Subscriber Special - The VA's Luxury Art Obsession Money46

July 26, 2016 10:11 AM
While veterans died; while suicide assistance calls went unanswered; 
while healthcare-claim appeals were backlogged years... 
the VA spent $20 million on high-end art.
by Adam Andrzejewski | CEO at
July 26, 2016
Veterans can't see doctors, but bureaucrats can see expensive art.
Last week, partnering with the COX Media Washington, D.C. investigative reporter Justin Gray, we found Christmas trees priced like cars and sculptures that cost more than five-bedroom homes.
Now we find that the VA commissioned two sculptures - with a price tag of $670,000 - for a VA center serving veterans who are blind. Yes blind.
In an ironic vignette, at a healthcare facility - the new Palo Alto Polytrauma and Blind Rehabilitation Center - the agency wasted $670,000 on sculptures no blind veteran can even see.
The affinity for artwork at the VA has been going on a long time. But, since 2009, the VA disclosed a very dramatic spike in procurement: 
In addition to the $17.69 million spent on pricey art, the VA spent another $2 million on special projects since 2009. Download our PDF record detailing the $20 million in line-by-line art transactions, click here.
At, we are committed to holding the VA accountable.
Last month, we debuted our OpenTheBooks Snapshot Oversight Report - The VA Scandal Two Years Later, with a column at Forbes, Read it here
We found that the VA created 40,000 new positions, but less than one in eleven of those new positions were doctors.  Today, up to 500,000 veterans still wait to see a doctor.
Search by work location our OpenTheBooks interactive map of the 354,000 VA employees with name, position, salary and bonus, click here.
You now have the tools and data to hold the VA accountable. 
It's Your Money. Join The Transparency Revolution!
Matthew Tyrmand
Deputy Director
Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-f-ski)
PS. Our new video describes how our data and technology can help you stop government waste!  Watch it here.
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