Enormous budget problems at the Dept. of Veterans Affairs replacement hospital in Aurora, Colo., are “primarily the result of poor business decisions, inexperience with the type of contract used and mismanagement by VA senior leaders.” Those are the key findings of a Sept. 21 report by the Inspector General’s office. The VA targets the current cost of project completion at $1.68 billion, nearly triple the original $604-million estimate and above the $800 billion approved by Congress. The project is more than two years behind schedule. The report criticizes VA leaders for “significant missed opportunities,” including ignoring ongoing warnings that costs were exceeding the budget, not reconciling “widely divergent cost estimates” between the design team and joint-venture contractor Kiewit-Turner, lax oversight of the design team, and rejecting the contractor’s cost-cutting proposal. The report also cites the VA for not adequately staffing the project and bringing the contractor aboard too late “to provide effective input.”