IT Spending

A GAO report says VA health care is unsafe in part due to its outdated IT systems that require a significant update despite IT spending in the billions.

What the heck did VA spend all that money on?

Over the past decade, VA spent billions on what we thought were IT upgrades to all of its IT systems including VA’s health care records system. But GAO says that system is so outdated that it contributes to an unsafe environment for veterans seeking care.

RELATED: VA Sweetie Wins Part Of $22 Billion IT Contract

The GAO audit also called out VA for its own perceived failure to properly allocate the billions it blew threw on proper systems for modernization. The money was there, but where did the money go?

RELATED: VA Busted For $100 Million Shopping Spree

It went to capitalist cronies, no doubt, repaying political favors with shadow bills for IT services that were either inflated or did not occur. That is my guess where the money went.

READ IT: GAO Audit Report On VA IT Challenges

IT SPENDING, WHERE DID THE MONEY GO?

Here is a cut and paste of the executive summary of the GAO audit:

What GAO Found

In February 2015, GAO designated Veterans Affairs (VA) health care as a high-risk area based on its concerns about the department’s ability to ensure the quality and safety of veterans’ health care in five broad areas, one of which was information technology (IT) challenges. Of particular concern at that time was the failed modernization of an outpatient appointment scheduling system, suspended development of a system that was to electronically store and retrieve information about surgical implants, and the extent of system interoperability—the ability to exchange information—with the Department of Defense (DOD), which present risks to the timeliness, quality, and safety of VA health care.

Subsequent to the designation of VA health care as high risk, GAO completed evaluations that identified additional IT management challenges at VA.

In August 2015, GAO reported on VA’s efforts to achieve electronic health record interoperability with DOD and noted that (1) the two departments had engaged in several near-term efforts to expand interoperability and (2) VA and DOD had moved forward with plans to separately modernize their electronic health record systems. However, of significant concern was that VA (and DOD) had not identified outcome-oriented goals and metrics that would clearly define what it aims to achieve from its efforts. GAO recommended that VA develop goals and metrics, among other things. VA concurred with the recommendations and stated that it has initiated actions in response.

VA had made progress in developing and implementing its Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS), with deployment of the initial version of the system. However, in September 2015, GAO reported that the development and implementation of the system was ongoing and noted three areas that could benefit from increased management attention: cost estimating, system availability, and system defects. The report also noted that VA had neither conducted a customer satisfaction survey nor developed goals for improving the system. GAO recommended that VA develop a plan with a time frame and a reliable cost estimate for completing VBMS, establish goals for system response time, minimize the incidences of high and medium severity system defects for future VBMS releases, assess user satisfaction, and establish satisfaction goals to promote improvement. VA agreed with the recommendations and noted steps it was taking to address them.

Due to recent increases in utilization of VA care in the community, the department has had difficulty processing claims in a timely manner. In May 2016, GAO reported that VA officials and claims processing staff indicated that IT limitations, manual processes, and staffing challenges had delayed claims processing. The department had implemented interim measures to address some of the system’s challenges, but did not expect to deploy solutions to address all challenges, including those related to IT, until fiscal year 2018 or later. Further, VA did not have a sound plan for modernizing its claims processing system, which GAO recommended it develop. The department concurred with this recommendation and stated that it intended to address the recommendation through the planned consolidation of its care in the community programs.

Why GAO Did This Study

VA relies on IT to meet its mission and effectively serve the nation’s veterans. Over the past several years, the department has expended billions of dollars to manage and modernize its information systems. However, VA has experienced challenges in managing its IT, raising questions about the effectiveness of its IT operations. GAO has previously reported on a number of the department’s IT initiatives.

This statement summarizes results from key GAO reports issued between 2010 and 2014 highlighting IT challenges that have contributed to GAO’s designation of VA health care as a high risk area. It also describes additional challenges that GAO more recently identified in 2015 and 2016 that are related to increasing the electronic exchange of VA’s health records with those of DOD, development and use of VBMS, and the department’s modernization of its health care claims processing system.

