June 17, 2014

VA silences whistleblowers, stonewalls investigation and more

FBI opens criminal probe of VA after scandal  The investigation's goal is to determine whether hospital administrators knowingly lied about wait times for veterans in order to receive performance bonuses.

House Chairman: VA Instructed Employees To Stonewall Investigation

Officials in the Obama administration’s Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) appear to have illegally instructed VA employees to stonewall a congressional investigation into the department’s scandals, according to House Committee on Veterans Affairs chairman Rep. Jeff Miller.

At least 175 Veterans Administration whistleblowers targeted for retribution

Emails, audits, and personal statements reveal a systematic silencing of whistleblowers working inside the agency. The NYT reports that the Office of Special Counsel, the federal agency dedicated to probing whistle-blowing cases, is investigating 37 cases in 19 states in which VA employees were punished for speaking out about the fraud in the system. The Project on Government Oversight, a private organization, reports even more cases: 175 former or current employees have come to them confidentially to detail the abuse at the VA.

Why hasn't anyone been fired yet? 

The past five years shows a substantial difference at the VA. From 2008-2013, the VA fired executives at a rate one-fourth the firing rate for government overall, according to the OPM data….The 0.47% federal rate is roughly a third of that for the private sector, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Because the idea of dismissing employees or withholding bonuses is "a bunch of crap" according to Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson

Acting Veterans Administration Secretary Sloan Gibson angrily ruled out firing VA workers en masse for the massive healthcare backlog accused of killing veterans, calling the idea of dismissing employees or withholding bonuses “a bunch of crap".
Posted by Jill Fallon at June 17, 2014 12:40 AM | Permalink