The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) must address its challenges in supply chain operations and establish a comprehensive strategy for logistics and acquisition management.
GAO said Wednesday that the VA faced “unexpected challenges” especially during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic that exposed vulnerabilities in supply chain oversight.
The watchdog noted that while the VA executed actions like centralizing medical storage facilities, the department must update strategies to include all current efforts.
GAO also found that the VA faced rollout delays and integration challenges with its Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support system, which is meant to replace most of the department’s supply-chain management infrastructure.
“Until it develops an overarching supply chain strategy and answers key questions, VA will not be able to fully address its high-risk acquisition management and ultimately better meet veterans' needs,” the agency said in the report.
GAO noted that it recognizes the VA’s efforts to participate in initiatives like the Defense Logistics Agency's (DLA) Warstopper program intended to streamline critical supply access for emergencies.