Veteran-Owned Small Businesses: Planning and Data System for VA's Verification Program Need Improvement

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made significant changes to its verification processes for service-disabled and other veteran-owned small businesses to improve operations and address program weaknesses, but continues to face challenges in establishing a stable and efficient program to verify firms on a timely and consistent basis. Since December 2011, VA has instituted a number of significant operational changes, including revising standard operating procedures and enhancing quality assurance protocols for its verification program. However, GAO found that VA did not have a comprehensive, long-term ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. January 14, 2013.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made significant changes to its verification processes for service-disabled and other veteran-owned small businesses to improve operations and address program weaknesses, but continues to face challenges in establishing a stable and efficient program to verify firms on a timely and consistent basis. Since December 2011, VA has instituted a number of significant operational changes, including revising standard operating procedures and enhancing quality assurance protocols for its verification program. However, GAO found that VA did not have a comprehensive, long-term strategic plan for the program and had prioritized addressing immediate operational challenges, contributing to programmatic inefficiencies. In response to this observation, VA's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) initiated action in late October 2012 to compile a strategic planning document that encompassed the verification program. VA's OSDBU appears to have partially applied key leading strategic planning practices in its initial planning effort. But the plan lacks performance measures to assess whether the desired outcomes are being achieved and has a short-term focus that is not typically associated with a strategic plan. VA also has not shared the plan with key stakeholders, including congressional staff. Further, the verification program's data system has shortcomings that have hindered VA's ability to operate, oversee, and monitor the program. Among other things, the system does not collect important data and has limited reporting and workflow management capabilities. VA plans to modify or replace the system, but has not directly tied this effort into its long-term strategic planning efforts to ensure that the new system meets the verification program's long-term information needs."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • January 14, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Veteran-Owned Small Businesses: Planning and Data System for VA's Verification Program Need Improvement, report, January 14, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298480/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.