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Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Veterans Affairs

GAO-22-105630 Published: Jun 30, 2022. Publicly Released: Jul 07, 2022.
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Fast Facts

Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help improve the federal government. We alert department heads to where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.

This report outlines our 22 priority open recommendations for the Department of Veterans Affairs as of May 2022. For example, we recommended that VA revise its guidance to make the use of funds for health care services more efficient.

Since our previous letter in May 2021, VA implemented 8 of our priority recommendations.

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What GAO Found

In May 2021, GAO identified 28 priority recommendations for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Since then, VA has implemented 8 of those recommendations by, among other things, taking actions to publicly report data on COVID-19 in state veterans homes.

In May 2022, GAO identified 2 additional priority recommendations for VA, bringing the total number to 22. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • veterans' access to timely health care,
  • veterans community care program,
  • human capital management,
  • appeals reform for disability benefits,
  • quality of care and patient safety,
  • veteran suicide prevention,
  • VA health care system efficiency, 
  • acquisition management, and
  • VA's capital planning.

VA's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.

Why GAO Did This Study

Priority open recommendations are the GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional and/or executive branch decision-making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015 GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations.

For more information, contact Jessica Farb (202) 512-7114 or

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Access to health careAcquisition managementAsset managementHuman capital managementQuality of careSuicide preventionVeteransVeterans disability benefitsVeterans health careHigh-risk issues