VA Investigates $42M in Awards Processed by Employee

Lawmakers: Why were 1,500 awards just below the public disclosure threshold?


Under pressure from lawmakers, the Department of Veterans Affairs has finished its investigation into why an agency employee approved more than $42 million in awards just below the threshold that would require public disclosure.

The employee processed more than 1,500 awards that ranged between $24,500 and $24,980–below the $25,000 disclosure threshold–over an approximately 18-month period, according to Bloomberg:

The inquiry focuses on a staff member who oversees orders for some VA health facilities in New York and New Jersey and who processed transactions worth more than $42 million over a roughly 18-month period. A letter from a House Veterans Affairs subcommittee said that the purchases ranged in amounts between $24,500 and $24,980.

Transactions of $25,000 and more are generally required to be published on a federal government procurement website to encourage as many bids as possible. […]

Lawmakers said they were concerned that many of the transactions were done on the same day with a single vendor, and potentially violated a federal law requiring agencies to seek competitive bids for government work, the letter said.

The VA is expected to release a response this week on the investigation.