Report finds delays in building veterans hospitals

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government auditors say the construction of four veterans' medical centers is taking on average about three years longer to complete than estimated and costs an extra $366 million per project.

Republican Rep. Mike Coffman says the Veterans Affairs Department's oversight of construction projects is dysfunctional and leads to delayed health care for many veterans.

The medical centers behind schedule are in Las Vegas, Orlando, Fla., Denver and New Orleans.

The Government Accountability Office says several factors contributed to the delays, some out of the VA's control. However, one overriding problem was the VA's inability to deal with design changes in a timely manner. Such changes are common on large projects, and the GAO says revisions should be negotiated within weeks. But it often took the VA six months or longer.

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