What GAO Recommends

GAO has made numerous recommendations to VA to improve the modernization of its IT systems. Among other things, GAO has recommended that VA address challenges associated with its efforts to modernize its electronic health record system to increase interoperability with DOD, develop goals and metrics as a basis for determining the extent to which VA’s and DOD’s modernized electronic health records systems are achieving interoperability, address shortcomings with VBMS planning and implementation, and develop a sound written plan for deploying its modernized claims processing system. VA has concurred with these recommendations and has some actions ongoing.

40 COMMENTS

  1. The software used by the VA is Vista. There are more advanced and lower cost to maintain software systems available that not only better than the Vista system but also would be interoperable with the DOD System if they also chose to upgrade their system.

    There is no reasonable excuse for throwing $10s of billions away on the Vista system annually.

    The problems with the VA software is also going to be a subject addressed in the Commission on Care’s report that is due out this week or next.

    The only reason the VA is still using Vista system is because it is one of the largest Black Holes they can hide money with in the Veterans Administration. Currently the Vista System is being maintained by organized crime with links directly connected to known organized crime families in New York.

    ~~~~

    Also just want to give a special Thank You to the Agents in Phoenix that made sure the secret meeting between former President Bill Clinton and the Attorney General Loretta Lynch became public knowledge.

    Where the former president arrived at the air port and waited for the Attorney General to arrive. Then held the prearranged meeting in a department of justice jet after it had parked. The logistics with all the secret service agents and DOJ employees must have been a real eye opener for some of the employees. Also all the additional security provided by the local authorities.

    • @Seymore Klearly
      Isn’t it “coincidental” Obama wants to move to New York.
      It’s been reported he had/has ties to organized crime in Chicago.
      I wonder if he’s got his fingers in on some of those BILLIONS of taxpayers monies?

      ____________________________

      What was that “meeting” all about in Phoenix, Az.? Can’t seem to find anything on it.

      • Hey Elf,

        It was ABC News 15 that broke the story when they asked the Attorney General about the meeting at a press conference. She was holding the conference regarding her current tour of police stations.

        It was a highly inappropriate meeting and both Clinton and Lynch thought they were going to get away with the meeting behind all the security and holding the meeting in a DOJ jet at the airport after her plane was parked away from prying eyes.

        If anyone believes her response then maybe we should start up some sales on the Brooklyn bridge or some of that wonderful swap land Florida has to offer.

        From the ABC News 15 website.

        “US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Bill Clinton meet privately in Phoenix before Benghazi report”
        By: Christopher Sign
        Posted: 9:50 AM, Jun 29, 2016
        Updated: 30 mins ago

        PHOENIX – Amid an ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of email and hours before the public release of the Benghazi report, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately with former President Bill Clinton.

        The private meeting took place on the west side of Sky Harbor International Airport on board a parked private plane.

        Former President Clinton was visiting the Phoenix area and arrived to Sky Harbor Monday evening to depart.

        Sources tell ABC15 Clinton was notified Lynch would be arriving at the airport soon and waited for her arrival.

        Lynch was arriving in Phoenix for a planned visit as part of her national tour to promote community policing.

        ABC15 asked Lynch about the meeting during her news conference at the Phoenix Police Department.

        “I did see President Clinton at the Phoenix airport as he was leaving and spoke to myself and my husband on the plane,” said Lynch.

        The private meeting comes as Lynch’s office is in charge of the ongoing investigation and potential charges involving Clinton’s email server.

        The private meeting also occurred hours before the Benghazi report was released publicly involving Hillary Clinton and President Obama’s administration.

        Lynch said the private meeting on the tarmac did not involve these topics.

        “Our conversation was a great deal about grandchildren, it was primarily social about our travels and he mentioned golf he played in Phoenix,” said Lynch Tuesday afternoon while speaking at the Phoenix Police Department.

        Sources say the private meeting at the airport lasted around 30 minutes.

        “There was no discussion on any matter pending before the Department or any matter pending with any other body, there was no discussion of Benghazi, no discussion of State Department emails, by way of example I would say it was current news of the day, the Brexit decision and what it would mean,” she said.

