Secretary Shinseki Announces Progress on $1.4 Billion in Recovery Act Spending
Projects Target Medical Center Upgrades, Energy Efficiency
WASHINGTON – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced today the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) progress in executing more than $1.4 billion as the Department’s share of spending under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), more commonly known as the economic stimulus program.
“In putting America back to work, we are targeting the programs of greatest interest to Veterans – the reduction of our claims backlog, the improvement of our health care facilities, the preservation of our national cemeteries, and the health of Veteran-owned businesses, especially those run by service-disabled Veterans,” Shinseki said.
Funding already committed involves 90 of VA’s 153 medical centers in 38 states and 68 of its 130 national cemeteries. VA met its projection to award 259 projects totaling $151 million by September 4.
Likewise, the value of projects awarded to increase the energy efficiency of VA’s numerous hospitals and clinics has grown to almost $24 million at the 200-day mark.
In keeping with the stimulus plan’s drive to get money into the hands of small businesses, at this point VA awarded approximately 70 percent of non-recurring maintenance projects to Veteran-owned small businesses.
“A major goal for VA’s distribution of economic stimulus funds has been the support of Veteran-owned businesses,” Shinseki said. “These small businesses are helping VA serve our Veterans and help our economy, providing the best value at competitive cost.”
In addition, a combination of previously obligated Recovery Act funds and current construction projects are having positive effects on the Veterans who receive their health care from VA.