In today’s Federal Newscast, Senate and House Veterans Affairs committee leaders are demanding answers from the VA about claims involving secret wait lists for veterans seeking care.
The Department of Veterans Affairs said it’s ready for MISSION Act implementation by June 6, despite concerns from Congress, the U.S. Digital Service and at least one veterans service organization who have suggested otherwise.
As Congress piles on new initiatives for the Department of Veterans Affairs to implement, the agency is struggling to keep up with the IT updates that those new or enhanced programs demand.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has six months to consolidate disparate community care programs into one, revamped veterans choice program. But lawmakers are concerned VA won’t successfully meet its deadlines amid a “constant churn” of agency leadership.
New Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie addressed Congress for the first time since his confirmation about 60 days ago.
The president’s nominees for the Veterans Affairs Department’s chief information officer and accountability and whistleblower protection director promised they would spark a long-awaited culture change at the agency.
The new Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie said several new people will be taking top-level leadership positions at the agency shortly. Pamela Powers will be the department’s new chief of staff and Chris Syrek will be VA’s deputy chief of staff.
President Donald Trump plans to nominate James Gfrerer to be the next assistant secretary for information and technology and CIO at VA.
Robert Wilkie, the president’s nominee for secretary of Veterans Affairs, said he would faithfully implement the VA MISSION Act, but oppose efforts to fully-privatize VA health care.
Senate Veterans Affairs Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and three other senators are asking the VA inspector general to review the department’s implementation of the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act.