A new audit released by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) is predicting that the agency will reach full compliance with its obligations under the Geospatial Data Act in the near future.

The 2018 law sets forth a lengthy list of Federal agency obligations in the use of geospatial data. The OIG report explains that VA makes extensive use of geospatial data to support budget, strategic planning, and policy decisions to provide health care, benefits, and burial services to veterans.

The new audit follows up on a January 2021 OIG report that featured a list of recommendations for VA to reach compliance with the law, and tracks the agency’s generally positive progress since then in reaching compliance.

“The OIG recognizes the complexity of integrating multiple geographic information systems across the agency,” the watchdog report says. “In light of the significant progress VA has made to comply with the act’s requirements, the OIG is making no recommendations for improvement. The OIG encourages VA to complete its planned actions to ensure compliance.”

The audit found that VA was complying with nine out of the 12 requirements of the law, and that one of the 12 requirements was not applicable to VA.

“VA shared geospatial data, allocated geospatial resources, used geospatial data standards, coordinated with other federal and nonfederal entities, and made geospatial information more useful to the public,” the OIG said.

“VA also searched required sources before expending funds to acquire geospatial data, ensured those receiving federal funds for geospatial data collection provided high-quality data, and designated representatives to coordinate with other lead covered agencies,” the watchdog said.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.