Federal Manager's Daily Report

Because of leadership turnover, the VA has not produced a department-wide succession plan since 2009, a plan that does not reflect current needs, GAO has said.

Of the five leading practices for succession plans identified by GAO, the Veterans Health Administration fully meets two—alignment with strategic goals and identifying strategies for closing workforce gaps—and partly meets the other three—leadership support, analysis of current and future workforce gaps, and monitoring and updating succession plans and strategies. The Veterans Benefits Administration partly met three while at the department level only one was even partially met.


Further, GAO found that the components do not follow all of requirements of the VA’s succession planning directive—which hasn’t been updated since 2003 and doesn’t reflect changes in legal requirements since then.

The report said that the VA agreed with recommendations that it develop a department-wide succession plan and update its succession planning directive.