Opportunity For Economies Under Guardianship Program

B-114859: Published: Jan 11, 1968. Publicly Released: Jan 11, 1968.

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GAO reviewed the policies, procedures, and practices of the Veterans Administration's (VA) guardianship program for safeguarding funds of minor children of deceased veterans, mentally incompetent veterans, and other incompetent beneficiaries.

GAO noted that: (1) the VA audits of accountings submitted by fiduciaries designated to receive and administer VA funds paid on behalf of these beneficiaries and the VA field visits to beneficiaries were in excess of those needed to adequately protect the beneficiaries funds; (2) the VA could achieve economies of up to $900,000 a year, without adversely affecting its management of the guardianship program, if it were to: (a) reduce the frequency of its audits of guardian accountings; and (b) discontinue its interim field examinations of cases involving minor beneficiaries under parental custody in stable family situations; (3) in certain cases involving incompetent veterans and other incompetent beneficiaries, more frequent field examinations are warranted; and (4) GAO was unable to determine the cost of the additional field examinations, but it estimated that they might amount to approximately $50,000 a year.

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