Rep. Lee Calls on VA to Address Financial Management Issues
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Susie Lee (Nev.-03), chair of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Subcommittee on Technology Modernization, introduced the CFO Authority and Collaboration Act, which would require the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) to report to Congress on their progress implementing the Financial Management Business Transformation (FMBT) program, a major effort to modernize VA’s financial systems. This bill will require VA to report its efforts to address weaknesses in its financial management, and detail how it will fix deficiencies in its financial management organizational structure.
“Providing necessary and life-saving service for brave veterans is the mission of the VA. The VA’s ability to provide the care our veterans earned is compromised without a strong financial management IT system,” said Rep. Lee. “It’s clear from our hearings, meetings, and discussions with VA leadership that weaknesses in their financial systems and organizational structure leave them vulnerable to risk, cybersecurity problems, and bad financial decisions. My bill holds VA leadership accountable for their efforts to fix VA’s financial system, to ensure our veterans are getting the benefits and care they deserve.”
BACKGROUND: On Dec. 5, 2019, Chairwoman Lee co-led a House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs joint hearing on VA’s FMBT program. The purpose of the program is to implement a new financial management system at VA. However, as was discussed at the hearing, a new system will not necessarily solve VA’s longstanding financial management challenges, which include a lack of governance and oversight into how all parts of VA manage funds.
The FMBT program is a major effort to modernize VA’s financial systems. The new financial system will have to integrate with other systems, including EHRM. When a servicemember transitions from active duty to civilian life, their health records should move with them from DoD to the VA health care system. The goal of the EHRM project is to modernize VA’s electronic record system while also improving and optimizing the transition to the VA health care system.