The VA has launched what it is calling the “Seek to Prevent Fraud, Waste and Abuse (STOP FWA)” initiative, centralizing and taking a consistent approach to existing efforts spread across its components.

An announcement said that the department’s three main branches–dealing with health, benefits and cemeteries–as well as various staff offices all have had separate budgets and programs targeting fraud, waste and abuse.

It said for example that the office of community care prevented $27 million of potentially fraudulent payments in fiscal 2016 and the debt management center referred more than $11 million in potentially fraudulent activity so far in this fiscal year.

However, taking a central, department-wide approach “will eliminate duplicative activities and explore potential partnerships with other federal agencies to capitalize on their successes in detecting fraud, waste and abuse,” it said.

The department also is creating an advisory committee on preventing fraud, waste and abuse to provide insight into lessons learned and private-sector practices; identify analytical tools that can be used; and support the building mature and effective programs, it said.