        “http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/central-phoenix/loretta-lynch-bill-clinton-meet-privately-in-phoenix”

  2. Well with Thomas Murphy replacing Danny Pummill who replaced Alison Hickey. We can now expect road blocks to stall the system. This should give them time to get more money from US Citizens to cover the money they already wasted.

    Since Allison Hickey left office exactly how many Claims have been processed from the backlog?

    When she was in office my regional office would never give me a C/P exam for 25 years. And I contacted her and asked for help, within 30 days I had a C/P exam. Be as it may they got mad and put alot of stuff in there claiming I was 100% not disabled and could work longer and harder than a 18 year old. But atleast I finally had the chance to move my claim forward and all this with my own doctor medical records.

    So I am not surprised at the VA for spending money for IT on Big Screen TV’s and new Iphones for executives. Those are must haves to keep us happy while waiting and help them keep up with each other on Facebook and Twitter.

    With that much money they could of bought a communications network company with employee’s included. Don’t know anymore when it comes to the VA they make the rules and tell congress what they are going to do. Apparently they answer to no one and can get away with it.

    Sounds just like Seymour Klearly said “The Mob and Mofia have found a way to get inside the government and getting the contracts’

  3. Anyone else notice how many times the VA’s response includes relatively ‘past-tense’ phrases in response whether it be the GOA, OIG, Congress, et al, when the VA uses the phrases, “We intended on”, “VA concurred with the recommendations and stated that it has initiated actions in response”, and “intended to address the recommendation through the planned consolidation of its care in the community programs”??!!

    INTENTIONS are so very different than ACTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    AUDIT and FOLLOW THE DAMN $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    My private medical via Medicare and at a State University Medical Center, uses a GREAT system called and by “EPIC SYSTEMS Corporation”, where I will get the 11 vials of blood drawn for tests and within that same day through the next few days I get email notifications of NEW Test Results or anything else to include ability to correspond with any of the medical specialists I go to. It works great and I love it. Why cannot the VA implement something as such?

    Because just like Seymore Klearly stated here today, as long as the VA continues to use the antiquated VISTA System, the VA has their very opaque Black Hole to launder American Tax Payer’s $$$$$$$, along with such projects as the Denver VAMC Black Hole.

    AUDIT and start filling-up jail cells. Hell, throw them in jail and THEN do the audit.

    I thought that the attempt for the DOD and VA to collaborate on A SYSTEM was already a massive failure, as were MANY other attempts at ‘Modernizing IT at the VA’, and to be honest, I do not think the VA is complying AT ALL no ever WILL because what a better way to beg for $$ but never use it for that purpose and never mind the fact that the VA also uses this lame assed excuse after BILLION$ have been given to them and has the audacity to claim that the processing of claims has slowed to snail’s pace after Hickey suddenly ‘resigned’ due to Veteran’s receiving Community Care…if only that were true and Choice was more than an expensive printing contract for the VA.
    AUDIT. $ AUDIT. $$ AUDIT. $$$ AUDIT THE VA with a totally non-connected to VA entity and start filling-up cells in Guantanamo because these jerks ARE DOMESTIC TERRORISTS AT THE VA.

    RANT OUT.

  4. I wanted to add this: Just how long will it be before we hear the VA announce that they have been financially hacked and all $$$ drawn out to some undisclosed offshore entity as an excuse to beg for even MORE $$$ for IT….because we were hacked? Because we never did studies on the security of the system nor even stress-tested same system or even Beta Tested???
    Having JUST gone through a major theft out of my bank account ($$ restored) but totally turning my sense of security upside down, regardless of the very careful security measures I already have been practicing, my concern of the VA’s antiquated system getting hacked is even more so of an immediate concern.

    I would bet that the ONLY modernized system in the VA is the system that manages ALL the VA Employee’s pay, incentives, bonuses, and payment of dues to AFGE….notice the word VETERAN does not appear there?!!

    • They have probably been hack thousands of times and lost the money. It just that they have so many fingers on the money, when it is gone VA employees just figure someone else beat them to it. So it goes unreported.

  5. As everyone has said;

    “FOLLOW THE DAMN MONEY!”

