Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 25, 2015

Veterans Affairs Department Scheduling Woes Extend from Care to Leases

Veterans Administration Hearing

Former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki takes his seat to testify for the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on “The State of VA Health Care” on Thursday, May 15, 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Department of Veterans Affairs is already in plenty of hot water over its patient backlog, and a Government Accountability Office report released this week on a similar brand of mismanagement elsewhere in the department isn’t going to help turn down the temperature.

The GAO report on department management of leasing for outpatient clinics was overshadowed by the department’s other woes, but found some significant problems. Of the 41 projects the GAO examined, 39 were behind schedule — one of them by more than 13 years.

Because construction of VA-owned properties is expensive, the department has increasingly leased out medical facilities to provide treatment, to the tune of $5.5 billion as of the fall of 2013.

Most of the scheduling delays came at the front end, before the department ever entered into a lease agreement, and on average the delays are 3.3 years. The problems included late or changing requirements, trouble finding suitable facilities and ever-changing internal procedures.

And the GAO found cost overruns, too, which stemmed from the delays.

In response to the report, department chief of staff Jose Riojas embraced the GAO recommendations. But he noted that many of the delays were out of the VA’s control, attributing them to such factors as environmental law compliance or protests of awarded contracts.

Under a compromise Senate bill offered in response to the VA patient backlog scandal, the department would be authorized to lease 26 new facilities in 18 different states.

Comments (35)

  1. American

    June 9, 2014
    8:09 a.m.

    The VA is issued a budget of well over $2,000,000,000.00 (that’s 2 BILLION DOLLARS) every year. That is enough to take care of EVERY DISABLED VETERAN SOLDIER’S MEDICAL CARE & COMPENSATION, and still have MILLIONS left over!
    But, all the taxpayers’s money is not being used to care for our WOUNDED WARRIORS or to build more medical facilities. The VA EXECUTIVES, VA LAWYERS and VA CLAIMS PROCESSORS are stealing that money, and taking care of themselves.
    SOMEONE (The President, Congress, Senate, FBI) needs to investigate this IMMORAL, ILLEGAL PRACTICE that is continuing at all VA CENTERS THROUGHOUT THE NATION, AND AT THE MAIN VA HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

  2. Jim S.

    June 9, 2014
    8:14 a.m.

    Why problems at only some VA facilities and others are unscathed! Simple, conservative long time ideology to privatize for corporate profit, with now Miller in the House and the clueless Burr in the Senate leading the charge for, off the peoples treasury, funding still mostly borrowed and VA decades under funded with the cheered on wars, along with greed, brought into government facilities to cause more costly problems with no concern as to the Veterans who served them while those served refuse to Sacrifice! In this case add in the only government branch doing anything consistently for, the Executive Branch, for not only Veterans but Military personal and their Families as well as the target on Gen Shinseki since speaking Military Truth and getting fired, ‘mission accomplished’!!!

    On All Veterans’ Issues – ALL GOP Lawmakers

    VA may have retaliated against whistleblowers, watchdog says

    As a Vet what the ‘watchdog’ report should have said: “GOPer VA employee’s within might have retaliated on their own Whistleblowers, mistakenly!!”

    “Why in 2009 were we still using paper?” VA Assistant Secretary Tommy Sowers “When we came in, there was no plan to change that; we’ve been operating on a six month wait for over a decade.” 27 March 2013

    The more that comes out on this the continuation of the Decades Long SCANDAL, not a VA scandal, of those served through their lawmakers! The more most evidence gathering on, greed and politics where politics has no place, looks like another front in the long want for the GOP to privatize government agencies, that’s working real well where they’ve succeeded in parts of with them highly paid private contractors now hasn’t it, for corporate profit from the peoples treasury. And as they would still be called ‘government agencies’ the ability to legislate extra fee’s and costs, think our recent rubber stamped no bid contracts wars, especially the quick built merc army that spread into intelligence gathering and more, or the NSA intelligence gathering, running special ops operations and more. And when private , no oversite, no regulations, and absolutely no accountability, they would continue blaming those working in the agencies, the few to make it still look like a government agency, they do that now without mentioning them corporate government private entities!

