VA Considers Its Facilities Footprint

Listening sessions will result in recommendations on modernization and realignment of department facilities

By By Dan Hounsell
April 1, 2021

Barbara Kalbfleisch /

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is going through some major introspection these days. For example, VA Secretary Denis McDonough recently discussed the American Rescue Plan bill, which contains more than $17 billion of additional funding for the department.

In addition, the VA also is kicking off the multi-year process that could culminate in a transformative reshaping of the department’s physical footprint, according to Government Executive. VA officials are in the midst of conducting 50 listening sessions with veterans across the country to ask about their future needs and identify where facilities might have become obsolete.

Early next year, VA Secretary Denis McDonough will submit recommendations on the modernization and realignment of department facilities to a commission made up of individuals nominated by President Biden in consultation with leadership in both parties. In making recommendations, VA and the commission will consider whether a site is meeting VA standards, the potential cost savings from a closure, when those savings would occur, if it would harm VA’s ability to carry out its mission and input from local stakeholders.

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