    There’s more to this than we know. I believe the American taxpayers and veterans are NOT being told the whole story! Hell, I believe the American taxpayers, and veterans, don’t even know what’s transpiring within our government! Especially over the large amounts of monies being spent on everything!
    We’re at over $20 TRILLION in debt right now! Why?
    I also believe IF the Main Stream Media were to ever publish the truth, the public would either, 1.) wouldn’t understand half the crap they were being told! Or, 2.) possibly wouldn’t become as angry as those who do understand!
    I believe this is why our citizens have been “dumbed down”. So the government can do whatever they want!

    Again, something is going to break. If the average taxpayer were to learn the truth. ‘All Hell will break loose’ on this administration!

    • I guess everyone has heard. The U.S. is going to “bail out” Puerto Rico as soon as the President signs the order. Probably today or tomorrow!

      • Elf,

        The reality is that members of congress, the senate and the President are just giving themselves a big bonus.

        The reason why I say this is that all of the debt in Puerto Rico has been bought out by Vulture Hedge Funds for pennies on the dollar because the Puerto Rico was going under. Now that the Vulture Hedge Funds own all of the debt the congress, the senate and the president are willing to donate our tax dollars to bail Puerto Rico out.

        That means all the Vulture Hedge Funds will be getting paid the full value of the debts plus interest. Even though they only paid pennies on the dollar to take over the debt.

        Of course all of the Hedge Funds clients are Congressman, Senators, the President and the Clintons. I am sure Loretta Lynch and her hubby just got a big percentage in one of the Hedge Funds for all of her support in protecting the Vulture Funds and her work protecting some of her clients.

        Come to think of it doesn’t her hubby own a Vulture Capital Hedge Fund?

        Of course the Clinton are making sure their son-in-law’s hedge Fund Makes out after those losses his clients suffered in Greece.

        Let see Puerto Rico has about $20 Billion in debt owned by the Vultures Hedge Funds and they probable paid less than $1 Billion to take over the debt so a quick $19 billion in profit on our backs as Taxpayers.

    • You hit a great point and that is the HUGE amount of APATHY amongst most Americans these days.
      This became more ‘sunk-in’ when just the other day I was talking with my neighbor whom is a Surviving Widow of a Veteran Husband that died from Agent Orange related diseases and I brought-up the fact of Mr. Murphy being appointed to VBA after him being notoriously an Agent Orange denier.
      My neighbor’s response was very typical, “They will do whatever they want and tell us whatever and I will believe them, as I SHOULD”!!! WTF???!
      She also stated that me as a Disabled veteran SHOULD NOT be “biting the hand that feeds”…again, WTF? Just be happily miserable? No thanks!
      I have encountered this deep APATHY with MANY other Tax Payers and non-Veterans as well.

      Apathy allows what happened in pre-Nazi Germany where we know how that went. Apathy can be engineered and that’s exactly what the Mainstream Media has effectively done and through social media, people tend to ONLY pay attention to what’s trending, regardless of real value or impact.

      I was dumbfounded when I heard her say that and she even qualified that as that’s the exact way everyone she knows thinks as well….welcome to The Sheeple Nation folks!

      • @namnibor

        Yep. “Apathy” can really cause a great nation to crumble!
        I’ve heard the same from others down here.

      • @namnibor

        Just like what was shown on our local news down here yesterday.
        When the local AG was asked why certain words were deleted from the 911 calls that “Radicalized Islamic Muslim Extremist Terrorist” made the night he “…killed 49 people and wounded 53 more!”
        Words like; “Jihad”, “ISIS” and more. They, the AG, even tried to say he “…never spoke in Arabic!”
        All of which has been disputed by individuals who were there, and lived through the carnage!

      • Hey Elf,

        Regarding the shootings in Florida.

        “FBI asks agencies who responded to Pulse to deny records requests”
        Orlando Sentinel June 29th,2016 5:53 pm

        “he FBI has asked law enforcement agencies who responded to Pulse nightclub to withhold records from the public, according to officials.

        A June 20 letter from the FBI, attached to the City or Orlando’s lawsuit over withholding 911 calls and other records from 25 media outlets including the Orlando Sentinel, was also sent to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office with instructions pertaining to how they should respond to records requests.

