Since I am in Denver investigating fraud, waste, and abuse this week, I wanted to give readers additional insight into the outlandish waste VA engages in when no one is looking.

Case in point is the recent exposure by Fox 31 in busing employees between facilities, a total of 176 yards, over five years while the new over-budget Aurora VA was built.

I can’t wait to check that out now that the facility finally opened at a staggering $1 billion above budget. How many underground bunkers did the deep state secretly build into that budget? I hope they came equipped with caviar and some top-shelf champagne.

Apparently, the five-year project involved specialty airport-transport buses that shuttled VA employees 176 yards:

The Problem Solvers’ latest discovery is a nearly five-year program which provided a fleet of employee-only shuttle buses to drive staff between the North and South doors of the facility during the construction phase.

A FOX31 investigative team spent significant time over the summer recording empty buses which drove in short circles.

At times, three airport-passenger-type shuttles ran on 12-hour schedules. Each bus had an assigned driver. Based on our observations, the shuttle vehicles idled with engines running the entire day. Operators would sit and wait for about half an hour in one of two roundabouts before swapping positions at a different door. If a passenger did arrive to be transported, that bus would drive the staff person to the opposing door, while an empty shuttle would drive the 176 yards to swap positions with the prior shuttle.

The VA spokesman provided the following explanation as to how the shuttling worked and why:

“Shuttle services began prior to construction of the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center. Building A (Clinic Building South) was the only building on the campus and an agreement between VA and USAF resulted in the Buckley AFB clinic being temporarily located on the 4th floor of Building A. The shuttle’s purpose was to ensure that Buckley AFB patients and VA employees had access to Building A during construction.”

When asked about cost, VA said they could not estimate the cost because there existed no line-item budget for the transportation program. This means, if VA wants to squirrel away money without oversight, they push the funds into something that lacks a line-item budget.

Luckily, Fox 31 investigated the matter to bring it into the light using a calculator and a little common sense:

The VA hired WG-6 employees to drive the shuttles. Based on pay scales, the average hourly wage for such employees is around $20 per hour.

FOX31 figured two full-time drivers worked approximately 1,462 days.

The VA said it “leased” the shuttles from General Services Administration over the final three years of the program at $768.30 a month per vehicle, plus $0.562 per mile.

Bottom line: the short bus route for VA employees cost at least $769,000 in tax funds.

Without an actual budget from the VA, the FOX31 Problem Solvers could not accurately or fairly calculate the cost of fuel, shuttle maintenance, mileage or the occasional use of a third shuttle and a third driver, so we did not include those. If added to the $769,000 known total, the cost of the transportation program could be several hundred thousand dollars more.

When it comes to the Aurora VA facility $1 billion over budget, you have to wonder how many other expenditures were unaccounted for and how many cronies or family members owned contracting companies that profited from the lack of oversight.

Source: https://kdvr.com/2018/09/09/special-buses-drove-aurora-va-staff-176-yards-for-5-years/

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Would have been far wiser (and less costly) to buy those VA FAT CATS some good Nike’s or Adidas to execute the intra-building transit with. Would have saved hundreds of thousands, provided VA employees with an “exercise at work” program, and made access to those people easier for veterans to have.

    How would it make accessing those people easier? 176 yards or 160.93 metres is quite a distance for some VA employees to walk. Any veteran who has kept their physical regimen intact – – – should easily be able to intercept them as they walk to and fro.

    The mental picture of 6 or 7 disgruntled marine veterans forming a circle around a VA maggot and ‘inquiring” about their claim at say, 100 DB or above – – – brings a slight smile to my face . . .

    A bus to ride less than the length of two football fields? Really?

    Veterans, I proudly introduce your professional government caretakers, “The Aurora VA Wimp Ass Pussy Squad” !!!!

    • “VA maggot” Asking about their claim? Unless I missed something, those VA employees have nothing to do with claims and even if they did, what happened to dignity, common courtesy, and respect? Those VA employees that you disrespectfully refer to as maggot are most likely veterans also, so why would you refer to anyone, especially someone who may very well be a veteran, as a maggot?
      I get you may be frustrated about claim processing, but you are a veteran and gentleman and it is possible to get your concerns addressed while conveying respect and maintaining your dignity, manners, and self respect.

      • You are correct. VA Maggot. No doubt you missed something. Spare me the morals lecture. The biggest shitbirds I ever saw during my active duty (In nearly twenty years I saw quite a few) tenure had more moral character than 95% of the maggots at the VA.

