GAO: VA Acquisition Management: COVID-19 Response Strains Supply Chain While Modernization Delays Continue

Why GAO Did This Study

“VA spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually to meet the health care needs of about 9 million veterans. As of June 30, 2020, VA received about $19.6 billion in supplemental appropriations for COVID-19-related needs. Due to longstanding issues with VA acquisition management, GAO added it to its High Risk List in 2019.”

“This statement discusses how VA is meeting its needs for medical and surgical supplies during the pandemic and the status of ongoing efforts to modernize its supply chain. This statement is based on information from three reports issued from 2017-2020, a draft report on the MSPV program currently with VA for comment, and preliminary observations from an ongoing review of VA’s COVID-19 procurements…”

What GAO Found

“GAO’s preliminary observations show that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has leveraged multiple approaches—including a new personal protective equipment tracking tool, additional contracting organizations, emergency flexibilities, and federal partnerships—to meet its critical medical and surgical supply needs during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These approaches include using regional contracting offices to obtain supplies through new contracts and requesting supplies through the Federal Emergency Management Administration. To aid its response to ongoing and future public health emergencies, VA plans to establish central sources of critical supplies called Regional Readiness Centers.”

“As GAO reported in June 2020, VA has several supply chain modernization efforts underway. However, in its draft report on the MSPV program, GAO found that each effort faces significant delays…”What GAO Recommends

“GAO has made 40 recommendations since 2015 to improve acquisition management at VA. VA agreed with those recommendations and has implemented 22 of them. VA is currently reviewing recommendations from GAO’s draft report on the MSPV program…”

Access the full 17-page report here.

Source: VA Acquisition Management: COVID-19 Response Strains Supply Chain While Modernization Delays Continue – September 16, 2020. GAO.

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