    Notice that when attacking the VA, or any government agency and personal, in hearings on the news waves in their districts…….., they never related those at the huge problems found with that bottom line only, and with growing problems, found in the privatized already government work being done, nor within the whole corporate america new capitalism ideologies!

    “If military action is worth our troops’ blood, it should be worth our treasure, too — not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American.” -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    USN All Shore ’67-’71 GMG3 Vietnam In Country ’70-’71 – Independent**

  3. Yonatan YONATAN

    June 9, 2014
    11:27 a.m.

    THE UNEMPLOYED NEED HELP NOW FROM THE SENATE !! The Democrats & Republicans have failed the more than 2.6 Million Unemployed Families, who have been Without an Unemployment Extension since late last December. For more than Five months now, these politicians have stalled and delayed the passing of the extension bill, leaving these families with no other source of income. While Billions of Tax Payer Dollars have been recently sent to the Ukraine in foreign aid, no such Aid has been approved for these millions of families in financial & economic difficulty. The Republicans have intentionally used the Extension Bill “Hostage” in the senate, for their own political agenda, and for political leverage. Both party’s have Forgotten and Ignored the Plight of these families, and have walked away from the issue. These families, many of whom, have lost Everything, and are in dire need of financial assistance, which they have paid into, from their pay checks, over the course of many years.

    • curmudgeon

      June 9, 2014
      5:16 p.m.

      Judging by recent problems within our government bureaucracies you have to believe this it true.

      There’s hope for everybody.

      The Americans with No Abilities Act (ANAA), President Barack Obama and the Democratic Senate are considering sweeping legislation that will provide new benefits for many more Americans. The Americans With No Abilities Act is being hailed as a major legislative goal by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition.

      “Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society,” said California Sen. Barbara Boxer. “We can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability (POI) to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group of workers, simply because they have some idea of what they are doing.”

      In a Capitol Hill press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pointed to the success of the U.S.Postal Service, which has a long-standing policy of providing opportunity without regard to performance. At the state government level, the Department of Motor Vehicles also has an excellent record of hiring Persons with No Ability (63 percent).

      Under the Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million mid-level positions will be created, with important-sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance.

      Mandatory nonperformance-based raises and promotions will be given to guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees. The legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations that promote a significant number of Persons of Inability (POI) into middle-management positions, and give a tax credit to small and medium-sized businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires.

      Finally, the Americans With No Abilities Act contains tough new measures to make it more difficult to discriminate against the non-abled, banning, for example, discriminatory interview questions such as, “Do you have any skills or experience that relate to this job?”

      “As a non-abled person, I can’t be expected to keep up with people who have something going for them,” said Mary Lou Gertz, who lost her position as a lug-nut twister at the GM plant in Flint, Mich., due to her inability to remember righty tighty, lefty loosey. “This new law should be real good for people like me. I’ll finally have job security.” With the passage of this bill, Gertz and millions of other untalented citizens will finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

      Said Sen. Dick Durbin, Il: “As a senator with no abilities, I believe the same privileges that elected officials enjoy ought to be extended to every American with no abilities. It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each and every American citizen, regardless of his or her inadequacy, with some sort of space to take up in this great nation and a good salary for doing so.”

      This message was approved by Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama.

  4. ShadrachSmith

    June 9, 2014
    1:22 p.m.

    Jeff Neely: the patron saint of government workers

  5. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    10:15 a.m.

    Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a blog website? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept

  6. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    7:43 a.m.

    Good article and right to the point. I am not sure if this is actually the best place to ask but do you people have any ideea where to get some professional writers? Thanks :)

  7. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    5:37 a.m.

    There is apparently a bunch to identify about this. I think you made some nice points in features also.

  8. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    10:17 a.m.

    Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    12:41 a.m.

