Veteran Readiness and Employment Staff Improperly Sent Participants to Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses

Report Information

Issue Date
Report Number
VA Office
Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)
Report Author
Office of Audits and Evaluations
Report Type
Report Topic
Education and Loan Guaranty
Major Management Challenges
Benefits for Veterans
Stewardship of Taxpayer Dollars
Questioned Costs
Better Use of Funds
Congressionally Mandated



The Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) Service and Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) programs support veterans seeking education or training for employment. VR&E focuses on disabilities that directly impact employment, and participants must attend GI Bill approved programs (or obtain a waiver). VET TEC was created for veterans pursuing high technology training. VET TEC programs must meet less stringent approval requirements, are not approved for use under the GI Bill, and require a waiver from the executive director for VR&E participants to use them.

The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted this review to assess the allegation that a VET TEC training provider was knowingly enrolling VR&E participants with improper authorizations. The allegation also stated that some VR&E counselors have worked with the training provider while others have not.

Upon review, the OIG substantiated the allegation that VR&E staff improperly authorized 31 participants to attend courses offered by the VET TEC training provider mentioned by the complainant. The team also identified 11 additional VR&E participants attending courses at eight other VET TEC training providers that VR&E staff improperly authorized. Because 33 of 42 VR&E participants were improperly enrolled to attend VET TEC courses, the OIG considers the $387,000 spent on those courses between April 1, 2019, and December 31, 2022, as improper payments.

The improper authorizations occurred because VR&E staff were not adequately informed about VET TEC and were generally unaware the program could not be used by VR&E participants. VR&E controls also did not prevent participants from being authorized for and enrolled in unapproved courses.

The OIG made the following two recommendations to the undersecretary for benefits: develop and implement polices and system controls to verify programs approved meet requirements; and provide training for all appropriate VR&E regional office staff.

Open Recommendation Image, SquareOpenClosed and Implemented Recommendation Image, CheckmarkClosed-ImplementedNot Implemented Recommendation Image, X character'Closed-Not Implemented
No. 1
Open Recommendation Image, Square
to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

Develop and implement policies and system controls to ensure all programs approved for use by vocational rehabilitation counselors for Veteran Readiness and Employment participants meet the requirements of applicable laws and regulations

No. 2
Open Recommendation Image, Square
to Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)

Train all appropriate Veteran Readiness and Employment regional office staff on manual requirement to verify the programs are approved for use before selecting participants and to verify facility codes match from authorization through enrollment.

Total Monetary Impact of All Recommendations
Open: $ 387,000.00
Closed: $ 0.00