Veterans Affairs Mail Tracking System A Complete Mess
A House subcommittee is looking into inaccurate and unreliable reporting of how much mail VA is sending and at what cost.
The agency says it spent around $355 million for sending 200 million pieces of mail in 2016. If accurate, this would make VA one of the top mail senders in the federal government. However, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the data is “questionable.”
According to a Military.com article on the subcommittee meeting:
“After a look at facility-by-facility data, bizarre and anomalous numbers immediately jumped out, and it begged the question whether anyone had ever reviewed and questioned the information,” said Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Mich., chairman of the oversight and investigations subcommittee of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
The General Services Administration collects information from all federal agencies about how much they spend on mail. The 2015 and 2016 data from the VA omitted spending totals from most of its 1,055 community-based clinics nationwide, as well as its 300 veterans centers and its National Cemetery Administration, the GAO found.
Some data was also inaccurate. Bergman brought up one instance of the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur, Ga., reporting it spent $11,257 to send one package. The VA said the true cost was $112.57, and the error was created when someone misplaced a decimal typing the information into the agency’s system.
The problem focuses on VA’s 20-year-old policy on mail and the ability of each 1,000+ VA facilities to generate their own policies. Since each location is able to create and follow its own unique policy on mail, it makes tracking the mail from Central Office very difficult.
Has everybody hear about the new Health Care plan proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders.
“How Medicare for All Would Affect You”
By HAEYOUN PARK and MARGOT SANGER-KATZ New York Times, SEPT. 14, 2017
The title should be “How Medicare for All Would Affect You, except Veterans”.
Veterans would still be fucked under the plan. Everyone else would get free medical, prescriptions and everything else. But not Veterans we don’t rate under the plan.
AUDIT! ALL OF IT! I am not saying VA mail should be ignored, but is there a reason why this subcommittee is looking at VA mail rather than where much bigger amounts are stolen by VA managers? Is it because Congress knows only lower level flunkies will take the hit?
How many VA’s across the country are having their mail budgets increased every year because the amount skimmed off by thieves keeps growing?
How many veterans have been told a letter was sent, but the veteran never received it? Are they claiming certain amounts are sent and pocketing whatever is not actually sent?
Look at the postage rates. How many thieves are claiming they are sending out a 2 oz First Class letter when it only weighed 1 oz, and pocketing the difference? Yes, it’s 21 cents difference. Multiply that times 10,000 letters the VA might claim they send each year.
How many packages of medicine are sent 3rd class, but the VA writes first class down when accounting for money spent?
Every single one of these facilities should be using metered systems to send any mail, so it really should not be that damn hard to audit them. Congress just needs to get the willpower to do it, then the willpower to do something about the theft.
I’ve been seeing a therapist at the vet center and I think the therapist is trying to screw me over on mm y PTSD benefits. The therapist hardly listens, then try to claim I don’t need more coping skills when I wasn’t taught any. Then try to get me to do voc rehab to improve my occupational skills. Then try to focus solely on my social functionality. The therapist knows the VA bases ratings on social and occupational functioning. That’s why the focus is on those two areas. Then the therapist assumed I had no friends since childhood and put that in my notes. How unprofessional! Therapy and medication from the VA has been of no use to me. I’m completely on holistic now. If I never go back to therapy will the VA reduce my rating at me reevaluation?
I was constantly amazed how I would re-order all of my husband’s prescriptions and instead being mailed in one envelope, they would be split up into 3 or 4 different envelopes, resulting in about 3 or 4 times the cost. Also, they would would send a couple of pieces of paper in a 9″x12″ envelope or a 5″x7″ envelope instead of a regular envelope. Again, twice the price. Such a waste.
“Since each location is able to create and follow its own unique policy on mail, it makes tracking the mail from Central Office very difficult.”
translated for average high schooler;
“Since each location and individual within VA makes up the rules as they go along and are immune from law enforcement intervention, Congressional mandate, and do not answer to government accounting under the law it is tough to get them to do what we pay them to do.”
Also make a person wonder how much of the mail budget is going for all the AFGE Union’s Mailing.
The government calls the non productive union time they pay VA workers, “official time”. Using that as a reference point, my hunch is that the $11,000 “officially misreported” expense to mail a single item was likely;
on official time,
mailing official mail,
to others on official time,
for official purposes.
Just a hunch, but the “official” explanation was that it was just a typo sound a bit nebulous. Officially, I think we can say that they are just trying to do for all that which no one can do for oneself.
An official self-prostate exam will get to the bottom of matters.
Probably would find that there is some blockage due to waded up receipts for Postal Money Orders billed to the VA.
Brings new meaning to the term Hidden Ass-sets!
Scam, scam, scam!