    I haven¦t checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

  10. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    1:51 a.m.

    I appreciate, cause I found exactly what I was looking for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  11. Google

    July 22, 2015
    4:24 p.m.

    Sites of interest we have a link to.

  12. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    5:29 a.m.

    Hi would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a fair price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

  13. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    6:41 a.m.

    I would like to convey my respect for your kind-heartedness supporting women who really want help with this one area. Your personal commitment to passing the solution throughout had become incredibly invaluable and have without exception permitted those like me to attain their pursuits. Your entire warm and helpful tips and hints indicates a great deal to me and a whole lot more to my colleagues. Warm regards; from all of us.

  14. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    5:18 p.m.

    You can certainly see your skills within the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. All the time follow your heart. “A second wife is hateful to the children of the first a viper is not more hateful.” by Euripides.

  15. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    6:25 p.m.

    I’d have to examine with you here. Which is not one thing I usually do! I take pleasure in reading a post that may make folks think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to comment!

  16. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    7:09 a.m.

    I am continually browsing online for ideas that can help me. Thx!

  17. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    5:19 p.m.

    I have been browsing online greater than 3 hours nowadays, yet I by no means discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is lovely worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you did, the web will be much more helpful than ever before.

  18. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    6:25 p.m.

    I truly appreciate this post. I have been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You’ve made my day! Thank you again

  19. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    6:40 a.m.

    I have to show my thanks to the writer just for bailing me out of this difficulty. Because of looking throughout the the net and coming across solutions which were not pleasant, I believed my entire life was over. Living minus the strategies to the difficulties you have sorted out all through this site is a serious case, and ones that could have badly affected my career if I hadn’t encountered your blog. Your understanding and kindness in handling every part was vital. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t come upon such a step like this. I can also at this time look forward to my future. Thanks a lot very much for your reliable and result oriented help. I will not be reluctant to suggest your site to anyone who should have direction on this problem.

  20. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    2:53 p.m.

    I’d have to examine with you here. Which is not one thing I usually do! I take pleasure in reading a post that may make folks think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to comment!

  21. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    3:41 p.m.

    Good write-up, I am normal visitor of one’s blog, maintain up the excellent operate, and It’s going to be a regular visitor for a lengthy time.

  22. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    9:33 a.m.

    Very good blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely confused .. Any tips? Bless you!

  23. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    10:20 a.m.

    I went over this web site and I conceive you have a lot of wonderful info, bookmarked (:.

  24. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    1 p.m.

    You are my inspiration , I possess few blogs and sometimes run out from to post : (.

  25. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    1:22 p.m.

    I dugg some of you post as I thought they were handy invaluable

  26. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    9:28 a.m.

    It’s the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!

  27. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    8:10 a.m.

    This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  28. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    9:11 a.m.

    I am really inspired together with your writing skills as smartly as with the structure for your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it your self? Anyway keep up the excellent high quality writing, it is rare to look a nice weblog like this one nowadays..

  29. Anonymous

    Aug. 9, 2015
    8:14 p.m.

    You have noted very interesting points! ps decent web site. “Become addicted to constant and never-ending self improvement.” by Anthony D’Angelo.

  30. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    2:41 p.m.

    Thanks for another informative website. The place else may just I get that type of information written in such an ideal means? I’ve a mission that I’m just now running on, and I’ve been on the glance out for such information.

  31. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    3:39 p.m.

    Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people consider worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  32. reference

    Aug. 12, 2015
    8:44 p.m.

    I simply want to mention I am just new to blogging and site-building and absolutely liked this website. More than likely I’m going to bookmark your site . You absolutely have superb article content. With thanks for sharing your website page.

  33. teens

    Aug. 15, 2015
    11:50 p.m.

    Really appreciate you sharing this article post.Thanks Again. Cool.

  34. Anonymous

    Sept. 3, 2015
    5:03 a.m.

    17UQjP Looking around While I was surfing yesterday I saw a excellent post about

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...