Contractor Chronicles: VA Hires Another Contractor to do its Job

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VA Contractor Chronicles

VA recently awarded a 5-year contract to a company that will help VA survey veterans who suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI). I’m still not sure why VA is unable to do this on its own.

The company, called Battelle publicly but also known as Battelle Memorial Institute, is led by yet another former Lockheed researcher, similar to QTC Management and other contractors hired by VA.

The contracts for the TBI surveys can be found here on USASpending.gov. The surveys cost taxpayers $174,000. However, it is likely this amount is only for the first year or contains options that will cost more down the road.

According to USASpending.gov, the federal government has allocated $1.3 billion to Battelle Memorial Institute over the next years. The leading agency contracting Battelle is the Department of Defense. Battelle has annual revenue of $1.1 billion according to FPDS.gov, another database for government contractors.

VA’s CHOIR subsection awarded the contract to Battelle. CHOIR stands for the Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research. If that is not enough of a mouthful in and of itself, this branch of VA is housed within VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Innovation. This center is part of the Veterans Health Administration.

One thing I’ve been noticing through the past years is that VA has split into numerous sections and even subsections within those sections. This makes tracking government contractor planning and spending rather tricky for people like me… But not impossible.

According to Digital Journal, the contract will be divided into at least two projects:

The objective of the first project (TBI Coordination Patient Survey) is to identify organizational and patient characteristics that drive better outcomes for veterans evaluated for traumatic brain injury. The findings will contribute to health services research, TBI patient care, and organizational literatures. It will inform future implementation studies that health care managers, policymakers, and key stakeholders need to translate research results into policy and practice.

The second project (TBI Subtypes Patient Survey) aims to: (1) identify clusters of persistent post-concussive syndromes and their associated demographic, comorbidity and causative factors; (2) identify VA usage and costs related to each syndrome; and (3) to monitor veterans symptoms over time to coordinate and integrate effective health care. Findings from this study will fill an important gap in the literature and will indicate potential points of intervention for effectively treating post-concussive syndromes and associated comorbidities. It will also allow for improvements in diagnosis, treatment planning and follow-up care for individuals with mild TBI.

The company is led by former Lockheed employee Dr. Jeffrey Wadsworth. Here is a quick summary of Dr. Wadsworth’s background:

Jeffrey Wadsworth has been President and CEO of Battelle Memorial Institute since January 2009. He has worked at Stanford University, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. In 2002, he joined Battelle and served as a member of the White House Transition Planning Office for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He also has served as director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Department of Energy’s largest multipurpose science laboratory. Wadsworth studied metallurgy at Sheffield University in England, where he earned a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. He was also awarded a Doctor of Metallurgy and the highest recognition conferred by the university, an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree. In 2012, Wadsworth, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, was elected to its Chinese Academy of Engineering.

My preliminary research on USASpending.gov revealed the following contracts this year:

Transaction # 1 (Delivery Order)
IDVPIID/PIID/MOD: GS23F8167H / VA101C10020 / P00007

Recipient:BATTELLE MEMORIAL INSTITUTE IN 
505 KING AVE, COLUMBUS, Ohio
Reason for Modification:CHANGE ORDER
Program Source:36-0152
Department/Agency:Department of Veterans Affairs
Product/Service:R699: SUPPORT- ADMINISTRATIVE: OTHER
Description:EPIDEMIOLOGICAL AND CLINICAL CONSULT
Signed Date:
09-23-2013
Obligation Amount:
$196,555

Transaction # 2 (BPA Call)
IDVPIID/PIID/MOD: VA24013A0002 / VA24013J0152 / 0

Recipient:BATTELLE MEMORIAL INSTITUTE IN 
505 KING AVE, COLUMBUS, Ohio
Program Source:36-0161
Department/Agency:Department of Veterans Affairs
Product/Service:R408: SUPPORT- PROFESSIONAL: PROGRAM MANAGEMENT/SUPPORT
Description:IGF::OT::IGF TBI SURVEY SERVICES
Signed Date:
08-30-2013
Obligation Amount:
$89,553

