VA Investigates $42M in Awards Processed by Employee

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

BY:

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.