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Priority Open Recommendations: Department of Veterans Affairs

GAO-23-106465 Published: May 23, 2023. Publicly Released: May 30, 2023.
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Fast Facts

Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help the federal government save money, address issues on our High Risk List, and significantly improve government operations.

This letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs outlines 29 open recommendations that it should prioritize. For example, we recommended that VA revise its guidance so that it uses funds for health care services more efficiently.

VA implemented 6 recommendations we identified as a priority last year.

We regularly update priority recommendations here.

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What GAO Found

In June 2022, GAO identified 22 priority recommendations for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Since then, VA has implemented 6 of those recommendations by, among other things, publishing procedures for reporting deaths by suicide on VA property. In May 2023, GAO identified 13 additional priority recommendations for VA, bringing the total number to 29. These recommendations involve the following areas:

  • veterans' access to timely health care,
  • veterans community care program,
  • human capital management, 
  • appeals reform for disability benefits,
  • quality of care and patient safety,
  • VA health care system efficiency,
  • acquisition management,
  • protecting the privacy of sensitive information, and
  • electronic health record modernization.

VA's continued attention to these issues could lead to significant improvements in government operations.

Why GAO Did This Study

Priority open recommendations are the GAO recommendations that warrant priority attention from heads of key departments or agencies because their implementation could save large amounts of money; improve congressional or executive branch decision-making on major issues; eliminate mismanagement, fraud, and abuse; or ensure that programs comply with laws and funds are legally spent, among other benefits. Since 2015, GAO has sent letters to selected agencies to highlight the importance of implementing such recommendations.

For more information, contact Jessica Farb (202) 512-7114 or

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