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related to Recovery Act spending and allows for the reporting of potential fraud, waste, and abuse.

Agency Data

Recovery Plans

Department of Veterans Affairs

Revised Recovery Plans

Original Recovery Plan

Agency Plan Excerpts
[-] Broad Recovery Goals

The Department of Veterans Affairs goals and objectives for use of Recovery Act funding are to improve its medical facilities and national cemeteries, provide grants to assist States in acquiring or constructing State nursing home and domiciliary facilities and to remodel, modify, or alter existing facilities in order to furnish care to Veterans, to hire and train temporary claims processors, to pursue needed information technology systems initiatives, to administer one-time payments of $250 to eligible Veterans and their survivors or dependents, and to oversee and audit programs, grants, and projects funded under ARRA. The ARRA also provides for an additional estimated $700 million for the one-time $250 economic recovery payments.

[-] Competition on Contracts

In the past, VA’s competition rate generally falls in the 50% range. This relatively moderate rate is due to two primary factors. The first is use of the statutory authority granted under Public Law 109-461, Veterans Benefits, Health Care, and Information Technology Act of 2006, which encourages directed noncompetitive awards to Veteran-owned businesses (VOSB) for procurements below $5 million. The second factor is recently discovered miscoding of data values in the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS) for Federal Supply Schedule orders. This latter factor has contributed to artificially low competition rates across VA. Through a combination of enhanced FPDS training and issuance of policy that encourages greater competition among all small businesses, VA expects its competition rate to steadily improve. For Recovery Act procurements, several policy changes have been implemented to ensure competition is used as the primary acquisition strategy for the nearly 1,400 procurements. These policy changes include:

• Any sole source strategy must be identified early in the planning process and reviewed for appropriateness by a level above the contracting officer.

• If the strategy is deemed to be appropriate, an additional series of extraordinary justifications and approval is required outside of the buying activity’s management chain; for certain noncompetitive procurements, the Senior Procurement Executive must provide the approval.

• Multiple-award Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts for non-recurring maintenance, which represents approximately 80% of all VA Recovery Act projects, are being established.

We estimate that competition rates for Recovery Act procurements will be in the 99 - 100% range.

[-] Contract Type

Through strict policy and pre-solicitation reviews, VA anticipates that all Recovery Act procurements will use fixed-price contract types. The same approval process cited above will be used to ensure that no contract types other than fixed-price will be used.

[-] Accountability Plan

VA’s Recovery Act efforts are overseen by the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Chief of Staff (Senior Accountable Official for ARRA), the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Finance (VA Deputy Chief Financial Officer), and senior program officials from each of the VA programs that received ARRA funds. This governance body meets at least weekly, or more frequently as needed, to oversee VA’s overall implementation of the Recovery Act, and to assess ARRA financial and program planning, progress and performance against those plans, make needed policy decisions, and identify any areas of risk and necessary corrective actions. This leadership group also includes senior acquisition, logistics, and construction managers, who provide advice and oversee acquisition planning and execution for ARRA funds, including competition on ARRA-funded contracts, and maximization to the extent possible, the use of fixed-price contracts for ARRA-funded projects. Senior managers from VA’s Offices of Congressional and Legislative Affairs, and Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, also participate in weekly meetings to assist in ensuring Congressional and public access to all VA ARRA efforts and transparency of our actions. Necessary corrective actions are identified and implemented to help ensure program goals and objectives are accomplished. VA will use performance measures to assess the Recovery Act progress and verify the extent to which its Recovery Act initiatives and associated funding are achieving the outcomes consistent with the intent and requirements of ARRA. VA program managers in receipt of ARRA funds are required to record transactions within VA's core Financial Management System. Execution of funding and completed and planned actions for each ARRA program are closely tracked and reported on weekly. Similarly, ARRA procurement actions are being tracked in VA's Electronic Contract Management System, which includes milestone plans, and progress on projects is closely tracked and reported on weekly. Senior managers are held accountable for achieving set goals and performance metrics, and mitigating risks. VA’s Recovery Act governance, processes, reporting, tracking, and related actions are implemented to mitigate risk, and VA has initiated strong internal controls for its Recovery Act programs. To ensure proactive and robust oversight, VA’s Inspector General is fully participating in VA’s Recovery Act efforts by auditing, evaluating, investigating, and monitoring the VA programs and projects in receipt of Recovery Act funds.