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Winston-Salem Faces a Weighty Problem

VA's OIG found the overflow of Veteran's claims folders not only put the files at risk of fire and water damage, but could affect the structural integrity of the VA's Winston-Salem Regional Office. Photo by VA's Office of Inspector General.

Veterans often criticize the amount of paperwork that accompanies the Department of Veterans Affairs’ claims process. VA’s Office of Inspector General issued a report earlier this month that proved Veterans’ point.

According to VA’s OIG’s report, there was so much paperwork being stored at the Winston-Salem Regional Office in North Carolina that the weight of it had the potential to affect the structural integrity of the building.

VA’s OIG included photos of Veterans’ files piled on top of filing cabinets at the RO. The weight of the paperwork had caused the floors to bow. Winston-Salem’s storage methods also potentially exposed Veterans’ records to fire and water damage and could exacerbate the on-going problem with lost records.

Although the RO’s staff moved the overflow to other floors in the building, the stacks of files caused at least one injury. In 2011, an RO employee suffered from a minor shoulder injury after stacks of files fell on him. The Winston-Salem RO provided NBC News with a photo showing the excess files were moved.

Winston-Salem is not the first RO with a storage problem. In 2010, VA’s OIG found a similar situation at the Roanoke, Virginia RO.

0 Response

  1. Thomas Stephens

    Another example of the lack of pro-active management. The current conflicts have been going on for at least the past 10 years and VA has failed miserablyin securing funding and manpower to handle the increase in veteran claims and the resultant paperwork. Clearly a case of bureaucratic incompentancy.

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