Some key findings of a government audit released Wednesday finding mismanagement and spending waste at the Department of Veterans Affairs office in Philadelphia:
— VA employees handling pension claims did not respond to thousands of inquiries pending on average for 312 days, due to inadequate staffing. The VA has a five-day standard for response. But as of last July in the Philadelphia office, inquiries were still being mismanaged, leaving veterans without answers of assistance.
— VA regional staff did not act quickly to eliminate duplicate records, resulting in improper payments of about $2.2 million, due in part to poor communication with its headquarters in Washington.
— One VA employee hid four bins of unprocessed mail.
— Staff mishandled more than 6,400 "military file mail," or correspondence deemed to lack sufficient identifying information, even though VA databases could have identified them.