In November 2021, Congress passed the VA Transparency & Trust Act of 2021 (Transparency Act) to provide oversight of VA’s spending of COVID-19-related emergency relief funding, including funding related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. To comply, VA must provide a detailed plan to Congress outlining its intent and justification for obligating and expending funds covered by the act. Additionally, the Transparency Act requires VA to submit biweekly reports to Congress detailing its obligations, expenditures, and planned uses, as well as justification for any deviation from the plan. The act also requires the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) to submit semiannual reports comparing how VA is obligating and expending covered funds to the planned obligations and expenditures. In this fourth report, the OIG found VA initially purchased services, supplies, and materials that were not aligned with FFCRA but took action to correct its obligations and expenditures based on guidance from the Office of General Counsel. The OIG determined that expenditure transfers may pose a risk to VA’s financial reporting and that VA generally did not comply with its financial policies to process and authorize FFCRA expenditure transfers. The OIG also found that VA generally complied with the Transparency Act for CARES Act reporting requirements and biweekly reports. The OIG made one recommendation to VA’s under secretary for health to ensure that Veterans Health Administration fiscal staff are trained on the VA financial policy requirements for the preparation and approval of journal vouchers (including expenditure transfers).
Friday, September 22, 2023
Agency Reviewed / Investigated:
Submitting OIG-Specific Report Number:
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Funds for Better Use:
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Report updated under NDAA 5274: