Congress passes Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act

| June 15, 2017 | 10 Comments

PFM sends us a link to the Federal News Service which reports that the House passed the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act by a 368-55 margin. The Senate passed the bill by voice vote last week. The bill would make it easier for the VA Director to make decisions about who stays and who goes at the Department. Democrats usually opposed the measure in defense of unions.

Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), the ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said he wouldn’t have supported the bill if he thought the legislation stripped away federal employees’ due process rights.

“It is true we need accountability,” Walz told the House Rules Committee during a June 12 hearing on the accountability bill. “That’s not code word for something. That’s not code word to fire everybody. That’s not code word to break a union. It also shouldn’t be code word to pretend everything is fine there and everything is working well.”

[…]

But federal employee groups have said the bill will do little to tackle accountability problems at VA — challenges that many experts say are entrenched within the department and its culture.

According to the article;

The legislation will:

Shorten the time employees have to respond to a disciplinary action,
Shorten the time grievance process to 21 days,
Expedite the appeals process for rank-and-file employees with the Merit Systems Protection Board,
Eliminate the MSPB as an avenue for senior executives to appeal disciplinary actions. Instead, SES can appeal directly to the VA secretary and challenge the decision in the courts,
Codify and strengthen the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection, which President Donald Trump created in a recent executive order, and
Prohibit bonuses and relocation expenses for employees who have been found guilty of wrongdoing or abuse.

Chief Tango sends a link from the Associated Press;

Trump promised to fire VA employees “who let our veterans down,” describing the government’s second-largest agency and its more than 350,000 employees as “the most corrupt” and “incompetent.”

The bill’s passage “is GREAT news for veterans!” Trump tweeted Tuesday night. “I look forward to signing it!”

I guess we’ll see.

Category: Veterans' Affairs Department

Comments (10)

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  1. 2banana says:

    Can they now fire the lesbian VA fraud supervisors?

    Judge overturns demotion of VA official accused in job scam

    http://www.militarytimes.com/story/veterans/2016/02/01/judge-overturns-demotion-va-official-accused-job-scam/79653164/

    • jonp says:

      “Everybody Knew we were scum so it’s to defraud our vets” Hell of a defense but I guess a nearly $200k paycheck will let you sleep at night if you have no conscience.

      Doing away with being able to automatically challenge any discipline in court would be a good start. WTF?

  2. IDC SARC says:

    “the most corrupt” and “incompetent.”

    I thought that was congress

  3. 26Limabeans says:

    Just imagine if AD people had a union.

  4. OWB says:

    Well. Let us hope that this does indeed improve at least part of the problem. Yeah, for some reason, many of us are skeptical and will believe it helps when we see folks clearing out their desks, no longer getting paid for their wrong doing, and the stupid bonus system ceases to exist.

  5. ChipNASA says:

    *holds breath*
    *turns blue*
    *Thump*

  6. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    “Wretched hive of scum and villainy”…I always thought Obi-wan was talking about DC in general.

  7. SGT Ted says:

    They need to break the union. Union protectionism and cronyism is the root of the VA’s dysfunctions. They can go to a term contract and retirement system like the Military.

  8. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Show me.

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