AUDIT: GI Bill Mismanagement Cost Almost $500 Million

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GI Bill

A recent IG audit into the GI Bill tuition and fee payment system revealed agency mismanagement cost the fund almost $500 million.

The investigation reviewed the academic year 2013-2014 and found an astonishing 10 percent of funds dispersed were either improperly paid or not recouped. The processing deficiencies resulted in the fund being improperly depleted of almost half a billion dollars.

The watchdog projects that continued deficiencies over the next five years could cost the fund $2.3 billion. To avoid this pitfall, IG makes its typical recommendation that more training will fix the issue.

The Veterans Benefits Administration largely rebuked the findings of IG.

VA OIG GI Bill Investigation Report

“OIG evaluated the Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) oversight of Post 9/11 G.I. Bill tuition and fee payments to determine if payments were appropriate and accurate. Of the $5.2 billion in Post-9/11 G.I. Bill tuition and fee payments made for nearly 796,000 students during academic year 2013-2014 (August 1, 2013, to July 31, 2014), we reviewed more than $1.7 million in payments made to 50 statistically-selected schools for 225 students. We found VBA staff at the RPOs made 46 improper payments totaling just under $90,900. In addition, we identified 39 overpayments totaling just under $96,400 where the RPOs had not initiated recoupment actions. In total, 32 of the reviewed schools, including 19 for-profit schools, had improper payments and missed recoupments. Furthermore, 20 of the 32 identified schools lacked compliance surveys. Due to program design, VBA must make payments prospectively based on the enrollment information submitted by the schools. Many of these improper payments and missed recoupments occurred because School Certifying Officials’ (SCOs) submitted incorrect and/or incomplete information on students’ enrollment certifications. To help reduce improper payments and missed recoupments, VBA needed to: Improve the SCOs’ awareness of program requirements related to the submission of accurate and complete enrollment certifications; Refine the school selection process and ensure the completion of required compliance surveys to improve the verification and monitoring of tuition and fee certifications; Develop adequate guidance regarding allowable book fees and repeated classes; Verify and obtain supporting documentation for mitigating circumstances. From the more than $5.2 billion tuition and fee payments made for academic year 2013-2014, we projected that VBA made about $247.6 million in improper payments and more than $205.5 million in missed recoupments, annually. As a result, VBA may have an estimated $2.3 billion in improper tuition and fee payments and missed recoupments ($1.2 billion improper payments + $1 billion missed recoupments) over the next 5 academic school years if it does not strengthen program controls. We recommended VBA improve school outreach to ensure accurate and complete certifications are submitted, develop risk profiles for schools to periodically review and verify their certifications, incorporate risk factors into the prioritization and completion of compliance surveys, revise the SCO Handbook, and ensure that mitigating circumstances are properly verified and supporting documentation is obtained. Furthermore, we recommended VBA strengthen policies and controls related to the discontinuance and recoupment of payments, repeated classes, and satisfactory academic progress and that it take action, where appropriate, to recover identified improper payments and initiate recoupments.”

Source: http://www.va.gov/oig/publications/report-summary.asp?id=3803

Iratevet24601
Iratevet24601
Take MGIB and VR&E away from VBA oversight and place it in the hands of US Department of Education, further, put C&P under SSA and finally, VA Health under Health and Human Services/Medicare/Medicaid. DISSOLVE DVA for now, get AFGE out of there. Rebuild VA from the ground up employing predominantly veterans, take it out from POTUS’ cabinet.Have it be “By the veterans for the veterans” Make the organization live by it’s motto. “With malice toward none, with charity for all,… Read more »
Reuben Castro Acosta
the afge union will crap ITS PANTIES FIGHTING FOR THEIR UNION CONTRACTS WHICH LOOK OUT FOR THE 370,000 VA WORKERS SO THE UNION SAYS TO VETS EAT CRAP @ DIE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
James Gallegos
You are correct in your thinking. Shut it down. ! And start over. Former VA employees who are not veterans. Need not apply for management positions. Current veteran employees must have a clean record and if a former supervisor. They must start over as lower grade employees and must prove themselves. Management. Has to be hired from a new pool of people. Bob McDonald on down must go. ! Strict. Regulations in forced where no employee can be hired if… Read more »
Iratevet24601
Iratevet24601

No union NOT again the union is the reason the problems exist

namnibor
I get the strong sense that the VA is passing the blame of all this onto the very Veterans rather than the piss-poor Veteran Liaison Education Benefits Reps around this USA at various Universities, whom are rarely readily available….very much like VA Patient Advocates. (When I did student advising as my Fed. Work-Study job on-campus, Veterans were constantly getting screwed by LATE PAYMENTS, which quite often resulted in their registration and classes being CANCELED, and also quite often the living… Read more »
Iratevet24601
Iratevet24601

Oh, and have it be legally accountable, take its sovereign immunity.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
I’m not sure if handing this over to the Federal Board of Education would be wise. Because, they’re under fire due to the failed “Common Core” and other issues. Could it be handled at the state level by veterans? If so, that might be a better solution. I agree the AFGE needs to be gone. They have not been truthful or honest in dealing with VA employees. In my opinion, they have done more harm than good. Especially when it… Read more »
namnibor
@crazy elf- The Dept. of Education is a well-oiled machine when it comes to processing the massive amounts of Federal College Loans, Scholarships, and so much more and that “Common Core” thing is something else entirely, and that is at the State Levels, with K-12, not at the college level, but yes, without those ‘Core Courses”, it costs even more at the college level when nowadays Freshman are having to take remedial high school level courses to be able to… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Thanks namnibor, I was unaware of the enormous good work the federal board of education does. Except for common core and some other issues!

