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.