        Put that in your pipe and smoke it . . .

      • Oh whine on important things… 🙂
        “https://federalnewsradio.com/workforce/2018/09/despite-open-office-trend-federal-employees-not-thrilled-with-results/”

        Leroy, obviously you haven’t had to deal with the multitude of VA maggots, civy maggots, political maggots, maggot’s evil networks and VSO clubs, media maggots, et al. To think we get what we show others in return will happen or just part of a grand facade. Or those so-called professionals (actors) aren’t holding a knife when they pat you on the back claiming to help but will cover-up for their team-mates and those in the professions, unions, associations while we may die or keep on playing circus games with them.

        Just because some may claim the label “veteran” doesn’t mean they are on our side, really American, have ethics, are oath keepers, moral, ethical, claim to have our backs, will claim to protect our Constitutional rights with their lives – but lie, or have an ounce of morals about them. Especially in this day and age. Self-service, greed, positions, control, being legally protected/supported/elected sociopaths, fitting in with the mainstream and corrupt, being good little PC freaks or globalist, etc., over-rides any decency or good old fashion American values… or manners.

      • Maggots are still maggots. You should know that in the military you were called a maggot for discipline and building purposes to become better .
        Maggot actually was a compliment.
        Douchebags and fuck wad is more appropriate for people who ignored waste at an extreme level .
        Especially when you have veterans who have actually lost limbs, waiting on claims and services.
        FUCK the VA and all their bullshit make believe medical mayhem.
        US Navy Corpsman

      • As a VA employee and 20 year Army retiree. I concur most of us are veterans and most of us can and do walk much farther than that each and every day.

  2. My wife is putting this, as she does daily to her 2,000 + followers, on Twitter!
    The VA needs to be stopped! The criminal behavior has reached beyond being stupid!
    Damn, I’m so pissed right now. I’m not thinking straight!
    Excuse me, while I take a smoke break!

  3. A little heads up on this Ben.

    If the VA leased those vehicles from GSA, then fuel use, mileage and any maintenance costs was reported to GSA at least monthly.
    In fact, unless the VA had their own fuel station, that data was reported every time a driver fueled up.

    As for the waste, I’m shocked they didn’t claim it was required for safety, so some VA flunky didn’t get whacked with construction equipment.
    Employee only? No patients allowed? I guess its better for a crippled patient to hobble through an unsafe construction zone than a VA flunky.
    Idling for hours? Gee, won’t someone think of the carbon footprint and Gorebal Warming?
    And veterans cannot get the travel funding approved for simple medical care. Or needed, lifesaving transplants.
    Yet they spend almost a million on a donut chewing flunky to bus them 175 yards.

  4. This was old news a long time ago… . Y’all need to listen to Veterans and stop believing VSO’s speak for all veterans. They only speak for the VA and remf’s who join their org.

    • It’s hard for anyone to listen to veterans when some VA’s like mine, block me from VA complaint systems, and any complaints sent via the White House VA Complaint Hot Line, are handled by the person I’m complaining about.

  5. I have a really nice 4 iron that I hit about 175 yards. I am willing to lease it to the VA for 1 dollar per year. Employees could carry the 4 iron and pretend they are walking the yards on a par 3 hole. I think this is a win/win.

    • Should be part of the ” Fat back” initiative. All of those GS employees aka Gut size. Fartn like hell with the slightest activity.
      What a joke as so called healthcare.
      Medical people that are fat as hell trying to school you on health. There is something wrong with that.
      Ridiculous!

  6. With all the VA Riff Raff and junkies it must have been the only way the VA could monitor the VA employees and prevent them from drugging at work.

    You know what happens every time you turn your back on one of the VA ass-clowns in Colorado. They are stealing this that and any meds they can get their hands on.

    Guess the VA didn’t want them smoking crack, meth or marijuana on their short walks.

  7. “…you have to wonder how many other expenditures were unaccounted for and how many cronies or family members owned contracting companies that profited from the lack of oversight…” Seriously Ben, do you really believe that the corruption trickles down to mere minions? Sure, there will always be some travel pay gigs or drug/opiate side-shows. But it’s a pretty big leap to go from deep-state budget-busting, bunker-building-buggery to AGFE cronies and kinfolk.

