Press Releases

Press Releases

Issa Votes To Restore Accountability at the VA

Press Release
Mar 16, 2017

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1259 – the ‘Veterans’ Affairs Accountability First Act of 2017.’ The bill helps create a culture of accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs by providing the VA Secretary increased flexibility to remove, demote, or suspend any VA employee, including Senior Executive Service employees, for performance or misconduct. 

“Restoring accountability is key to getting the VA to function correctly for all of our veterans,” said Congressman Darrell Issa. “This common-sense reform will help ensure that veterans receive the quality health care they deserve and that VA employees who fail to uphold their duty are held accountable. Employees who cover up harmful mistakes or fail to carry out their basic job functions would never be tolerated in the private sector. Government should be no different. I look forward to continuing our efforts to bring long-overdue accountability to the VA and ensuring our nation’s service members have the care they’ve earned.” 

More information on the bill can be read here: https://veterans.house.gov/accountability

Background:

A recent study completed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that, on average, it takes six months to a year, to remove a permanent civil servant for misconduct in the Federal Government, though it often takes longer. Just last year, former VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson testified at a hearing that it was too hard to fire bad employees at VA.

In the past several years, VA’s arcane civil service rules have hampered the department’s ability to dismiss an employee that engaged in an armed robbery; discipline a VA nurse that participated in a veteran’s surgery while intoxicated; and hold employees accountable for the continued failures to manage several major construction projects, including the new hospital in Aurora, Colorado, that is now several years and a billion dollars over budget.

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