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GAO Reports Delays in VA’s Supply Chain Modernization Initiatives

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GAO Reports Delays in VA’s Supply Chain Modernization Initiatives

The Department of Veterans Affairs urgently needs to modernize its inventory management and acquisition systems, according to a report published by a federal watchdog

VA’s antiquated systems held back its ability to obtain medical supplies and personal protective equipment during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, the Government Accountability Office said

GAO added that while VA has several ongoing supply chain modernization initiatives, each is suffering from delays or is in its early stages. 

The initiatives include an effort to replace the current inventory management system with the Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support, which already serves as the Department of Defense’s primary medical-surgical supply chain ordering system. 

According to the Military Health System website, DMLSS allows procurement officers to identify best-value items, prevent excessive stocks of inventory and help health institutions manage facilities and maintain medical equipment. 

VA initially planned to complete enterprisewide DMLSS implementation by 2027, a timeline that was already uncertain even before the pandemic. 

The department is now working to accelerate the initiative and achieve full implementation by 2025. GAO said it is too early to tell if VA can meet the promised date even with supplemental coronavirus funding. 

GAO said it conducted the review in accordance with Congress’s direction in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which called for an assessment of VA’s efforts to obtain and track coronavirus-related products and services. 

The watchdog said it has issued 49 recommendations since 2015 related to improving VA’s acquisition management process. VA has implemented 22 of them.

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Category: Federal Civilian

Tags: CARES Act Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support Department of Defense Department of Veterans Affairs DMLSS DoD federal civilian GAO Government Accountability Office Military Health System modernization report supply chain VA