Investigation opens into mismanagement of Veterans Crisis Line

An investigation has been opened into the VA’s Veterans Crisis Line as Senator Jerry Moran has compiled solid evidence.
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 8:54 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - An investigation has been opened into the VA’s Veterans Crisis Line as Senator Jerry Moran has compiled solid evidence of veterans in need slipping through the system’s cracks due to mismanagement.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) says that on Wednesday, Nov. 15, he initiated an investigation with the U.S. Government Accountability Office about the Veterans Crisis Line.

Sen. Moran noted that the move follows an alert from current and former Department of Veterans Affairs employees of solid evidence of mismanagement which has created a danger to the health and safety of veterans across the nation.

“VA’s history with secret waiting lists of veterans in desperate need for care is deplorable,” Moran told the GAO. “If the Veterans Crisis Line is letting veterans who reach out in moments of desperation slip through the cracks, as alleged, it needs to be known and it needs to be stopped. With nearly 900,000 contacts made to the VCL in 2022 alone, a 15% increase from 2020, any breakdowns in this lifesaving resource for veterans must be found and corrected immediately. Any program leaders who are aware of gaps in the service and preventing transparency should be held accountable and replaced.”

This week, Moran said he called on VA Secretary Denis McDonough to ensure the VA completely cooperates with an independent investigation of the crisis line.

“The OIG report and subsequent whistleblower allegations raise grave concerns for the health and safety of our veterans,” Moran wrote the VA Secretary. “My expectation is you will take immediate action to guarantee VA’s full cooperation with the oversight by Congress and the investigation by GAO. Without hesitation, I expect you to address all critical deficiencies in the Veterans Crisis Line and take appropriate personnel actions without waiting for the full conclusion of this investigation.”

Moran noted that the investigation would delve into:

  • VCL operations - specifically of the call center, silent monitoring and complex needs
  • Information technology and record retention
  • Oversight and quality assurance

To read the full letter Moran sent to the GAO, click HERE. To read the full letter sent to Sec. McDonough, click HERE.