Did you happen to catch the article “At Least 11 Mayors Accused Of Child Sex-Related Crimes Since 2016”, Peter Hasson Associate Editor Daily caller 09/13/2017?
Some real sick people that have been elected to office.
One of them that repeatedly raped a 4 year claimed that the four-year-old was a “willing participant.”
Yea, and everyone of them needs daily colonoscopies for the rest of their deranged lives!
There’s some additional videos and articles out about this issue.
I believe there’s more to come! LOTS MORE!
Here is another of the VA pedophile employees that want himself honored.
“Questions arise after veteran with checkered past honored at a Red Wings game”
“Rochester, NY – A moment in the spotlight for a local veteran is causing concern as new information about that veteran’s past comes to light.”
“recommendation to bring in Thomas Poole, came straight from someone at Veterans Affairs.
Poole spent more than five years in federal prison for possession of child pornogaphy. Court records indicate he also admitted to violating his parole twice, most recently in 2015 and he’s a Level 2 Registered Sex Offender.
Poole was an employee at an Outpatient Center and had no reason to believe there were any issues.
Here is his Sex offenders reg profile.
He was a child porn producer.
Convicted of Promoting/Possessing Sexual Performance by a Child.
Sentenced to 72 Month(s) State Prison and Probation: 5 Year(s)
Primary Place of Employment 400 Fort Hill Ave, Canandaigua, NY 14424. Which is the Canandaigua VAMC.
What makes this doubly wrong is the VA hired him! I will guarantee you, Poole’s “criminal past” was known by whomever hired him!
That kind of criminal behavior is NOT something one can keep secret!!
Of course, what can anyone expect from a government agency, which has criminals working at VA’s nationwide!
I get too much mail just on my medications, appointments are ok but I get letter about meeting that wasn’t needed, changed etc, but the myhealthevet system doesn’t work for me because I am disabled too much to use a system that doesn’t work all of the time and I get frustrated and have panic attacks, seizures over it. The VA changes things without notifying you. Like they changed my GP twice without telling me and then the new one was not there for appointment. How about communication! Even my RX s get changed numbers and trying to call up to get RX did not work. The VA needs to listen more but that means they would have to care !
Look. I’m so tired of the VA’s waste and incompetence.
Spent months being told they didn’t get medical records from Dr. X, that I never sent them the VA Form 21-2142 (authorizing them to get my records)….only to get my denial letter in the mail where they say they relied upon records from Dr. X. In other words they needed Dr. Y’s records and kept on telling me to resend Dr. X’s records.
So, now I’m in appeal hell – despite me calling in, getting hung up on (they still won’t tell me if she was disciplined or removed for hanging up on me), and being lied to about what records they actually had.
Ok, when is all this reform in the VA supposed to take place? In the next four years?
Next, the VA is still relying upon paper to process claims. In their public contact areas they should have computers and VA employees available to help the veterans input their information, check on status of claims – so we can wean veterans off of the paper mess.
Next, medical records, correspondence (receipt/sending) needs to be done electronically more than it is now. But of course the VA doesn’t want to modernize/streamline the process – so, they can continue to delay and deny.
To stay out of “appeal hell you need to demand a hearing on the record, take your Dr.’s certified records with you and demand the hearing within 30 days ON THE RECORD. DURING THAT HEARING YOU WILL HAVE SUBPOENAED THE NASTY LITTE CLERK WHO SCRE2ED YO AND HE/SHE WILL BE PUT UNDER OATH TO ANSWER QUESTIONS FROM YOUR LAWYER.
ONCE YOU GET INTO THE APPELLATE PROCESS YOU ARE IN HELL WITH FIVE TO SIX GOVERNMENT LAWYERS FIGHTING YOUR ONE VALIANT SMALL TOWN LAWYER AND TIME, TIME , TIME JUST DRIFTS AWAY. (AND THE VA COULD CARE LESS.
I don’t know if the VA is reporting for LHI and QTC (C&P exam contractors) as well, but they send everything Urgent UPS, Overnight FEDEX, Priority DHS, etc. This is another criminal waste of taxpayer money. With their, most often, condensed timelines I’ve attending appointments in the AM only to get the details and direction about the appointment in the PM. Stop putting Dr’s in charge of regional and national offices and start putting resource managers at the top.
Years ago I discovered I was allergic to a prescription I was getting from the VA. The VA insisted I had to be referred by Ortho to the Allergy Clinic to get tested, so I had to see Ortho to get the referral.
Over several months, I went to the Allergy Clinic 3 different times to get the test, and 3 different times the Allergy Clinic made excuses for why they could not do the test. When it was rescheduled the 4th time, I took the medicine and went to my next appointment. Within an hour I was having a reaction, and went back to the Allergy Clinic. I was sent to the Emergency Clinic where after a very long wait, I was checked out and they agreed I was allergic to the prescription. Since it was then documented that I was allergic to it, I tried getting the prescription changed, and again got excuses.
