WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, called for a reevaluation of how the Department of Veterans Affairs makes decisions about its health care infrastructure. At a hearing yesterday, Akaka also announced that he will be requesting a comprehensive audit of the results of VA’s Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services process by the Government Accountability Office, which testified at the hearing.
“In some cases, VA’s infrastructure reflects yesterday’s priorities, making it harder to meet the needs of today’s veterans and prepare for tomorrow. I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration on this issue,” said Akaka.
During the hearing, some Members on the Committee raised questions concerning VA’s use of Recovery Act dollars to update aging health care infrastructure. Witnesses from VA testified that by the end of the fiscal year, 40 percent of the Department’s nonrecurring maintenance Recovery Act funds will be put to work.
Akaka noted, “President Obama’s Recovery Act package provided well over a billion dollars for overdue improvements to VA’s infrastructure. While start dates appear to have been delayed as VA worked to ensure the involvement of disadvantaged businesses in construction projects, I am pleased with the progress we are seeing now. Investing in VA’s infrastructure will increase energy efficiency, provide much-needed jobs for Americans, and improve the health care we provide to veterans in need.”
For the Chairman and the witnesses’ full statements, click here.
June 11, 2009