VA construction chief resigns amid management failures in hospital projects

Glenn Haggstrom, construction executive of the Department of Veterans Affairs, has reportedly stepped down following several major management failures that contributed to billions of dollars in cost overruns in hospital projects in Aurora, Colo., New Orleans, Orlando, Fla., and Las Vegas, according to The Denver Channel.

The chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs called the budget overrun in the Aurora hospital the biggest construction failure in the history of the VA. The initial budget for the hospital project was $328 million, but the latest estimate of the cost is $1.73 billion, according to the report. However, federal law limits the total price to a cap of $880 million, which is expected to be reached in April.

The Army Corps of Engineers has taken over the construction project, but funding still comes from the VA.

Many government representatives have expressed dismay over Mr. Haggstrom's failures and the VA's decision to allow him to retire in his own will, meaning he will receive a lifetime pension. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, said the total overruns for the four hospital projects exceeds $2 billion.

"He should have been fired years ago and his ill-gotten bonuses should be rescinded," Rep. Coffman said in a statement.

Senator Cory Gardner, R-Colo., said, "I've repeatedly called for accountability at the VA for those responsible for the construction delays, cost overruns and repeated failures to meet deadlines at the Aurora facility. Today's announcement is a long-overdue first step. Our veterans deserve better than the incompetence we’ve seen from the VA. I will continue to press for the VA to replace those whose decisions have led to these failures with qualified and competent officials dedicated to serving those who have served our country. The time for excuses is over. The VA must continue to clean house, while swiftly completing the facility they promised and veterans need."

More articles on executive moves:
Cameron Memorial Community Hospital CEO Greg Burns resigns
HackensackUMC at Pascack Valley names Emily Holliman CEO
OhioHealth names David Miller vice president of north region

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