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

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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, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Reuben Castro Acosta
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
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 they are a friend or relative’s.

When. Employees are caught employing friends or relative’s will be fired. No excuses !

Whistle blowers. Must be protected from Retalation. If they are retaliated against. The supervisor in charge must be fired.

The good old boy system must be abolished. That’s why the VA is like it is today.

Employees will be promoted only on merit and training offered to anyone who wants to train as trainees.

The union will not be able to control the regulations. Except to ensure everyone is getting assistant

No. Dues required ! Patient representatives will be from another agency. Not the VA.

A committee from the outside must determine if an employees actions warrent dismisal and given a discharge like the military.

So. Many things must change and starting over. Would give everyone a fresh start and maybe us veterans will get their claims done property and they could start receiving the care They deserve. !

The way it is now. If you don’t have an adjudicated claim. Veterans are denied care. You must be service connected or you are left with out.

When. The VA claims tells veterans their record’s were lost. Those veterans will be given the benefit of the doubt and will keep that disability. Until the VA can prove them wrong.

If a veteran should be proven or evidence given that the veteran made a false claim. Those veterans will have federal charges placed upon them.

And the justice system take over. Not the VA !

The VA has proven time and time again they can not police themselves or will not police themselves.

If a veteran should become out of control. The staff will call the VA police and the VA police will contact the local police. !

To standby. While the staff can find out what going on with the veteran and admit the veteran for observation and care.

A lot has to be done. But we have to start somewhere. So I agree with you and the veterans will better off if they would start over.

Veterans first. Not VA employees !

Tks for your input.

Iratevet24601
Iratevet24601

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

namnibor
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 expenses (stipends) were just about an entire SEMESTER BEHIND, and by the time the VA would pay said living expenses (stipend) the VA often would erroneously DEMAND that MONEY BACK…even though they were indeed enrolled…it was such a nightmare that a good number of Vets elected to take full Dept. of Ed. LOANS out in order to NOT have to deal with the VA’s incompetence. Sad, but true.
I am BETTING we will further eventually read on here where VA Officials were likely fleecing their own pockets because HOW THE HELL does the VA not use proper accounting and checks and balances? What about the OTHER Veteran Education demographics OTHER THAN Post-9/11 G.I Bill??? You KNOW some Vets were utilizing those previous versions of the G.I. Bill in that same time frame and why were ONLY the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill college books examined? If there’s this much $$$ bleeding from Post 9/11 G.I. Benefits, what’s the loss from the other funds? Depleted already? New Rolls?

I agree with Iratevet24601 above. The Dept. of Ed should be handling ALL Veteran Education Benefits. Having the VA as a middleman can only result in the usual fraud and waste, which only gets remedied by throwing more $$$ on the problem, which the VA will PROMPTLY do what the VA does best and that will be printing-up a brand new pamphlet…and will continue bleeding $$$. The new pamphlets will probably cost tax payers just as much as the VA’s bleeding funds.

I am only surprised that the VA does not print-up their playbooks in the round roll-format of VA toilet paper…would be most appropriate and satisfying wipe of events. 🙂

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 comes to protecting incompetent VA employees vs protecting whistleblowers!
Plus, the incompetent VA employees should be held accountable! Trouble is, that’s not happening under this administration!
_______________________

I received this article this morning from;
“Wisconsin Watchdog.org”

titled:

“Emails say Tomah VA patient reached out to Fiengold, Kind, in 2008 about abuse”

By: M.D.Little / Oct. 18, 2016

There’s lots of extra (reference) articles at the bottom.
It’s a blistering account of what these two Democrats did NOT do to protect veterans at Tomah VHA!

namnibor
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 even take some college entry 101 courses, and that is mostly Math…but to honest crazy elf, I was doing college advising before this whacking away with Common Core, and still had same issues but those actually stemmed a lot from Affirmative Action, where students were admitted to college that definitely were neither prepared nor qualified for and that’s…another animal, when such a person may be admitted before a Veteran because it’s easier to get that $$$ from AA than from the VA.

What am saying is, as well-oiled as the SSA is considering the huge amount of accounting they do, the same applies to Dept. of Education. Allowing the VBA to dish-out and handle Veteran’s G.I. Bill as a middleman to Dept. of Ed. only is asking for the very problems we have in today’s article. Money and the VA. If the Dept. of Ed. handled the G.I. Bill stuff, I have enough faith from my years of experience in that system, that Veterans would benefit and tax payers would save tons of $$$.
State level is only asking for more grubby sticky fingers in the Veteran Cookie Jar. That’s just my opinion. Print it on toilet paper, about all it’s worth. The VA needs a massive reset. An enema. Untethering of the grubby sticky fingers from we walking cookie jars called Veterans.
Rant out.

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 employed in the Physician Assistant program at Wilmington to act independently without the supervision of a physician both for treatment and prescribing medications.

Although Delaware did allow PAs to act independently in New Jersey they are required to have supervision. The Veterans Administration was in effect breaking the laws of New Jersey and using Tele-medicine to do it.

As a result of Charles Ingram’s actions the three New Jersey Veterans Clinics that were satellite clinics of Wilmington are now independent and no longer under control of the Wilmington VAMC. They are also now fully staffed and not relying on Tele-Medicine.

Also the Director of the Wilmington VAMC has just been reassigned to an office in Pittsburg.

Sources: Prior comments on this site and article published by Delaware on line.

