FEDweek

VA Auditing Bill Signed; Mobile-Friendly Agency Websites Backed

President Trump has signed into law (P.L. 115-95) a bill authorizing the VA to contract with a nonprofit organization that accredits health care organizations and programs to investigate and assess VA medical centers.

The VA could delegate authority to enter into such a contract to the Veterans Integrated Service Network in which the medical center is located or to the director of such medical center. A VISN director or a medical center director would first have to notify VA headquarters, the department IG and the GAO, in order to coordinate a contracted investigation with any other ongoing studies.

Also, as one of its last actions before recessing the Senate approved and sent to the White House a bill earlier passed by the House, HR-2331, to require that any new public agency websites be accessible through mobile devices. The requirement is not intended to apply to minor or technical updates, according to a House report on the bill.

An OMB memo already imposes a similar requirement; however, 40 percent of all government websites are not accessible or are difficult to access on a mobile device, the report says. The bill also requires OMB to review and report on agency compliance.