The Government Accountability Office has identified various factors such as incomplete data and outdated policies that GAO says pose challenges to the Department of Veterans Affairs’ buying process.
GAO said Friday it observed that insufficient recording of procurement data limits VA’s view of department spending and that its fragmented procurement policy framework prevents contracting officers from getting updated guidance.
The congressional watchdog also found there was a need for improvement in how VA handles its multibillion dollar annual procurement funds in areas such as data systems, acquisition policies and oversight, acquisition workforce and contract management.
“A 2015 independent review commissioned by VA found that the procurement acquisition function was unduly complex and inefficient,” GAO noted.
The agency estimated that VA spent nearly $20 billion on various goods and services necessary to serve veterans during fiscal year 2015.
GAO urged the department to include all obligations in the procurement system, update policy framework, address inconsistent implementation of the contract liaison initiative, assess strategic sourcing efforts and enhance contract reviews.