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Combating Privatization: Modifying the Veterans Administration Fiduciary Program To Protect Incompetent Veterans

By Whitney Bosworth Blazek

Abstract

Created to supervise the distribution of Veterans Administration benefits, the Veterans Benefit Administration Fiduciary Program was designed to help thousands of incompetent veterans handle their finances. Rather than directly managing each veteran\u27s funds, the Fiduciary Program employs a privatization model whereby a private individual or institution is appointed to manage a veteran\u27s assets. The Fiduciary Program then monitors these fiduciaries to ensure the veteran\u27s funds are properly expended. This Note argues that in practice this privatization model is seriously flawed and that it exposes some of the most vulnerable portions of the veteran population\u27s funds to misuse. In support of this conclusion, this Note compares the federal statutes, regulations, and internal directives that govern the Fiduciary Program—paying special attention to the Fiduciary Program Manual—with audits performed by the Veterans Affairs Office of Audits and Evaluations and the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Relying on these audits, this inquiry rejects total reliance on substantive statutory reform in light of legislative and judicial barriers. Instead, this Note advocates for critical internal reforms designed to improve the Program\u27s efficiency and functionality, the adoption of a state enforcement mechanism, and reliance on principles of cooperative federalism and interagency cooperation

Topics: Law
Publisher: Duke University School of Law
Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:scholarship.law.duke.edu:dlj-3422

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