One of the responsibilities of the Consulting Support Service (CSS) is the Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) of each VAMC facility to evaluate its condition. The FCAs are done by a multi-disciplinary team of architects and engineers, working in close conjunction with and receiving valuable input and assistance from facility engineering staffs.
Prior to 1997, there was no centralized nor uniform approach to FCAs. In 1997, VISN 6 leadership requested technical assistance from the Office of Facilities Management. This request resulted in a joint effort between VISN staff to evaluate methodologies and reporting mechanisms used by both private and public entities in performing facility wide capital plant evaluations and assessments of their various systems and equipment. The result was a standardized approach to FCAs, conducted under the leadership of CSS in conjunction with each VISN.
FCA’s are done on a rotating basis, with each VISN being evaluated every 3 years. The information gathered during each FCA is put into an FCA database for each facility identified by building, system, and condition. Each system has an associated cost for identified repairs and replacements. This data allows for planning and expenditure of resources within the VISNs. This information enables the VISN to plan, manage, and direct capital resources against identified needs in a consistently managed approach across the VA system.
In 2011 CSS began performing FCAs on NCA facilities also. Each of the NCA facilities are being accessed and incorporated into the FCA database.
The FCA has enhanced capabilities for management to compare capital facility needs across the VAMCs, VISNs, and NCA MSNs, and has proven to be an invaluable planning tool. It also ensures a uniform basis for system wide planning decisions and the identification of emergent needs.