key steps—(1) identifying and assessing factors that may affect health care delivery, which is referred to as environmental scanning, and (2) holding the annual National Leadership Council (NLC) Strategic Plan...
VA Health Care: Processes to Evaluate, Implement, and Monitor Organizational Structure Changes Needed
GAO-16-803: Published: Sep 27, 2016. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 2016.
Recent internal and external reviews of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) operations have identified deficiencies in its organizational structure and recommended changes that would require significant restructuring to address, including eliminating and consolidating program offices and reducing VHA central office staff. However, VHA does not have a process that ensures recommended organizationa...