Inspection of VA Regional Office Nashville, TN
September 29, 2009
The Benefits Inspection Program conducts on-site inspections at VA Regional Offices (VAROs) to review disability compensation claims processing and Veteran Service Center (VSC) operations. The inspection focused on VSC operations in five established areas of claims processing, data integrity, management controls, information security, and public contact. The Nashville Regional Office met the requirements for processing benefit claims involving diabetes. The office also met all requirements in the areas of tracking claims folders, systematic analysis of operations, date stamp accountability, and accurately and timely handling congressional inquiries. The VARO management team needs to provide additional management attention in processing claims identified as Haas cases, post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injury. Management also needs to improve controls over the following areas: correction of errors identified by VBA’s Systematic Technical Accuracy Reviews (STAR), implementation of the Claims Process Improvement model, safeguards over sensitive information, handling claims-related mail, responding to electronic inquiries, and fiduciary activities. We recommended that the VARO provide refresher training on claims-processing and improve management oversight and controls over operations. The Director of the Nashville VARO concurred with all recommendations except for training Legal Instrument Examiners (LIEs). The Nashville RO provided training to LIEs during the course of our inspection. Our review looked at work performed before that training. Therefore, we consider the actions taken by management as responsive to our recommendation and will perform follow-up as required on all actions.