"As the instances of systemic dysfunction and lack of leadership at the VA continue to mount, we do not need more damage control - we need to eliminate the damage being done to our nation's veterans."
May 22 2014
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a member of both the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee, will offer the VA Management Accountability Act of 2014 as an amendment during Thursday’s mark-up of the Fiscal Year 2015 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The VA Management Accountability Act of 2014, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday by a vote of 390 to 33, would give the Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary complete authority to fire or demote VA Senior Executive Service (SES) or equivalent employees based on performance. The bill was originally introduced in the House by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL) and in the Senate by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). Sen. Moran is a cosponsor.
"As the instances of systemic dysfunction and lack of leadership at the VA continue to mount, we do not need more damage control – we need to eliminate the damage being done to our nation’s veterans,” Sen. Moran said. “VA personnel should be accountable for their actions; otherwise the current system of mediocrity and failure will remain. This amendment will help make certain that those who violate VA policy and affect the quality of medical care veterans receive are held responsible. We need leaders in the VA who are willing to take a stand, identify the problems, not be afraid to do so and then get on the right path to resolve these problems so that veterans have a Department of Veterans Affairs worth of their service.”
The VA Management Accountability Act of 2014 was developed in response to reams of evidence supporting a widespread lack of accountability in the wake of the department’s stubborn disability benefits backlog and a mounting toll of preventable veteran deaths – including 23 recent fatalities due to delays in care – at VA medical centers across the country. More than a dozen instances of this trend have been documented. In each instance, VA senior executives who presided over mismanagement or negligence were more likely to receive a bonus or glowing performance review than any sort of punishment.
Despite the fact that multiple VA Inspector General reports have linked many VA patient care problems to widespread mismanagement and GAO findings that VA bonus pay has no clear link to performance, VA officials have consistently defended their celebration of executives who presided over poor performance.
Sen. Moran has been a member of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees for 18 years, chaired the Health Subcommittee in the House for two years, and has worked with nine VA Secretaries. The hearing followed Sen. Moran’s call for Secretary Shinseki to resign amidst ongoing systemic dysfunction within the VA system.
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