Planning and Data System for VA's Verification Program Need Improvement
January 14, 2013
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.