Veterans Affairs

  • David Wise, Director of Physical Infrastructure Issues, GAO

    A Veterans Affairs hospital construction project is shaping up to be a classic failure. Late and over-budget, the billion dollar Denver facility is only 62 percent complete. And now a court rules, the contractor could legally walk away from the whole thing. Judges for the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals say the VA has acted in bad faith. This mess has not escaped notice of the Government Accountability Office. David Wise, the director of physical infrastructure issues at GAO, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to explain more of what went wrong and whether it can be salvaged.

  • Baylee Crone, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans

    Nearly one in three homeless veterans calling a Veterans Affairs help hotline was sent to voicemail in fiscal 2013. That’s just one of the issues uncovered in an Inspector General’s report on the VA National Call Center for Homeless Veterans. The VA has pledged to make changes to the call center. But as the temperatures dip, what other challenges lie ahead in supporting homeless vets? Baylee Crone, executive director at the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with the latest on these problems and details on her testimony before the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

  • Disability hiring on the rise, OPM says

    Four years after a push from the President, the federal government is hiring employees with disabilities at a rate that’s higher than it’s been in decades, according to a new report from the Office of Personnel Management.

  • Emily Kopp, Reporter, Federal News Radio

    Three whistleblowers at the Veterans Affairs Department are the “Public Servants of the Year.” The Office of Special Counsel awarded the employees, all doctors, with the distinction. Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner said, “because of these doctors’ efforts, veterans are now far more likely to receive the treatment they deserve.” Federal News Radio’s Emily Kopp was at the ceremony and joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss their story.

  • Ed Meagher, Husky Elf, Operation Covert Santa

    Operation Covert Santa is looking for new recruits. Ed Meagher is Husky Elf of Operation Covert Santa, and also known for his role as former Deputy Assistant Secretary and Deputy Chief Information Officer of the Department of Veterans Affairs. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he said Operation Covert Santa is a simple job with huge rewards.

  • VA fires troubled Phoenix hospital director

    By BRIAN SKOLOFF and MATTHEW DALY Associated Press PHOENIX (AP) — Nearly seven months after the Department of Veterans Affairs became embroiled in a nationwide scandal, the agency fired the head of its troubled Phoenix…

  • Jared Serbu, DoD Reporter, Federal News Radio

    The Veterans Affairs Department is on the street with a new procurement to replace its patient scheduling system. The department has used the current system since 1986. It’s the one scheduling staff used to manipulate data on patient waiting times in Phoenix and several other locations across the country. Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu writes about this RFP and more in this week’s edition of Inside the Reporter’s Notebook.

  • Merit Board upholds senior exec’s firing in VA scandal

    The Merit Systems Protection Board has affirmed the Veterans Affairs Department’s decision to ax James Talton, one of the first senior executives targeted under a new law that speeds up the removal process. Talton headed the Central Alabama Veterans Administration Healthcare System.

  • VA to spend $60 million more on cyber after auditors’ continued concerns

    Steph Warren, VA’s CIO, said he moved money out of projects and into cybersecurity to ensure the agency gets rid of as many material weaknesses as they can. The decision to move money comes as Congress turns back up the heat on VA to correct long-standing and systemic cyber shortcomings.

  • John Palguta, Vice President for Policy, Partnership for Public Service

    The Veterans Affairs Department finally fired Terry Gerigk Wolf last week. The former director of the Pittsburgh VA center had been on paid leave since June following a review of a Legionnaire’s disease outbreak that claimed the lives of six patients there. Wolf is the fourth senior executive to be removed under the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act of 2014. John Palguta is vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss what that firing means for the future of due process protections for federal employees.

  • James Tuchschmidt, Veterans Affairs Department

    The Veterans Affairs Department has reduced wait times for tens of thousands of veterans seeking health care. Part of the progress comes from the congressionally-mandated Veterans Choice program. It requires the VA to issue choice cards to vets so they can seek medical care from private providers with VA footing the bill. VA issued the first batch of cards this month. James Tuchschmidt, acting principal deputy undersecretary for health at the VA, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss the rollout and the program.

  • VA’s two-step toward a new patient scheduling system

    VA will release by Nov. 21 a request for proposals for a new commercial scheduling system and integration services for that scheduling software with its VISTA health IT system.

  • Jared Serbu, DoD Reporter, Federal News Radio

    Leaders at the Department of Veterans Affairs just found out that independent auditors have given their IT security program a failing grade for the 16th year in a row. Federal News Radio DoD Reporter Jared Serbu has details on the security shortcomings and what VA says it’s doing to fix them.

  • VA fires Pittsburgh hospital network’s director

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — The director of the Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs Healthcare System has been fired. The move comes a month after officials determined that she had committed “conduct unbecoming a senior executive,” along with wasteful…