The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a management advisory memorandum to the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) to request VBA examine a relatively small number of apparent overpayments by the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program. The payments made to schools covered veterans’ tuition. The OIG analyzed the data on 1.8 million payments and determined that the program potentially made 360 errors from January 1, 2014, through December 30, 2019, totaling $554,998 in overpayments. The potential overpayments ranged from $18 to $237,762 and averaged $1,542. The OIG in alerting VBA did not determine if the program corrected or recovered the overpayments. The errors appeared to have resulted from program staff transposing numbers or adding one or more digits to the invoice amounts: • In February 2018, a program participant was invoiced $3,614 by a university in California, but program staff paid the university $6,314. Staff apparently transposed the three and the six in the invoice amount when entering it into the system for payment. • In October 2017, a program participant was invoiced $4,495 from another university in California, but program staff paid the university $44,950. Staff apparently added a zero to the invoice amount when entering it into the system. • In July 2016, a program participant was invoiced $238 from a Missouri university, but program staff paid the university $238,000. Staff apparently added three zeros to the invoice amount when entering it into the system. Due to the small percentage of errors, the OIG did not initiate an audit or investigation. However, it provided the potential errors to VBA to allow it to investigate and take actions when appropriate to recover any overpayments. The OIG asked VBA to provide updates for any actions it takes on the potential errors and the outcome of the actions.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Agency Reviewed / Investigated:
Submitting OIG-Specific Report Number:
Component, if applicable:
Veterans Benefits Administration
Type of Report:
Number of Recommendations: