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AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

Listen to audio of VA manager discuss withholding info for veteran enrollment project

Audio recordings obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reveal a VA manager overseeing a health care enrollment project intentionally withheld critical information from hospital staff across the country that would have made it easier for veterans to gain access to care.

The audio recordings involve internal discussions by VA leaders last year overseeing a project to clear up a backlog of hundreds of thousands of veterans health care applications.

The manager describes how he's been instructed to not provide detailed guidance to staff at more than 150 VA hospitals across the country.

A senior data analyst in Atlanta in the March 2016 conference call expressed concern this strategy of not providing guidance would undermine the project. You can listen to him discussing his concerns at this recording on

An AJC report published online Thursday reveals how the enrollment cleanup project got botched by VA and how officials overseeing it seemed more preoccupied with not enrolling dead veterans so as to avoid further scandal.

In two separate conference call meetings in early 2016, VA officials discussed the risk of enrolling dead veterans. Here's audio from one of those meetings where they discuss those concerns.



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About the Author

Brad Schrade is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter on the AJC’s investigative team.