VA Secretary Bob McDonald said his department is different enough from other federal agencies that a separate personnel system is appropriate for VA senior executives. McDonald also said the department is working on new performance standards to measure veterans’ satisfaction with VA medical facilities and the time it takes to receive an appointment.
On a quest for more innovative technology, more agencies are opening up satellite offices in Silicon Valley. But some start-ups and venture capitalists say working with the federal government is a hard sell, because the procurement process takes too long and presents too many unknowns.
At nearly 400 pages, the Veterans First Act, which the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee introduced last week, covers everything from veterans homelessness to more flexible work hours for VA doctors and nurses. But VA’s senior executives are still the main target of the legislation.
Gina Farrisee, assistant secretary for human resources and administration at the VA, will become the department’s new deputy chief of staff. Meghan Flanz, deputy general counsel for legal operations and accountability at the VA, will take Farrisee’s place as the assistant HR secretary, a VA spokesperson confirmed.
A new site from the Labor Department will point veterans to the right resources they need to find a job or start their own business when they re-enter civilian life. The new Veterans.gov collects information from a variety of sources and easily organizes it in one place, said Terry Gerton, deputy assistant secretary for policy within the Labor Department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service.
For the second time this year, the Office of Special Counsel said the Veterans Affairs Inspector General isn’t properly addressing three cases of whistleblower allegations. OSC Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner voiced similar concerns about two other cases to President Barack Obama in February.
Bart Stichman, joint executive director at the National Veterans Legal Services Program, talks with Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu on Federal Drive with Tom Temin about a Veterans Affairs Department policy his group says is unfairly denying health care and compensation to more than 100,000 former service members.
Veterans and agency hiring managers have mixed thoughts on the success of the veterans preference program. But there is some consensus that current regulations are too confusing and complex for both veterans and agencies.
The Veterans Affairs Department says nearly 97 percent of veterans received an appointment at a VA medical center within 30 days. But the Government Accountability Office says otherwise. GAO’s own study suggests average wait times range from 22 to 71 days for an appointment.
With roughly nine months until Inauguration Day, VA leadership is trying to implement a major transformation to the way it delivers health care and interacts with veterans and its own employees. But the department needs a plan and a new governance structure in place to ensure that whatever progress is made now endures beyond Jan. 20, 2017.
Dr. David Shulkin, the undersecretary for health at VA, says the agency needs better integration with private sector medical providers in order to “re-engineer” the way veterans access treatment.
Active-duty service members and veterans with disabilities tried out adaptive winter sports during the 2016 National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic. This is the annual event’s 30th year.
Negotiations between the House and Senate VA committees over a new veterans omnibus have stalled, as the Veterans Affairs Department releases more details in its plan to change accountability procedures for its senior executives.
Veterans gathered at VA facilities around the country, as well as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.