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Waste of the Day: VA Pre-Paid $68 Million To Energy Contractors

The Veterans’ Administration pre-paid $68 million to energy contractors, in violation of federal law meant to curtail waste.

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The Veterans Health Administration gave energy vendors $68 million in prepayments that didn’t comply with federal law, a new audit found.

The prepayments totaled $10 million in FY 2020 and approximately $58 million in FY 2022, using surplus medical facility funds, according to a December audit from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Office of Inspector General.

Waste of the Day: VA Pre-Paid $68 Million To Energy Contractors
Waste of the Day 1.08.24 by Open the Books

These one-time payments are acceptable if they shorten the term of an energy savings performance contract in compliance with Federal Energy Management Program guidance, including that energy cost savings must exceed payments in each contract year, the audit stated.

But the VA’s program made a number of one-time prepayments that exceeded the annual amounts, contrary to federal law and Federal Energy Management Program guidance.

“VA is taking on significant risk by not ensuring that a contractor’s energy baseline and savings estimates are validated before awarding the contract and by not adhering to federal payment restrictions,” the audit found. “VHA energy managers need to witness contractor energy baseline measurements, check assumptions, and review calculations to ensure the estimates are reasonable. Once contracts have been awarded and energy upgrades installed, there is no way to retroactively determine baseline measurements for these projects.”

Making these baseline measurements are critical to validating energy savings, and without performing its due diligence up front, VA has no way of measuring how well a contractor is performing and ensuring it’s achieving cost savings for the taxpayer.


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This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.

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Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-eff-ski) is the CEO/founder of Before dedicating his life to public service, Adam co-founded HomePages Directories, a $20 million publishing company (1997-2007). His works have been featured on the BBC, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, C-SPAN, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, FOX News, CNN, National Public Radio (NPR), Forbes, Newsweek, and many other national media.

Today, is the largest private repository of U.S. public-sector spending. Mission: post "every dime, online, in real time." In 2022, captured nearly all public expenditures in the country, including nearly all disclosed federal government spending; 50 of 50 state checkbooks; and 25 million public employee salary and pension records from 50,000 public bodies across America.

The group's aggressive transparency and forensic auditing of government spending has led to the assembly of grand juries, indictments, and successful prosecutions; congressional briefings, hearings, and subpoenas; Government Accountability Office (GAO) audits; Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports; federal legislation; and much more.

Our Honorary Chairman - In Memoriam is U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, MD.

Andrzejewski's federal oversight work was included in the President's Budget To Congress FY2021. The budget cited his organization by name, bullet-pointed their findings, and footnoted/hyperlinked to their report.

Posted on YouTube, Andrzejewski's presentation, The Depth of the Swamp, at the Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar 2020 in Naples, Florida received 3.8 million views.

Andrzejewski has spoken at the Columbia School of Journalism, Harvard Law School and the law schools at Georgetown and George Washington regarding big data journalism. As a senior policy contributor at Forbes, Adam had nearly 20 million pageviews on 206 published investigations. In 2022, investigative fact-finding on Dr. Fauci's finances led to his cancellation at Forbes.

In 2022, Andrzejewski did 473 live television and radio interviews across broadcast, major cable platforms, and radio shows. Andrzejewski is the author of The Waste of the Day column at Real Clear Policy. The column is syndicated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, owners of nearly 200 ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX affiliates across USA.

Andrzejewski lives in Hinsdale, Illinois with his wife Kerry and three daughters. He is a lector at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church and has finished the Chicago Marathon eight times (PR 3:58.49 in 2022).


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