Acquisition practices at the Veterans Affairs Department leave "doors swung wide open for fraud, waste and abuse," according to an official memo reported in the

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VA has been spending at least $6 billion a year without adhering to federal contracting rules, according to the memo, written by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition and Logistics Jan Frye.

"I can state without reservation that VA has and continues to waste millions of dollars by paying excessive prices for goods and services due to breaches of Federal laws," Frye wrote in the memo, addressed to VA Secretary Robert McDonald.

Among the specific violations Frye reported:

  • The use of purchase cards to buy medical supplies without contracts, costing billions of dollars.
  • Failure to have non-VA hospitals and other providers bid for medical care that VA cannot provide.

"These unlawful acts may potentially result in serious harm or death to America's veterans," Frye wrote, as quoted in the Post. "Collectively, I believe they serve to decay the entire VA health-care system."