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.
The Veterans Benefits Administration is reverting to previous performance management guidelines, which the American Federation of Government Employees says it too "chaotic."
The Veterans Affairs Department says it's also eliminated 235 expired directives and 85 percent of outdated manuals in effort to cut red tape.
Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin gave a progress report on a wide range of initiatives. He told the Senate VA Committee that the department is still making "incremental change" on hiring, appeals modernization, accountability and a new electronic health record.
The Veterans Affairs Department is expected to run out of funding in the VA Choice Program by the end of 2017. VA Secretary David Shulkin called on lawmakers to find some solution by year-end, even if it's a temporary one.
The Veterans Affairs Department indicated more key announcements are coming soon about the next steps for its major electronic health record project.
The Veterans Affairs Department said it's having trouble meeting its hiring goal of 1,000 new mental health professionals by the end of the year.
Restoring veterans' trust and mending gaps between the department's headquarters and its employees in the field are top priorities for Tom Bowman, the president's nominee to be the deputy VA secretary.
Senators have two very different proposals to redesign the Veterans Choice Program. Both pieces of legislation represent very different ideologies and sides of a debate that Congress, the Veterans Affairs Department, veterans service organizations and federal employee groups have been having for the past three years.
A small group of senators says the Veterans Health Administration should have its own chief information officer, who would report to the department's undersecretary for health and would oversee all management and procurement decisions related to the health administration's IT systems. It's one of a few specific recommendations from the VA Commission on Care that are beginning to appear in new pieces of legislation.
The Veterans Affairs Department once again needs congressional authority to transfer funds from one account to another to keep the Veterans Choice Program running for the rest of fiscal 2017. VA Secretary David Shulkin says the issue emphasizes the need to redesign the program, yet Congress has its concerns about the viability of Choice in the near and long term future.