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` Office of Audits and Evaluations VETERANS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION Inadequate Governance of the VA Police Program at Medical Facilities AUDIT DECEMBER 13, 2018 REPORT #17-01007-01
In addition to general privacy laws that govern release of medical information, disclosure of certain veteran health or other private information may be prohibited by various federal statutes including, but not limited to, 38 U.S.C. §§ 5701, 5705, and 7332, absent an exemption or other specified circumstances. As mandated by law, the OIG adheres to privacy and confidentiality laws and regulations protecting veteran health or other private information in this report. Report suspected wrongdoing in VA programs and operations to the VA OIG Hotline: 1-800-488-8244 The mission of the Office of Inspector General is to serve veterans and the public by conducting effective oversight of the programs and operations of the Department of Veterans Affairs through independent audits, inspections, reviews, and investigations.
VA OIG 17-01007-01 | Page i | December 13, 2018 Inadequate Governance of the VA Police Program at Medical Facilities Executive Summary Why the OIG Did This Audit VA police officers are federal law enforcement officers who serve a critical role in securing facilities and protecting patients, visitors, employees, and VA property. They provide security and law enforcement services at Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities and Veterans Benefits Administration offices colocated with VHA facilities. The officers sometimes also provide security for VA national cemeteries. The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) received hotline complaints and other information related to the accountability and performance of VA police officers at medical facilities that included concerns about the sufficiency of police officer staffing and inappropriate conduct while performing police duties. The OIG conducted this audit to determine whether the VA security and law enforcement program (police program) has an effective governance structure to provide reasonable assurance that the program is meeting its objectives. Having an effective governance structure for police is essential to making certain the police program meets standards, officers are accountable for their performance, and VA police maintain the public’s trust. This audit also assessed whether the police workforce has met requirements for size and qualifications and has an adequate inspection program to ensure compliance with policies and procedures. Responsibility for the police program has historically been within VHA, which had a central Security Service office that developed policies and training requirements related to facility security and law enforcement operations. 1 In 1989, VA transferred the VHA’s Security Service function to a newly created department-level program office outside of VHA called the Office of Security and Law Enforcement (OS&LE). Through VA policy changes, the governance of the police program was dispersed between VHA and OS&LE. VHA’s local medical leaders assumed

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