Two weeks before President-elect Donald Trump takes office, the Obama administration has highlighted some of the management milestones it’s achieved over the last eight years.
Many veterans groups are hoping President-elect Donald Trump won’t name a new Veterans Affairs secretary, instead, leaving secretary Bob McDonald in his post for at least another couple years. Twenty military and veteran associations have just written to Trump’s transition team, arguing that McDonald’s reform agenda has just started to take hold, and now would be a particularly bad time to install new leadership. Bill Rausch, an Army veteran and the executive director of one of those groups, Got Your Six, provides insight on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) outlined their concerns with the Veterans Affairs Department in a letter to Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Meanwhile, current VA Secretary Bob McDonald said Congress has been the biggest barrier to true transformation at the VA.
More veterans trust the department now than they did two years ago, the Veterans Affairs Department said in a new report detailing its progress on Secretary Bob McDonald’s myVA Transformation.
As more agencies begin to take a closer look at their customer service operations, some organizations, such as the Veterans Affairs Department and the Smithsonian Institution, are developing “customer journey maps” to better respond to consumer feedback and needs.
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee took on the recommendations from the VA Commission on Care’s recent report on veterans health care.
The Obama administration said it agreed with most of the VA Commission on Care’s recommendations to improve veterans health care, adding that the department had started efforts to implement many of them already. President Barack Obama said he disagreed with three of the 18 suggestions.
Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said the Veterans First Act, which the department itself is actively supporting, has hit a few roadblocks. He hasn’t yet been able to bring the omnibus to a vote in the full Senate but said he is optimistic Congress will pass new veterans legislation this year.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is pushing for better integration and communication between the VA and Defense Department in her veterans policy plan. She proposes restructuring the Veterans Health Administration but specifically opposes efforts to privatize VA health care.
Among the VA Commission on Care’s 18 recommendations are proposals that could have major implications for the Veterans Health Administration workforce, from its size and scope to its overall organizational structure. VA Secretary Bob McDonald said the department will respond to the commission’s report in the coming weeks.