Lawmakers Push Veterans Affairs to Reevaluate Contracts for Medical Disability Examinations
Veterans Evaluation Services July 1, 2016
WASHINGTON, July 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Veterans Evaluation Services (VES), a national and international provider of medical disability examination (MDE) services for veterans, announced that U.S. lawmakers have called on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to reevaluate contracts that lack proper competition, which could slow down the delivery of disability benefits for veterans.
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) individually wrote to the VA to highlight that several recently awarded contracts, which were to be made to two separate companies to ensure competition, were actually awarded to QTC and VetFed, which are "essentially one entity," Flores wrote.
VA awarded 12 contracts in March, totaling $6.8 billion for the enterprise-wide Medical Disability Examination Program under its Public Law 104-275, aiming for a major step forward in improving the disability examinations experience for veterans. Two firms in each district would be awarded these contracts and each would receive a guaranteed 35 percent of the MDEs in that district. QTC and VetFed received the majority of the awards, though VetFed refers its evaluations to QTC, negating competition, Poe wrote in his letter. QTC is a unit of Lockheed Martin.
"Our veterans deserve nothing less than the best MDE services that the VA can arrange, and robust and transparent competition in all Districts will ensure that the VA is able to deliver the best in MDE service to our Veterans," Poe wrote.
VES has filed a protest with the General Accounting Office (GAO) regarding the contract awards in the districts involving QTC and VetFed, and expects a decision in July.
In their letters, Poe and Flores also note that VES was the only bidder that received a rating of "Excellent" in every criteria considered by the VA. VES' timeliness is currently around 15-days, while QTC and VetFed have been around 40 days, Poe and Flores note.read more here