No bonuses for VA execs

| April 27, 2013

The Stars & Stripes reports that the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has made the “no shit” decision to fore go any performance bonuses for their executive staff because of their inability to overcome the backlog of claims from veterans;

The announcement comes as the department faces increased scrutiny over the backlog, which has remained stagnant for more than a year. The number of disability and compensation claims pending more than 125 days has stayed near 600,000 for more than a year, and the average time to complete a claim now sits at more than nine months.

Critics have blamed the problem in part on underperforming employees and a lack of leadership among senior leaders.

VA officials could not say how much the forfeited bonuses will total. In fiscal 2011, senior executives throughout the department pulled in about $3.4 million in performance awards.

Well, at least the VA has finally admitted that they might be the problem. Now if they could just clean house and put some people in charge who could actually lead their staff.

Category: Veterans' Affairs Department

Comments (15)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Rob Strain says:

    “Well, at least the VA has finally admitted that they might be the problem.”

    I’m not sure about that. I think they’ve just realized that they were caught, again, wasting money on themselves and a glimpse of common sense got through.

    I don’t think we’ll be seeing a turn around over there quite yet.

  2. Hondo says:

    The VA’s averaging 9 months on new claims? Sheesh, they’ve made progress.

    I know of at least one case from 25 years ago that took 10 months. And I don’t think it was particularly out-of-line with norms for that time frame, either.

    At this rate they’ll have the backlog down to zero by the year 2238 or so.

  3. MAJMike says:

    Well, duh!

  4. OWB says:

    Yeah, well, OK. Not gonna pat them on the back for correcting a mistake that there is no excuse for having made in the first place.

    Let’s see. You remained employed in spite of failing to do your job. That is the first mistake. Then give a bonus to people who should never get one even if they were not failures?

    Waaaaaaaay beyond disgusting.

  5. Flagwaver says:

    “…the average time to complete a claim now sits at more than nine months.”

    Last I heard, which was last month from my VSO, is that the claims were sitting at 13 months. Even then, it is unacceptable.

  6. Hondo says:

    The VA appears to have been backlogged regarding claims for at least 2 decades, according to this document from 1994:

    It references a backlog of claims of approx 500k.

  7. Mike Kozlowski says:

    I first asked this question about twenty years ago in response to a remarkable piece of illegal stupidity on the part of a USAF Chief, and it applies here as well:

    “What bothers you more – the fact that they tried it, or the fact THEY THOUGHT THEY COULD GET AWAY WITH IT?”


  8. 9 momths? I wish, Mine took 23 months. On the bad side they probably gave the bonus money to the committee that made to call to not pay the bonuses.

  9. Common Sense says:

    $3.4 million in bonuses last year??? I’ve gone over 3.5 years without ANY bonus or raise because, here in the private sector, I feel lucky just to have a well-paying job.

    So why am I, the taxpayer, providing millions in bonuses to government employees who should be fired for not doing their jobs?

    What a racket.

  10. DaveO says:

    I wonder how much Tammy Duckworth pocketed in her time at the VA?

  11. docstew says:

    Does anyone else feel queasy about bonuses for public servants? Not that there shouldn’t be any monetary incentive to perform well for the few who do their jobs well. But shouldn’t the norm be that someone has to EARN that bonus, rather than a committee stopping it?

  12. Ham&Mothers says:

    #8, did the VA back pay you from your original claim?

  13. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    There are 13 members of the US Senate VA Committee, seven Dems and 6 Repubs. I wondered how many members are Veterans so I visited their bios. GA Senator Isakson was in the GA Air Guard from ’66 to ’72 and Blumenthal (yeah, that one) was in the USMC Reserve from ’70 to ’76, or so says their bios anyway. That’s it. The other 11 = zip.

  14. David says:

    2/17 – think you will find that is in line with the rest of Congress… 113th Congress only has 19% veterans. Sad contrast to my youth when essentially if you had not served, you needed a bloody good excuse not to have served.

  15. usmawife says:

    have a good friend who has been trying to go his claim with the VA since 1977. Friendly staff members would shred orders for a new wheelchair in front of him as they laughed. the crap they do to vets is HORRIBLE. One day I hope these same people are recipients of the treatment they are giving to other. What goes around, comes around