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GAO: VHA Should Establish Evaluation Process to Implement Org Structure Actions

medical health doctorThe Government Accountability Office has recommended the Veterans Health Administration develop an evaluation process to analyze the implementation of organizational structure recommendations.

GAO said in a report publicly released Thursday that it has suggested VHA evaluate the implementation of the Veterans Integrated Service Networks realignment to address potential gaps and apply lessons learned to future organizational changes including VISN staffing model modifications.

Auditor has discovered VHA has not established a process to evaluate recommended organizational structure changes as stated in federal standards for internal control of monitoring, which require management to remediate identified control deficiencies.

The report noted that VHA has began to implement the VISN realignment efforts that aim to reduce the number of VISNs to 18 and reassign select VA medical centers to other VISNs by the end of fiscal year 2018.

VHA officials under the task force that will implement the realignment strategy noted that they believe VISNs can implement realignment efforts independently and the agency did not provide guidance to help address VISN and VAMC challenges such as double-encumbered position, information technology, services and budgets.

GAO added that VHA officials did not plan to evaluate realignment efforts and actions of the agency were inconsistent with federal internal control standards for monitoring and risk assessment.

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