        The letter requests that agencies deny inquiries and directs departments to “immediately notify the FBI of any requests your agency received” so “the FBI can seek to prevent disclosure through appropriate channels, as necessary.””

        I guess the Federal Bureau of Imagination wants to control the narrative on what happened. Don’t want anyone finding out the truth.

      • The link to the article is:

        “http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/pulse-orlando-nightclub-shooting/os-fbi-letter-law-enforcement-20160629-story.html”

      • Elf here is another one from the Daily caller on the FBI requesting silence on the shooting.

        “Obama Admin Tells Florida Agencies To Deny Public Records Requests On Orlando Attack”
        By Derek Hunter

        “While Attorney General Loretta Lynch holds firm to her claim that the motive of Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen may never be known, the FBI is instructing Florida agencies that responded to the attack that night to deny requests for public records pertaining to the case.

        Mateen called police several times during the three hour ordeal to declare his allegiance to ISIS, yet only a fraction of his discussions with authorities that night have been released to the public — first an edited version, than an unedited one.

        In response to a lawsuit by local media seeking the release of the 911 audio, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office released a letter they got from the FBI instructing them to deny all requests for information and refer news outlets seeking information to the feds, the Orlando Sentinel reports.”

        “http://dailycaller.com/2016/06/30/obama-admin-tells-florida-agencies-to-deny-public-records-requests-in-orlando-attack/”

  6. @Seymore Klearly

    Just got this email.
    From: “WND FRONT PAGE”
    title;
    “Loretta Lynch in Secret Meeting With Bill Clinton”

    by Bob Unruh
    Jun 30, 2016

    They talked “…about Grandchildren and Golf…” for “…about 30 minutes!” At least that’s the “story” she gave the MSM out there!

    Give me a freaking break! How many of y’all believe this? If anyone believes that horse manure story, I’ve got some bridges for sale!

    I have a feeling this “secret meeting” is going to go viral on the WWW!

    I bet that it was to discuss either, “HOW” to keep his mouth shut over “WHAT” may be coming against Hillary!
    Or, there may be NO way to keep her from being indicted!

    People out there have awakened. And their pissed!

    • Elf ,

      Given Lynch had her husband sit in on the meeting it was no doubt to primarily discuss the Lynch families payoff.

      Have to remember that Lynch is the person refusing to prosecute Veterans Administrations employees. Also she is also refusing to go after the VA for refusing to enforce the law enacted to fire criminals at the VA. She claims the law is unconstitutional.

      Remember how she even refused to prosecute Graves and Ruben. Department of Justice what a fucking sham.

      Lynch should be in route to a jail cell along with the Clintons.

      • @Seymore Klearly

        That’s one way to enrich yourself. Tell the people involved – “IF this, (pay off), doesn’t happen – This, (indictment), WILL happen!”

      • @Seymore Klearly, namnibor and all others.

        NBC out of Virginia is reporting an “active shooter at the hospital on Andrews AFB!”

        Some think it could be a “drill”.
        There was a drill scheduled for this morning at 9 am.

        Yet, the MSM is on overload!

        _________________

        Question about this IT crap and VA healthcare.

        Don’t y’all think the VA should hire “qualified healthcare providers”. Before blame is put on the computers used?
        It seem to me having a great computer system is necessary. Yet having great healthcare providers is more important. Especially if VA wants to accomplish their primary goal!

        Just thinking out loud!

  7. @Seymore Klearly

    This incident down here at the “Pulse Nightclub” is really starting to piss off the LGBTQ COMMUNITIES! Especially with the many Government agencies trying to keep everything quiet.
    People are starting to question the agencies responsible for the ongoing “cover-up”!
    I really do believe it won’t take much more to “light up” many of these posers asses!
    How much more B/S is the American Citizen going to take. Before all hell breaks loose on our alleged leaders?

    • Elf,

      Seems pretty certain the leadership of our country is trying to cause a summer of chaos leading up to the election. Same play book as they have been using overseas in numerous counties around the world.

      Demonstrating moral decay, unrestrained corruption, and total injustice to all Americans. They clearly are trying to change everything we are about as a country.

