Department of Veterans Affairs' Lack of Timely and Accurate Information on Unexpended Balances Limits Effective Management and Congressional Oversight: GAO-07-410R

Goldstein, Mark L.
May 2007
GAO Reports;5/16/2007, p1
Government Documents
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) holds about 5 percent of the real property owned by the federal government in terms of building floor area, including such facilities as hospitals and office buildings. VA's responsibility for managing its real property includes the construction of its facilities and cemeteries. Because these construction projects can span several years, VA is authorized to carry forward fund balances from year to year in its construction accounts. VA is responsible for keeping track of and managing these balances to ensure that any unexpended balances that remain after construction projects are completed are redirected to other construction project needs within the agency. VA's budgets for new construction exist in two accounts--Major Construction and Minor Construction--which are funded as separate line items within the appropriation. For purposes of this report, we refer to the Major and Minor Construction accounts as VA's construction accounts. Construction projects undertaken to replace existing facility components are funded through the Non-Recurring Maintenance (NRM) portion of the Medical Facilities budget account. For purposes of this report, we refer to the NRM as VA's facility account. Under the Comptroller General's authority to conduct evaluations on his own initiative, and as part of a continued effort to assist Congress in overseeing real property management issues, we examined VA's management of unexpended construction balances. Specifically, we addressed the following question: To what extent does VA have readily available information about unexpended balances in its construction and facility accounts to effectively manage these funds? VA did not have readily available information in its construction and facility accounts about unexpended balances that were no longer needed and could have been redirected to other needs. Two issues hindered VA officials from identifying these unexpended balances in a timely manner. First, VA's systems lacked readily available information to track projects and provide timely and accurate information to VA management. Second, VA lacked effective policies and procedures for identifying unexpended balances when construction projects are completed and the funds designated for those projects are no longer needed. As a result of these two issues, unexpended balances on completed construction project accounts have been allowed to accumulate. We identified about $11 million in unexpended balances from completed construction projects during our review. Furthermore, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) lacks tools to monitor financial project information in its facility account projects at its Washington, D. C., headquarters. Although there were no unobligated construction balances from completed projects in VHA's facility accounts, there was a related issue concerning its practice of obligating most facility funds in the last month of the fiscal year, which poses...


Related Articles

  • VA to launch Veterans Legacy Program. Theres, James // Vantage Point;May2016, p69 

    A blog is presented concerning a national cemetery where genuine heroes are buried who represent the expanse of American history from the Revolutionary War to the present.

  • VA welcomes 13 new cemetery directors via its internship program. Wingfield, Dwayne // Vantage Point;Aug2016, p97 

    The article reports that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration has graduated thirteen members of the its 2016 cemetery director intern class.

  • VA policy on smartphone recreational gaming at VA facilities, cemeteries. OMR; Media Relations // Vantage Point;Jul2016, p73 

    The article offers information on the Alexandria National Cemetery of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • VA combines forces in North Texas.  // AHA News;1/20/97, Vol. 33 Issue 2, p6 

    Reports on the US Department of Veterans Affairs' integration of two VA medical facilities in Dallas and Bonham, Texas.

  • VA opts to raze damaged hospital. de Lafuente, Della; Weissenstein, Eric // Modern Healthcare;3/21/94, Vol. 24 Issue 12, p12 

    Reports on the United States Department of Veterans Affairs' decision to demolish its quake-damaged inpatient hospital at the Sepulveda, California VA Medical Center. Replacement for the demolished inpatient hospital; Amount allotted for tearing down the hospital; Damage caused by the...

  • Right on, Richard. Collins, Dave // PN;Dec2014, Vol. 68 Issue 12, p13 

    A letter to the editor is presented in response to the editorial "Shake Things Up" in the October 2014 issue.

  • Sepulveda rebuild veto should mark start of new VA paradigm.  // Modern Healthcare;4/11/94, Vol. 24 Issue 15, p38 

    Editorial. Commends the Department of Veterans Affairs' decision to demolish the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and replace it with an outpatient surgery center. Sufficiency of Southern California facilities to handle the acute-care load of the closed hospital; Possibility of contracting with...

  • The Great Lakes debate. Nordhaus-Bike, Anne M. // H&HN: Hospitals & Health Networks;7/05/96, Vol. 70 Issue 13, p42 

    Focuses on the controversy generated by the plan of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to consolidate veterans' health care operations in Chicago, Illinois. Transformation of the VA Westside Medical Center in Chicago into an outpatient center; Transfer of its inpatient services to the VA...

  • Overcoming all obstacles. Post, Nadine M.; Kohn, David // ENR: Engineering News-Record;5/8/95, Vol. 234 Issue 18, p18 

    Features the construction of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs hospital in Hollywood, Fla. Per-floor interstitial mechanical space; Ease of the design process through the computer-assisted drawing's (CAD) layering capabilities; Target date of completion; Price per square foot; Incentive to lure...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics