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Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Veterans Affairs

GAO-24-107265 Published: Jun 03, 2024. Publicly Released: Jun 10, 2024.
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Fast Facts

Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help the federal government save money, address issues on our High Risk List, and significantly improve government operations.

This letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs outlines 28 open recommendations that it should prioritize. For example, we recommended that VA compare its software inventories to purchase records to ensure it has the software licenses it needs and isn't paying for licenses it doesn't need.

VA implemented 6 recommendations we identified as a priority last year.

We regularly update priority recommendations here.

Graphic that says, "GAO's Priority Open Recommendations" and includes the VA seal.

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What GAO Found

In May 2023, GAO identified 29 priority recommendations for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Since then, VA has implemented six of those recommendations including establishing a timeliness standard for the average number of days within which veterans' medical appointments with VA facility providers should occur.

In May 2024, GAO identified five additional priority recommendations for VA, bringing the total number of open priority recommendations to 28. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • veterans' access to timely health care,
  • Veterans Community Care Program,
  • human capital management,
  • disability benefits management,
  • quality of care and patient safety,
  • VA health care system efficiency,
  • acquisition management,
  • electronic health record modernization,
  • assessing software licenses,
  • Equal Employment Opportunity and harassment programs, and
  • veteran education program management.

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

Why GAO Did This Study

Priority recommendations are the GAO recommendations that have not been implemented and warrant attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional 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 managementElectronic health recordsEqual employment opportunityQuality of careSexual harassment preventionSoftware licensesVeteransVeterans affairsVeterans disability benefitsVeterans educationVeterans health care