      We have seen it repeatedly happening to Veterans not only do we have one of the most unjust systems of processing Veterans claims but also the most dangerous health care system in America. Many other groups are also under attach. They clearly are trying to provoke an action.

      Given the only people not under attach are immigrants, wall street, politicians, and the military. It does smell like a setup.

      • Seymore
        This could be a way of ushering in Martial Law and stopping the voting process come November!

        Just thinking out loud AGAIN.

  8. A long Federal Holiday weekend approaches. Wonder what variety of steaming poo will be unloaded at 4ish pm on Friday, counting on warm and fuzzy veteran stories and short attention spans to forget by Tuesday? Wait for it. The VA Bowels are quite regular. 🙂

    • I know what you mean Namnibor. Just waiting to see what kind of poo it is.

      Oh and for a short break from reality while waiting you might want to check out the picture of the Bowl of Fruit Loops and the future of the military.

      “Trans Service Members Detail Historic Meeting With Defense Secretary”

      “http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/trans-service-members-detail-historic-meeting-defense-secretary-n601676”

    • This one came out on “Military.com” yesterday.

      “Fireworks Season Can Trigger PTSD For Veterans”

      Good article. I wish there was a way to get that sign saying something like;
      “Combat Veteran Lives Here” – “Please Be Respectful with your fireworks”
      Or something like that!

      Getting to the point to go to a motel FAR away for these types of nights.
      Plus the fact, most people don’t even know the “WHY” we celebrate the “4th” anymore. They sure aren’t told the whole story in school anymore!
      Remember having to memorize the “Declaration of Independence” in school? It’s really not that long. If kids today were to actually read it, they might see the similarities between “then and now”! Then they might ask hard questions of their liberal teachers! Questions the teachers would not want to answer!!!!

  9. I am an extremely talented multi lingual individual and I can see that my services as translator are needed to translate VA speak into everyday common English. The phrase, “VA concurs and has some ongoing actions.” is generally translated for the English public as, “Thank you for your opinion, now shut up and go away.”

    There are variations regionally in dialect but this is the root of that phrase.

  10. This is a full menu of Dilbertesque failure. I’ve just spent 18 months project-managing a VHA IT project, eating this daily. One dish at a time:

    –“…raising questions about the effectiveness of its IT operations.” This is government-speak understatement. In partial defense of the VA IT staff workers, their minimal training is out of date because they’ve never been required to do other than the absolute minimum, and they don’t even know what they don’t know. Nobody in the organization understands the classic definition of a project: work performed to meet defined goals that completes in a given time frame. That’s the difference between a project and a program, which is indefinite.

    Speaking of “indefinite,” the biggest money- and time-suck phrase is “IDIQ,” meaning “Indefinite Delivery – Indefinite Quantity.” Just as it sounds, the government routinely signs contracts not knowing or caring when the work will be done or how many things will be installed. That phrase would be laughed out of any ordinary business deal, anywhere in the world.

    –“…VA agreed with the recommendations and noted steps it was taking” is essentially repeated after every report of deficiency by GAO. There are bureaucrats who are adept at saying, straight-faced, “Yes, we understand we’re failing, and we’ll fix that,” knowing that nothing will change. They know they should be establishing goals, defining responsibilities, and other business basics, but they just don’t care, amazingly. There is no professional pride, there is no “fulfilling the promise to our veterans,” there’s no motivation whatsoever.

    • It would seem prudent for the VA/VHA to consider IT *both* a Project and a Program…always need to be up to date and up to date security measures, of which, I can only imagine the VA having one of those sticky flytraps you hang from ceiling with a phone line attached to it, thinking that bad guys will simply stick to the tape. 🙂

    • It is a safety feature to prevent anyone from just posting links to viruses or malicious software. It also prevent this site from being blacklisted because of links to viruses or malicious software.

      Great question Don.

