U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs wastes $2 million on smartphones, tablets for homeless vets
What the Department of Veterans Affairs was trying to accomplish with these purchases was to get homeless veterans the equipment they needed to increase telehealth visits. Those are video calls made between doctors and patients and during the worse of the pandemic, it was the safest way to get some type of medical help from a doctor. The number of telehealth visits increased from 2,500 in February 2020 to 38,000 in September 2020.
The Department of Veterans Affairs bought 80,930 iPads but the Agency lost $571,000 in expired pre-paid data plans
The inspector general came to the conclusion that the Veterans Health Administration officials, who were part of the Connected Care program, made a good faith effort to get smartphones into the hands of veterans but the plan suffered from the “lack of information for officials to be able to determine the quantity needed for the targeted veteran population.” The report called for the agency to come up with improvements in how it stores smartphones and tablets.
The report from the IG concluded, “Officials could reduce wasted data plan costs by establishing a realistic goal for days in storage, closely monitoring days in storage for devices with each type of data plan, and then taking corrective actions when necessary.”