I got tired of the foolishness and called the Chief of Staff. After months of trying to get the prescription changed, she Fedex’d the new prescription after I called her.
I spent 2 hrs on the phone yesterday trying to find out about PVA and DVA working through VocRehab to get training for VSOs. Over an hour before I talked to a human being….VA is so incompetent it can’t even accomplish that most simple of business functions, ANSWERING THE FRICKING PHONE.
I have my thoughts Rise and Shine Veterans call your Senators and Representative try to convince the Board of Veteran Affairs Committee in Washington, DC passed a New Disabled Veteran Benefit Law which is if a Disabled Veteran who is collecting 100 percent service connected definitely need to get G4 implants from a Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist because isn’t absolutely not one works at a Veteran Medical Center plus they haven’t even one has a contract with Veteran Affairs Admistation but their is Private Clinics knows how to put G4 implants but unfortunate they want all the money up front my belief as a Concerned Veteran the money should come from the Federal Government because three quarters of Disabled Veterans collecting 100 percent service connected can’t even afford to get a loan to get G4 implants plus if a Veteran or a Disabled Veterans collecting 100 percent service connected definitely can’t get the G4implants it would be cause other Health Problems Issues remember without Veterans we would not be call United States plus who will Defend United States …Spread the Word. ..Semper Fi ?.
“[…Some data was also inaccurate. Bergman brought up one instance of the Atlanta VA Medical Center in Decatur, Ga., reporting it spent $11,257 to send one package. The VA said the true cost was $112.57, and the error was created when someone misplaced a decimal typing the information into the agency’s system…]”
^ This is how a nonperformance bonus turns into a much larger number and how a Veteran’s award letter amount is effectively reduced/shortchanged and magically transformed into a nonperformance bonus. Idiots.
“[…The problem focuses on VA’s 20-year-old policy on mail and the ability of each 1,000+ VA facilities to generate their own policies. Since each location is able to create and follow its own unique policy on mail, it makes tracking the mail from Central Office very difficult….]”
There lies the big rub. The VA has absolutely no standardization amongst it’s many facilities and as long as EACH is allowed to establish their own policies, we Veterans and taxpayers are fucked with a systemic mess.
So, they’re spending @ $1.75 on each piece of mail?
Not to mention what is in the mail. My Award Letter doesn’t present an itemized detail of the award as all of my past award letters have. So what happened to the over $3,000.00 dollars I was shorted? A relatively small amount of the award % wise but where did it go? Someone find a way to launder out small amounts from veterans’ award checks at Denver VARO? A two invoice system. One for the official record and one for the vet who was shorted?
Rise and Shine Veterans please contact your Senators and Representative try to convince your Senators and Representative contact the Veteran Affairs Committee in Washington, DC passed a New Veteran Disabled Benefit Law which is if a Disabled Veteran who is collecting 100 percent service connected definitely need to get G4 implants from a Cosmetic Dentistry Dentist because their is absolutely not one works at a Veteran Medical Center plus they haven’t even one has a contract with Veteran Affairs Admistation but their is Private Clinics knows how to put G4 implants but unfortunate they want all the money up front my firm belief as Concerned Veteran my firm belief the money should come from the Federal Government so the Disabled Veterans collecting 100 percent service connected get the G4 implants for free because three quarters of Disabled Veterans who is 100 percent service connected can’t even afford to get a loan to get the G4 implants plus if a Disabled Veterans don’t get the G4 implants it would cause other Health Problems Issues remember if wasn’t for Veterans we would not be call United States plus who will Defend United States plus Spread the word. …Semper Fi ?.
I agree Lem. Sounds like someone, or many someone’s, have figured out how to scam the mailing system out of a lot of money!
Kinda reminds me of what occurred up in Cincinnati back in the early 1970’s. Where some people, who worked in the finance section of a large worldwide corporation, figured out how to send the pennies from all the workers paychecks to another account!
Think about it. All the workers received a paycheck, for example: one worker receives $367.12! These finance workers would take that $.12 (cents) and send it off to an account under their names. Multiply that by hundreds if not thousands of workers, over a long period of time, it adds up!
The “Cincinnati Enquirer” and the “Hamilton Journal” ran a story on it for a few weeks. As did a few of the news medias on TV. (I just can’t remember the name of the corporation!)
The One thing I do remember is, law enforcement never caught the perpetrators!
Crazy Elf what I said about what I said above your Statement?
Reminds me of the House Post Office scandal where you had a number of Congressmen essentially laundering campaign funds through the House Post Office.
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