  11. All I read were recommendations to the VA. Who follows that? The VA is a clusterfu… Administration officials are to blame. We, or I have no idea what the Administrator memos their Dr.’s, but, that’s where a major problem lay. Dr’s are on an agenda that may or may not, have anything to do with me. I have been under VA psychiatrist care foe over 20 years. Once I left NCPTS, in Menlo Park, Ca., Not one psychiatrist is willing or allowed to talk. Other than the weather. Either someone or something, must take over the administration of the VA, or lock it up, blow it up, or turn them into shelters. As long as Dr’s can’t do a proper job, it can’t get better. I despise the VA. When the people responsible for upholding the law are as inept as the fools we have now, we are without law, and chaos is at the back door. Politicians, nor anyone associated with politicians, have no place anywhere in the Veterans administration. Politicians start all these wars and are usually gone when their victims need them.

  12. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, expecting different results every time.

    When somebody sane comes along and points out that insanity, the current insane administration finds a way to get rid of them. They say “Don’t rock the boat!”

      • If he definition of insanity is as above, then I would suggest that America is insane. My proof is that we are getting ready to elect another President…

  13. Interesting. Does this mean GAO will do a follow up report in a year and say more needs to be done?

    No customer satisfaction survey?

    That’s easy. It’s because a huge majority at the VA don’t give a shit about their “customers”, or believe their customers are other than veterans.

    On the issue of record sharing with the DOD, I find it a prime example of government bureaucracy moving slowly. Shortly after the first Gulf War, Congress mandated better record sharing between the VA and DOD, along with mandatory baseline medical screenings before deployment because of so many BS VA excuses.

    25+ years later…they are still working on it.

    Follow the money to the contractors, and the politicians who benefit.

    • The GAO has determined that the .despite billions invested and the best crew they could find that the VHA Titanic is indeed sinking. VHA Titanic concurs and is addressing the issue. OIG was sent to investigate the scene. The put their top man on it. He tried to determine if the iceburg was just Republican bait, a topic he had mastered many times. However after the head of OIG released all he had, the VA was still indeterminate about the iceburgs motives.

      They convened a DBC and quickly flagged the iceburg for being threateniningly floating in the ocean right where VHA wanted to go. Repair crews were taken off of the repairs to guard the iceburg should it become more floaty, or choose to drift where it wanted to. It was prescribed Gabapentin.

      Still the VHA is sliding lower and lower which means one thing of course! They need more crew…

  14. I didn’t mention this in my previous comment, but USA Today has a pretty damning report today on the VA Suicide Hotline.
    35 to 50% of the calls roll over to their backup center because their primary hotline is staffed by lazy people who want to leave their shift early.

    …but Gibson assures us he’s pissed off.

  15. I am trying to use the DEA/Chapter 35 benefits. Bob McDonald had a human computer call me spitting out numbers but no answers to questions.

    The computer system for that program can only take ONE change to your file per WEEK or it crashes your file and they have to redo it. Pretty simple: fulltime $1021 a month part-time $508 month. SO far since last AUGUST I received $230, $35, a BILL for $66, and now $204.

    Instead of paying the full month when you hit the fulltime hour mark for the school they pay per day at the monthly rate. So a 5 day $1600 lab class in gemology is paid at $$156.

    Even though my school is the world leader and I am gaining job offers before I am even done..there seems to be no graduate gemologists in Alaska..I have one for Russia and I am meeting with a family friend that had to close his mine in Brazil and wants to start one up in Madagascar…Bob’s VA will not recognize distance learning. The school has all the right certifications with great marks.

    The VA lawyers have taken the legal meaning of ‘higher learning’ to mean only schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees. So my old associates in construction would qualify but not a graduate gemologist industry recognized curriculum.

    The DEA program is for the dependants of dead or 100% SC vets. I took it distance for the book work and on campus for the labs in order to be able to stay with my husband. He had a meltdown during my last lab in Manhattan. Zeldin’s office actually calmed him down knowing I was hours away trying to get thru the class. They have turned out to be the most awesome group.

    I will post later about my husband’s case. Zeldin took on Beth McCoy in a hearing, Bob lied the next day he was just hearing about it in an email not realizing Zeldin and I were cc’d, Pummill left, Bob called me at 10PM Saturday night, Debi Bevins called sounding tipsy Sunday night, I offered to send my husband to Bob’s Disney house ( the exact address) when they wouldn’t stop looking for him, by noon the next day the BVA ruled in his favor.

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