“Mystery surrounds Wilmington VA director reassignment”; Xerxes Wilson, The News Journal, Oct. 14, 2016. “http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2016/10/13/wilmington-va-director-reassigned/91992188/”

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 incompetent idiots”. They are also being exposed to the Iraqibacter and so are their families. When you get it you are shipped off to a nursing home to die period. Unfortunately besides infecting VA Health Care workers it is also infecting Veterans.

Educate yourself Madpuppy and google search the term “Iraqibacter”, or “Acinetobacter baumannii”.

An Old PBS Nova presentation on the subject at:
“http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sciencenow/0303/04.html”

Has a great video but it is from 2008 before they clamped down on information about the problem.

Another more recent RT America’s Brigida Santos on how no one is reporting the problems with a number of superbugs. How even death certs do not record the truth.

“https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcQQ3mH_g48”

Have fun at your next visit to VA Health Care Facility. Just don’t touch anything including door handles, walls, and also make sure you wear a protective mask rated to prevent Microbial infections.

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 the problem is that during the last 8 years the careerists have hired wind. solar, and nuclear people so how prepared are they do to oil, gas. and coal work. They aren’t. So for the whole administration things just muddle along. Meanwhile, the entire xth floor buzzed around making whoever the Scty is look as good as possible.

Congress is supposed to regulate the agencies but they each spend one day every week fund raising. Watch C-Span – why during hearings are all their seats empty except for the beginning and when it’s their turn? Because they have lobbyist meetings. Try dropping in on your rep while in DC – way tooo busy but here’s a pass for the gallery and a tour of the white house – anything else we can do for you??

So reading into this that State did this just to propel Clinton is just plain wrong. Every Agency does this with every new administration – even the VA!

If you want to get outraged about shadow organization look into the massive outsourcing of intelligence gathering! (Look at Frontline and NOVA)

91Veteran
91Veteran

Interesting digging Seymore. Thanks for following up.

Reuben Castro Acosta
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 to unlearn.

Our farm was adjacent to the reservation but I grew up farmer more or less.

The White Mans words above say much and mean little. The person who wrote those words is trying to describe their attempts to get the horse shit back into the horse. Perhaps a better trainer can get the beast settled down and stop him from shitting all over everything. OIG recomends more hay.

I like my translation of the situation better than the White Man’s words.

namnibor
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 of closures of the For-Profit Colleges should give you an idea of the Level of Abuse to the GI Funds.

Again, all this “mismanagement” was well organized and executed with precision.

What do you call it?

Sincerely,

Don Karg

namnibor
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
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 voting machines in 16 states!” Check it out!
That came out through “Next News Network” by Gary Franchi.
There’s other articles coming out which prove Mr. Trump is 100% correct over this issue!
Tomorrow night is the 3rd debate. I hope Hillary Clinton is ready for an onslaught of facts about her (illegal) campaign tactics and “failed issues”! If she thought the second debate was “rough”, this one is going to go down in history as a real doozy!
I hope Mr. Trump can make her “true colors” shine out into the open!

namnibor
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 ever win elections. With that in mind, I could not bring myself to experiment with this pattern and concept by voting for Hildabeast, thinking it would cause Trump a win…but cannot test this at the moment.
To be frank, I do not fully like any of my choices. It’s a done deal and hopefully mine will not reach that postmaster. That postmaster must have the same work ethics as that Houston, TX woman that was arrested because she was a 911 Operator/Call Center that she hung-up on 100’s of documented calls, emergencies…people died. The U.S. Post Office is also infected with a Union, right?

Dina Padilla
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 the start, all for the employers in both the private & pubic sectors. tis the reason why inept and incompetent unions members are so revered and hard to get rid of, they help the process in making sure the money goes elsewhere and just like the nurses and doctors who killed so many in Poland back in the 30’s & 40’s “they were just doing their job but getting well paid for it.
The union should have been the FIRST in backing up the folks like the many whistleblowers who couldn’t or wouldn’t condone malicious, malfeasance, theft and murder. Then there’s the “judicial” branch at all levels backing up all of it AFTER legislators wrote and enacted “health care bills” designed to maim, injure & kill off. and yes it started with kaiser back in the 70’s and kaiser HAS BEEN instructing the same for the VA.
How many Americans can you get rid of and make money off it all? Millions and TRILLIONS! AND WE ALL PAY FOR IT TOO. AND more outrageously KAISER has expanded it’s deadly infection of health care through out our country’s new idea of medical care which is called “HEALTH CARE”.
I know I keep on this about kaiser and the VA because kaiser has managed to manipulate those in govt using our money and is up the Hildebeast’s arse since the 90’s and they want it all via single payer or universal healthcare to strengthen it’s real allegiance, China and yes, the Hildebeast isn’t called the Dragon Lady for nothing!

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 a program that has so much error for over paying or improper paying, it makes one wonder how big of a mess this program is where veterans are screwed hard by the school receiving NO payment, or the veteran cannot even get approved for the benefit.

Off topic: Trump was in Grand Junction today for a rally at 3pm. People started arriving before 8am…the doors opened at noon. By noon, the line stretched for several blocks to get in, and although the line moved steadily, there was still a line for blocks to get in at 3:45 this afternoon…and people still joining the end of the line.
It was amazing to see how many people kept coming.

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 have had some stocks of that in his stash of other bio weapons.

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