This week saw the introduction of H.R. 1994 – The Veterans Affairs Accountability Act. Following the spate of recent evidence that points to continuing malfeasance and mismanagement within the agency, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs is now authorized “to remove or demote a VA employee based on performance or misconduct.” It has been nearly a year since the VA Secretary was empowered by Congress to dismiss senior VA managers – the first being the director of the Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System following ceaseless reports of malfeasance and mismanagement under his direction. However, that has only happened twice since.
The new Act authorizes the dismissal of mid-level employees, who many feel bear the responsibility for many of the recent incidents. This is highlighted by the recent evidence given by one VA employee, Kristen Ruell, to Congress earlier this month, where she stated her managers were instructing us to change the dates of claims – on any claims, regardless of the circumstances – if they were older than a certain date.” This clear manipulation of data records was one of the reasons the director in Alabama was finally dismissed.
The introduction of this bill is the government’s reaction to what is happening within the VA now. How that goes on to actually improve the quality and timeliness of healthcare that veterans are currently receiving remains to be seen. If you think our veterans deserve much more than becoming victims of one agency’s malfeasance and mismanagement, please Like & Share this post.
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