In March, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ senior procurement official, Jan R. Frye, sent a memo to Secretary Robert McDonald accusing other agency leaders of “gross mismanagement.” In the 35-page document, he describes a culture of “lawlessness and chaos” at the Veterans Health Administration, the massive health-care system for 8.7 million veterans.

Frye says the department has been spending at least $6 billion annually in violation of federal contracting rules. Here are nine major points from his memo:

1. From the document:

What he’s saying: Frye says veterans are at risk if the government does not have contracts for private medical care and something goes wrong.


2. From the document:

What he’s sayingVA is spending billions of dollars a year on medical care and supplies without contracts, but the public has no way to see how taxpayers’ money is being spent, Frye says.


3. From the document:

What he’s sayingTop VA officials are ignoring the large discrepancy between authorized spending on medical care and supplies and spending that is done improperly, Frye says.


4. From the document:

What he’s saying: VA has failed to hold anyone accountable for the improprieties he cites, or put contracts in place once officials realized they weren’t negotiated properly, Frye says.


5. From the document:

What he’s saying: Frye says senior VA leaders must be held accountable for the problems with purchase cards he cites.


6. From the document:

What he’s saying: Frye says he analyzed purchase card data from the Veterans Health Administration and found improprieties.


7. From the document:

What he’s sayingThe purchase card program lacks oversight, Frye says.


8. From the document:

What he’s sayingFrye says he has learned from the National Acquisition Center that employees at the Veterans Health Administration are buying thousands of medical supplies in off-the-shelf transactions, without competition.


9. From the document:


What he’s saying: Frye tells McDonald that reforming VA will be challenging unless basic contracting problems are addressed.