The Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) 21 Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) offices oversee 152 VHA healthcare facilities and over 1,220 related community based outpatient clinics, nursing homes, and Vet Centers throughout thecountry. After 16 years, the VISN offices’ expenses had increased over $164.9 million, over 500 percent above the original estimate of $26.7 million.
To this day, however, there is virtually no global oversight, nor implementation of consistent robust business process relative to the numerous facility renovation, repair, sustainability and minor new construction project performed daily. As a result, efficient management is impossible. As a result, proper stewardship, so critical for building users and taxpayers, is at best questionable.
VHA lacks budget formulation and execution controls and reliable staffing and expense data to monitor VISN offices and ensure the effective and efficient use of funds. As a result, VISN offices lacks adequate fiscal controls and accurate information to ensure transparency, accountability, compliance with policies, and the effective and efficient use of funds …. VHA allows its VISN offices to operate independently ….– VA Office of the Inspector General, Office of Audits and Evaluations
The above audit was concerned primarily with operations expenses and associated cost increases, however, standardized practices specifically with respect to facility repair, renovation, sustainability, and minor new construction would dramatically improve fiscal transparency and simply get more on these important projects done on time and on budget.
Job Order Contracting, using RSMeans cost data, and associated JOC specific technologies have been proven to provide the required levels of transparency, accountability, and productivity. To date, the VA has not implemented a “best-practice” JOC process across its portfolio. Isn’t it time?