Friday, April 24, 2015

Demanding Responsibility at the Veterans Administration

by Senator John Boozman: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been working to reestablish its trust with veterans and taxpayers. However, additional issues that are significantly undermining the public’s trust in VA, especially its commitment to be being good stewards of taxpayer dollars, continue to arise.

Here's a perfect example.

Little Rock's Veterans Affairs Medical Center received an $8 million grant to build solar panels, but since construction was completed in 2013, they were never activated because they were not compatible with the local electricity grid. In addition, these solar panels were knowingly built in a location that conflicted with another construction project and it was known that the solar panels would have to be torn down and relocated.

Congressman French Hill and I called for an investigation into the due diligence failures that led to this and find out why VA proceeded forward with the project. On Tuesday, I asked the Secretary of Veterans Affairs why this was allowed to happen and what’s being done to prevent this abuse of taxpayer dollars.
I also requested that the Secretary provide vigorous oversight to the problems facing hospitals across the country, including in Arkansas. Our state has 75 hospitals with 4,400 claims pending with VA, worth a total of $24 million. That’s why my office hosted a conference with VA officials and Arkansas health providers. VA admits this is a problem it’s working to resolve but it requires a certain level of involvement by the Secretary.

These are among the many serious trust issues at VA. If the public can’t trust VA to use taxpayer money wisely, Americans will lose faith. If VA refuses to meet its obligations to providers, veterans will lose service. These problems require an immediate course correction on VA’s part and I am committed to holding it accountable.

Tags: Senator John Boozman, demanding responsibility, Veterans Administration, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". This site is an Outreach of the ARRA News Service.

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