Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson has launched an investigation to determine whether or not he will seek different disciplinary actions for two VA senior executives. Gibson said the investigation should take one week but did not give a timeline on when he would make a decision on punishment.
The White House, Congress and the Department of Justice laid out to-do lists to address problems plaguing the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as legislation to provide veterans with resources for education, economic opportunities, health care and to end homelessness.
While new laws and programs have focused on patients, employee morale remains low at the Veterans Health Administration. As long as that remains the case, patients will not get the best from the VA’s health system, says VA Under Secretary of Health Dr. David Shulkin.
The measure would preserve VA employees’ rights to appeal disciplinary decisions, while shortening the appeals process. VA leaders says they do not need another law, while the White House has threatened to veto the bill out of concern for employees’ due process rights.
VA wants to focus on the specialized care related to veterans’ service that other facilities cannot do. But it may stop providing services commonly found elsewhere.
In 1946, General Omar Bradley stated, while Administrator of the Department of Veterans Affairs, ‘We are dealing with veterans, not procedures; their problems, not ours.’ The VA long ago lost site of this aptly stated goal of the VA.”
Starbucks calls its employees “partners.” Disney has “cast members.” The Ritz-Carlton has “ladies and gentlemen.” The VA’s new Chief Veterans Experience Officer Tom Allin says the department also needs to see its workers in a new light.
The Veterans Affairs Department launches Vets.gov, a digital doorway to help organize online resources for veterans.
Veterans Benefits Administration Under Secretary Allison Hickey told Federal Drive with Tom Temin that roughly 98,000 claims that are older than 125 days have been reduced to about 91,000. a sub-100,000 case milestone reached in late August.
The share of jobs going to veterans has increased steadily each year since President Barack Obama issued an executive order in 2009 to focus efforts on veterans’ employment.