Transaction # 3 (BPA Call)
IDVPIID/PIID/MOD: VA24013A0002 / VA24013J0153 / 0

Recipient:BATTELLE MEMORIAL INSTITUTE IN 
505 KING AVE, COLUMBUS, Ohio
Program Source:36-0161
Department/Agency:Department of Veterans Affairs
Product/Service:R408: SUPPORT- PROFESSIONAL: PROGRAM MANAGEMENT/SUPPORT
Description:IGF::OT::IGF TBI SURVEY SERVICES
Signed Date:
08-30-2013
Obligation Amount:
$85,040

Transaction # 4 (Delivery Order)
IDVPIID/PIID/MOD: GS23F8167H / VA101C10020 / P00004

Recipient:BATTELLE MEMORIAL INSTITUTE IN 
505 KING AVE, COLUMBUS, Ohio
Reason for Modification:CHANGE ORDER
Program Source:36-0152
Department/Agency:Department of Veterans Affairs
Product/Service:R699: SUPPORT- ADMINISTRATIVE: OTHER
Description:EPIDEMIOLOGICAL AND CLINICAL CONSULT
Signed Date:
03-26-2013
Obligation Amount:
$0

Transaction # 5 (Delivery Order)
IDVPIID/PIID/MOD: GS23F8167H / VA101C10020 / P00006

Recipient:BATTELLE MEMORIAL INSTITUTE IN 
505 KING AVE, COLUMBUS, Ohio
Reason for Modification:CHANGE ORDER
Program Source:36-0152
Department/Agency:Department of Veterans Affairs
Product/Service:R699: SUPPORT- ADMINISTRATIVE: OTHER
Description:EPIDEMIOLOGICAL AND CLINICAL CONSULT
Signed Date:
05-17-2013
Obligation Amount:
$0

Transaction # 6 (Delivery Order)
IDVPIID/PIID/MOD: GS23F8167H / VA101C10020 / P00008

Recipient:BATTELLE MEMORIAL INSTITUTE IN 
505 KING AVE, COLUMBUS, Ohio
Reason for Modification:EXERCISE AN OPTION
Program Source:36-0152
Department/Agency:Department of Veterans Affairs
Product/Service:R699: SUPPORT- ADMINISTRATIVE: OTHER
Description:EPIDEMIOLOGICAL AND CLINICAL CONSULT
Signed Date:
08-23-2013
Obligation Amount:
$0

Transaction # 7 (BPA)
IDVPIID/PIID/MOD: GS23F8167H / VA24013A0002 / 0

Recipient:BATTELLE MEMORIAL INSTITUTE IN 
505 KING AVE, COLUMBUS, Ohio
Program Source:36-0161
Department/Agency:Department of Veterans Affairs
Product/Service:R408: SUPPORT- PROFESSIONAL: PROGRAM MANAGEMENT/SUPPORT
Description:IGF::OT::IGF TBI SURVEY SERVICES
Signed Date:
08-30-2013
Obligation Amount:
$0

 

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3 Comments

  1. well they don’t call them corporations for nothing! He who has the most to gain (congress and the house) to get re-elected and have funds from corporations now that they are people, no surprises there.

  2. Transaction #2 and #3 are almost. Identical except for the amount and the PIID #s. Do you know what each of those numbers reference/mean?

    Also, shame on us for not doing more for TBI victims sooner! As a nurse, I cared for brain injured patients on a subacute unit years ago (private sector, not military). Even “mild” injuries have so many obstacles to overcome. How often was Gabrielle Giffords in the news? What kind of care and resources do you think were offered to her compared to the average enlisted person? I don’t know, but what I’ve seen of rank growing up on military installations, I bet the same holds true for Congressmen getting preferential treatment. I’m sorry, but I value hundreds of enlisted men and women over a single politician.

    It’s time for us to get our priorities straight, but that doesn’t mean fleecing taxpayers to do it. If a contract is awarded (to a contractor) to do a specific job, then it seems logical that existing funding that is being paid to the department or division that couldn’t perform the work should be suspended. I can’t outsource my job and ask my employer to pick up the tab while I continue to get paid, can you? We have to push for more accountability – moral and financial.

  3. Obviously VA funds ate being used for any and everything other than to care for veterans health or benifits . To the tune of BILLIONS OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS ! Want to hide Your funding , just claim it’s to help veterans ?

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