In response to a congressional request, GAO assessed whether the
Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Statistical Quality Control
(SQC) System reliably estimated the extent of errors made in
adjudicating veterans' claims for compensation and benefits. GAO
found that SQC did not have accurate and reliable information on
claims processing accuracy, since: (1) VA regions did not randomly
select case samples or review cases within the required time
period; (2) VA regions used the same staff that adjudicated the
claims to review them for errors; and (3) the VA central office did
not adequately validate the regions' reported error rates or ensure
that the regions complied with SQC procedures. GAO also found that
VA often inappropriately used SQC data to estimate national claims
processing errors, because SQC could not accurately project total
claims processing error rates, specific program error rates, or
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