Southern Arizona VA Health Care System Wasted Tax Dollars on Leased Equipment
The VA Office of Inspector General (VAOIG) received a complaint that alleged the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System in Tucson (SAVA) requested a variety of equipment for performing urology procedures, but did not use the equipment when it was received. The VAOIG investigated the complaint and released a report that affirmed the allegation.
The Veterans Integrated Service 18 Network (VISN) awarded a 3-year lease for approximately 360 pieces of equipment, with a total value of $1.8 million, to be used by SAVA to perform various urology procedures. The equipment was delivered on October 2, 2014, but was not used until several months after delivery, although there are no records to validate that the equipment is being used. According to VAOIG’s report, SAVA delayed using the equipment “due to inadequate acquisition planning and coordination with its support services.” The VA bureaucracy claims the reason the equipment sat idle was because an administrative officer (now retired) at SAVA’s Surgical Care Line “did not coordinate the lease request with its support services before sending the procurement package to the VISN 18.” Of course, a former/retired bureaucrat is to blame for the problems.
The VAOIG failed to substantiate that SAVA is using the equipment, but somehow calculated that SAVA “unnecessarily spent about $217,000 for the lease of urology equipment that sat idle.” The report reads, “Wasted expenditures reduce the availability of funds necessary to treat veterans and undermine the public’s confidence in VHA leadership.” Unfortunately, nothing was resolved, and the VAOIG provided another obligatory, inconsequential recommendation. The VA continues to fail America’s veterans while wasting billions of tax dollars confiscated from the American people.
The fact that a VA facility and its bureaucratic arms are unable to handle the acquisition and utilization of leased equipment is not a surprise because the VA is plagued by incompetence and apathy. By all appearances, it looks like the VAOIG does solid, useful work, but nothing could be further from the truth. The VAOIG is made up of fed gov bureaucrats who protect its fellow bureaucrats at the VA by never making any meaningful recommendation when it completes an investigation that substantiates the complainant’s allegations. It never recommends terminating a VA bureaucrat(s). Its recommendations revolve around training and policies and procedures. The VAOIG’s recommendation for the debacle at SAVA was the following:
- The VISN 18 should ensure the SAVA develop and implement a policy requiring coordination and review of leased equipment requests with SAVA’s support services during the acquisition process.
The bureaucrats at SAVA botched something simple like accepting and taking the necessary steps to begin using medical equipment. This incident should have resulted in the termination of some bureaucrats, but evidently the administrator who retired was the only bureaucrat responsible for the situation that wasted your tax dollars. How do you prevent this type of bureaucratic fiasco from happening again? According to the VAOIG, the problem(s) can be solved with more bureaucratic processes.