  8. Ben you are going to utimately have to discover what nobody yet has ever nailed down the folks at VA Aurora about; how many VA decision makers at Aurora does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    I await the answer with tepid eagerness.

    • 1 million and 1. One person to hold the bulb stationary in socket on track, and a million decision makers to rotate the building around the stationary bulb.
      Remember, if a more difficult option exists, it will be the one chosen.

  9. Hey Elf,

    Your thoughts on Rosenstein’s replacement?

    As I laid out in my comment at: https://www.disabledveterans.org/2018/09/24/woo-hoo-denver-a-week-of-investigating-fraud-waste-and-abuse/#comment-107140

    I think that it will be John W. Huber.

    Although, the DOJ had reportedly created a press release on the replacements. It is clear the release is bogus because Matthew Whitaker is ineligible to accept the position of Acting Deputy Attorney General. With all the lawyers at the DOJ you would think that they would know that.

    Huber did receive a reconfirmation by the Senate, where as Whitaker left the DOJ and has not been reconfirmed by the Senate in over 8 years. So, while Huber is eligible Whitaker is definitely not eligible to be appointed Acting Deputy Attorney General.

    Besides with former Senator Jeff Sessions already the Attorney General and Whitaker’s failed run for Senator in Iowa. That would just be to much senate control over the DOJ. Give Sessions would not have been re-elected if he had remained a Senator and Whitaker was not even able to get elected. It would make the DOJ the dumping ground for failed Senators and failed senate Candidates

    Read my prior comment linked above and let me know what you think.

    • Oh, and I should point out another thing about John W. Huber. He is also the U.S. Attorney for the State of Utah. Where a large portion of Uranium One’s assets are located. The same assets that were included in the Clinton Foundations Uranium One Deal with Russia. The deal sold a very large portion of the Utah Uranium mines to Russia.

      ___

      “U.S. attorney for Utah is investigating GOP-raised concerns about the FBI surveilling Trump aide and about Clinton’s uranium ties”
      Thomas Burr, Pamela Manson, The Salt Lake Tribune, March 30th, 2018

      “United States Attorney for Utah John Huber has been investigating whether the FBI abused its authority in surveilling a former top aide to then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump and whether federal officials should have probed deeper into allegations of Hillary Clinton’s ties to the sale of U.S. uranium rights to a Russian-controlled company.”

      https://www.sltrib.com/news/2018/03/29/us-attorney-for-utah-huber-probing-gop-raised-concerns-about-the-fbi-surveilling-trump-aide-ignoring-clinton-uranium-ties/

    • About the only thing I’m sure about is,
      “Rat Rosenstain” should not be allowed to resign! If he resigns, he keeps his retirement. If fired, he loses everything!
      In my opinion, he needs to be fired!

      Of course, it would probably cause the protesters and some in Congress to have a kinipshun fit!
      To that, I say “fuck em!”

      • I don’t know when Rosenstein is due to retire, but he will be damn lucky if he just loses his retirement when fired.
        Rosenstein signed off on one of the illegal FISA warrants on Carter Page. He either likely knew the evidence for a warrant was shockingly flimsy based on FBI leaks to newspapers, or he was too incompetent to even read it before signing it.
        Trump said he would declassify the information that went into getting that warrant. If he did so, it would show Rosenstein’s illegal activities in signing off on it. If Trump then fired Rosenstein, the left would scream obstruction of the Muh Russia! probe.
        Trump put everyone on notice that he knows what is in those documents. He agreed to allow the IG to do an expedited investigation of that issue. If the IG tries to cover it up, Trump can declassify the documents anyway. This forces the swamp rats to do their job and go after other swamp rats in an honest manner, and watch which swamp rats try to continue covering it up. Trump is forcing the IG to uncover what Rosenstein did.

        I suspect the IG report will be out before the election, and Rosenstein will be dealt with shortly after the election.

        As for Huber, he was brought in by Sessions long ago to investigate some of the crimes uncovered with other investigations. Things have been very tight-lipped regarding what he is looking at, but it has been reported that there have been some testifying before a Grand Jury.

  10. Unbelievable! Not really… the government needs a better watchdog! It is still really difficult to get a VA appointments here in the Colorado area. I was lucky enough… haha …to go and visit this monstrous facility. I say monstrous because everything is so big and flamboyant. It only looks good, it is not really any better. I went into the restrooms at the clinic and they were already falling apart and dirty. The waiting area and the exam rooms we’re not all that great either. I had blood drawn and went to the pharmacy. The waits were just as long and the areas didn’t look anywhere brand new. I went to the cafe and it was less than it was in the old building, it was not very well maintained, the food was not very good and there was less choices.

