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VA Scolded

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News November 2013

Senate committees unhappy with report on VA.

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Two Senate committees aren’t happy about the findings from a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) saying the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) accreditation program is open to abuse.

Leaders of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the Special Committee on Aging say they’re “deeply troubled” by the VA’s lax oversight of private advisers to veterans applying for pensions and other benefits.

The senators cited the GAO report that faults the VA for loosely enforcing its own vague rules on accrediting private financial planners, attorneys, insurance agents and others.

The nonpartisan congressional agency that audits federal programs also criticized the VA for leaving itself vulnerable to abuses and for keeping veterans in the dark about their rights.

The GAO report was cited in a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki  from Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the chairman and ranking member of the veterans’ committee.

Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), a veterans’ committee member and former chairman, and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), the Senate Special Committee on Aging chairman, also signed the letter.

The senators urged the department to do a better job letting veterans know how to report abuses.

To read the full report, visit gao.gov.

 

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VA Scolded

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