Denver VA executives receive bonuses after failed projects

Despite four hospital projects going over budget and falling years behind schedule, the Denver Veterans Affairs executives in charge of them received "performance awards" amounting to $22 million since 2007, according Fox.

The newly constructed VA Medical Center in Aurora was scheduled to open in 2015, but the date was pushed back to sometime during 2017 as a result of delays and legal battles with Kiewit-Turner contractors, according to the report.

Now, the Army Corp of Engineers will take over the construction management of the hospital in Aurora from the hands of the VA.

A VA spokesperson called the Aurora hospital project unacceptable, and said the VA will ask the Corps to complete a detailed inspection of the VA major construction program to improve management processes, structures and project oversight and delivery.

Additionally, the VA will convene an Administrative Investigation Board to examine the Denver project to determine any misconduct or mismanagement that contributed to its failure, according to the report.

The most recent Government Accountability Office report in 2013 revealed three other VA hospital projects behind schedule and surpassing budgets by hundreds of millions of dollars.

According to Fox, bonuses were awarded to the executives managing the construction of these hospitals. Glenn Haggstrom, director of logistics and construction, received nearly $64,000 in bonuses in the past seven years.

Washington, D.C. lawmakers questioned whether Mr. Haggstrom deserved the bonuses. Sloan Gibson, deputy secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, said bonuses are officially the property of the recipient once they have been paid and the performance appraisal period has ended.

Representative Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) told Fox the system within the VA is corrupt and incompetent, saying, "The VA abuses the bonuses system probably more than any other agency of the federal government."

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