    As I walked around and looked at the overly high ceilings and the way it was “decorated”, I couldn’t believe that so much money was put into this facility. The building, although new, was already showing quite a bit of wear and it was not very clean. I was not impressed with this facility at all. And the parking was definitely not anything compared to what the other building had, unless I was missing something! In trying to make these buildings look so big and impressive, handicap parking seems to be not very well planned out. This article is about a bus shuttle for the employees to go a short distance , but it seems that when it comes to the handicap Vet, the distance between the parking area and the facility itself is not very well planned out. I know some of the things that I’ve talked about here are petty, but it’s just the icing of the cake. I am fortunate enough that I did not have to use the hospital and hope that I don’t ever have to because from what I’ve seen with the clinics I’m not so sure that the hospital part would be any better.

    I live in Colorado Springs and go to the clinic there. To me, and a few Vets that I’ve spoken to , it seems that they were more concerned about the look of the facility than the function. Here in this city a lot of vets depend on public transportation or other people to get around. The distance of the facility from the center of town is quite far. There is a bus stop that is on top of a hill near the road and a long sidewalk to the facility. Any Vet who has any difficulty with walking, has to walk quite a distance in order to get into the front door and the walk back…wow! Even the parking lot is set up in such a way that disabled Vets still have quite a bit of walking to do to get to the entrance of the facility because of the nice front building design. The place is already showing a lot of wear and tear. The wait times are the same, the access to the doctor are the same and the ability to get appointments as needed has not changed. I have tried to get an appointment when I came down with strep throat and I was unable to get one for more than a week out. Getting to see a specialty doctor for any reason it’s quite the challenge. they spend so much time worrying about the looks of the facility it’s time that they worry about the care the veterans.

    I don’t know who is designing these buildings or what they’re thinking when they do, but there needs to be a lot more to the thought process and a lot more about how the budgets are being used. We don’t need an impressive building. We need impressive care and function of the facility. If only they got a handle on the waste that was being done, imagine what that money could be put towards to and how many vets could actually get some real care. Something has to be done and heads to roll!!

    • Theresa,
      Next time your there, hide your camera/phone and video tape the areas you mentioned.

      On the parking,
      A few years ago, I believe around three, I found an article in the Denver Post. It concerned how the Aurora VHA had to spend millions more – WHY?
      Because the original plans had no parking lots! (I posted it here then!)

      Yep, you read my comment correctly!
      The Denver Newspaper had found out the idiots who “drafted the plans” forgot to add parking lots!
      If I remember correctly, the lots cost the American Taxpayers an additional $20 to $30 million more!

      A few months later, I found this on the same Newspaper;
      Oh, then there’s the “parking lot” specifically designed for “blind vets”! When one enters the parking lot, there’s a large lighted bill board that lights up – wait for it – in BRAIL!
      That’s right, in brail. The sign is of famous sayings by famous people!
      I wonder how much that cost the Taxpayers!

      Well, now you can understand how the Aurora VHA cost more than what it was supposed to!

    • Seymore,
      Yep, saw that this morning.
      These people are probably going to get fired. Just like the ones at the State Department and the other one!
      In my opinion, Koskenin and Lerner both should be prosecuted ASAP!

  11. Easy to pile on the VA, but this story is completely inaccurate. The reporter rode the shuttle in the last few days that it was operating – hence the minimal ridership). The shuttle ran multiple different routes over the course of the construction (parking location changed several times). The shuttle also was NOT only for employees, but was for VA patients as well as patients for the Buckley AFB clinic located in the one existing building on the campus (the clinic on Buckley was relocated there during construction on base). The VA did provide an estimate for operating the shuttles at several hundred thousand less than the report indicated.

    The VA certainly isn’t without issue, but this reporter didn’t bother to actually research this story.

  12. Couldn’t they have just rolled they employees back and forth, providing not up a steep grade, and if so, forklifts would be cheaper, or my favorite and relatively cheap, good ol’ fashioned catapults.

  13. Such misguided hate and vitriol. Don’t blame the VA and Veterans you leftist twit. If this were true, it’s simply typical of all government agencies. You profess hate for one government agency while behind this article probably love another. What a joke!

Comments are closed.