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Good old “I Didn’t get the memo Fiengold”.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
Remember Navy Veteran Charles R. INGRAM III from Egg Harbor Township in New Jersey who set himself on fire outside the Northfield Veterans Clinic? After his death a number of commenters on here pointed out how the Northfield Clinic was a satellite clinic connected to the Wilmington VAMC. Also that most of the care Veterans received from the clinic was via tele-medicine including psychiatric care. There were also comments made about how the state of Delaware allowed students who were… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Seymore,
So, another “reassignment” for a director who was incompetent, to say the least!
Not even a ‘letter of reprimand’ or anything else!
Sounds like VA!

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Elf,

It is the VA way.

The deadliest Health Care System in the United States and they are proud of it.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Not only the deadliest Health Care System but also home and incubator of the “Iraqibactor”.

That is something the shadow Government is keeping under wraps.

Anyone who is using the VA for Health Care should find out about the Iraqibactor before your next visit. You may change your mind about going.

Maddog
Maddog

All of the government officials and VA employees are incompetent idiots bur who are capable of creating and operating the most massive conspiracy in the history of the republic. Don’t think it can work both ways.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
No Madpuppy, Bad Madpuppy! Go to Google news and search using the terms “fbi Shadow Government”. That is if you want to confirm there is an actual Shadow Government according to the FBI. The shadow government controls government agencies actions and policies. Like refusing to prosecute fraud, theft, and organized Crimes committed by employees of those agencies. No matter how many people they will kill by their actions. Although I would have to agree with you that, “VA employees are… Read more »
Maddog
Maddog
So every agency in every administration has a shadow government composed of political appointees who sit at every desk of leadership in every federal agency and tells the careerists what their mission is. As an example, at Energy the focus may be on nuclear, wind and solar and significant resources are directed that way BUT if a new administration comes in, they may emphasize oil, coal and gas at which point the entire department shifts to that end. Of course… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

Interesting digging Seymore. Thanks for following up.

Reuben Castro Acosta
PENDEJO VETS VA IS A FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET RUN BY AFGE UNION CONTRACTS THE MAFIA IS MICKEY MOUSE TO VA RICO CRIME RASCKETS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lem
Lem

Actually the system is too open to fraud. In the late 1970s the director of Education on Guam was caught embezelling. The method is “clouding the detail with erroneous documentation”. Students then end up appearing to have gotten overpayments when the Director took cash out of the till at the school. Poor auditing when it doesn’t dig a little deeper into the “errors”.

redturtle984
redturtle984

The Constitution was formed not on the belief that some men are capable of great deeds. It was formed because men have learned that ALL men are corruptable, and that power ALWAYS corrupts.

The VA operates outside of the normal restraints of the Constitution. With nothing to check the corruption, ALL within become corrupt.

redturtle984
redturtle984
The Office of Inspector General uses a white man’s way of talking as I might have been reminded by my Reservation neighbors. My high school mascot was the White Buffalo and several tribes were represented along with a large hispanic pop. I agree that us white men use a lot of words to describe the way things are. “White Man” to my tribal friends meant “Washington DC” but habits of language passed down from generations of tribal elders are hard… Read more »
namnibor

OIG and RAND Corp. also recommend VA experimental laxatives for the horse since the hay needs to go to the AFGE for extra padding of their fragile pockets.

Don Karg
Don Karg
10/18/2016 Dear Benjamin Krause, There is no mismanagement, the VA has done their job quite well over the past several years, eliminating and depleting the available funds to the veterans. The Grants are an easy target to the international bankers and so are the Charities according to the Barron’s article 10/07/16, on charities. Since the VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson is an old Banker—I would not trust his judgment, he left when the scandal just started to break. The number… Read more »
namnibor

Funny you should mention number of closures of For-Profit Colleges. I am just waiting for the VA to blame their losses on the most recent huge closure of ITT Technical Colleges across USA.

Jo3n

I agree this is not mismanagement this is management . When nothing changes, nothing changes .

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
@namnibor, Hey, brother, heads up. You said you voted by mail. A “Postmaster” in Columbus, Ohio “tweeted” today. He was bragging about removing, and “destroying mail in voter (republican) cards”! My wife found it this morning. She sent it off to law enforcement here in Florida. She hopes they will contact law enforcement in Ohio. I doubt anything will be done! There’s also “wide spread voter fraud” taking place in many states. George Soros, bought, and now owns the “electronic… Read more »
namnibor
Thanks, Crazy elf, I live in same county as Columbus-proper, but in a much safer burb. Franklin County. Our Gov. in Ohio is Republican and will not endorse own party and yes, there’s much going on within the R Party to attempt to sabotage Mr. Trump. I look at it this way: Anything…Anything, that causes career dinosaur politicians to shit themselves is a good vote for me…but I must add that historically, seems people I wish to get elected rarely… Read more »
Dina Padilla
With no accountability, the state and feds govt agencies have been bilking the tax payers for decades and then ripping them off again by not providing services. A newer building in Chicago, the AON bldg and bank has all of the union membership money to the tune of 10 billion. Yeah, part of that money should have gone to fight for the union members who were whistle blowers way back when… but the unions threw them under the bus from… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
A few things jump out after reading this. The IG bases their conclusion on an estimate, which could be wildly inaccurate either higher or lower. Based on either, this entire program is a mess and suggests there is little oversight by anyone in the VA who gives a damn. It also appears as if they are blaming the schools inability to navigate VA red tape rather than looking at the program as a whole. Finally, it’s interesting to see in… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
Interesting research on A. baumannii Seymore. I had heard about it some years ago, but I do not recall reading the scant details available then. Seems there is much more available on it now. I’m curious if the predominant strain found in infected troops is only coming from the Middle East. I am also curious whether it was present during the first Gulf War, which is why I think I read about it at some point, and if Saddam made… Read more »
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