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Improving Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs

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posted on Apr, 28 2017 @ 05:44 AM
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President Trump has ordered an overhaul and cleanup of the Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

A department will be set up to accomplish this. He has this one on a short time-line, within 45 days.

Presidential Executive Order on Improving Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs


This order is intended to improve accountability and whistleblower protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by directing the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Secretary) to establish within the VA an Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection and to appoint a Special Assistant to serve as Executive Director of the Office.


Trump is telling them to start removing people who are not doing their jobs.


advise and assist the Secretary in using, as appropriate, all available authorities to discipline or terminate any VA manager or employee who has violated the public's trust and failed to carry out his or her duties on behalf of veterans, and to recruit, reward, and retain high-performing employees



identify statutory barriers to the Secretary's authority to discipline or terminate any employee who has jeopardized the health, safety, or well-being of a veteran, and to recruit, reward, and retain high‑performing employees; and report such barriers to the Secretary for consideration as to the need for legislative changes


At the same time, he wants them to start cutting back on wasteful spending:

(i) whether some or all of the functions of the Office are currently performed by an existing VA office, component, or program;

(ii) whether certain administrative capabilities necessary for operating the Office are redundant with those of another VA office, component, or program; and

(iii) whether combining the Office with another VA office, component, or program may improve the VA's efficiency, effectiveness, or accountability.


Finally!
Our Veterans deserve to have the services promised to them.




posted on Apr, 29 2017 @ 10:50 PM
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a reply to: BlueAjah

I pray this is meaningful and gets traction.

The problem is the VA is a bureaucracy. They all get too big. Eventually they all become about self-preservation versus doing whatever it is they were tasked with in the first place.

Most likely scenario? Circle-the-wagons mentality will take over. Those who really need to go will tell the auditors anything. Folks who should probably be kept with get thrown under the bus. Lots of Dog and Pony BS to demonstrate the "New VA!".

This is because the bureaucrats will get educated on how to more effectively run their jobs program versus how to more effectively take care of the vets.

Sorry. I know I sound cynical. If the VA cannot get their act together after all the heat of the last 15+ years, what are we supposed to expect?



posted on Apr, 30 2017 @ 03:15 AM
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originally posted by: ABNARTY
a reply to: BlueAjah

I pray this is meaningful and gets traction.

The problem is the VA is a bureaucracy. They all get too big. Eventually they all become about self-preservation versus doing whatever it is they were tasked with in the first place.

Most likely scenario? Circle-the-wagons mentality will take over. Those who really need to go will tell the auditors anything. Folks who should probably be kept with get thrown under the bus. Lots of Dog and Pony BS to demonstrate the "New VA!".

This is because the bureaucrats will get educated on how to more effectively run their jobs program versus how to more effectively take care of the vets.

Sorry. I know I sound cynical. If the VA cannot get their act together after all the heat of the last 15+ years, what are we supposed to expect?



Well hopefully, the cleanup crew will be smart enough to weed them out.

If it comes down to a He said-She said, get rid of them both.

Keep the Dept in place for a couple yrs at least, too.

I really hope they get the help they need.






posted on Apr, 30 2017 @ 02:51 PM
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a reply to: BlueAjah

Okay... he's cutting the budget but adding an "office of accountability" and a special liaison? And how is it differnt from the existing Accountability Act, passed in 2015? How much money is going to be channeled into this new office?

I don't think (as others have said) that the VA needs to be lumbered with even more bureaucracy.



posted on Apr, 30 2017 @ 06:10 PM
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originally posted by: Byrd
a reply to: BlueAjah

Okay... he's cutting the budget but adding an "office of accountability" and a special liaison? And how is it differnt from the existing Accountability Act, passed in 2015? How much money is going to be channeled into this new office?

I don't think (as others have said) that the VA needs to be lumbered with even more bureaucracy.





Maybe they can sell their art collections.


Report: Veterans Affairs Drops $20 million on Art Collection





The federal Department of Veterans Affairs blew through at least $20 million during a decade when the veterans seeking care, including aging veterans of World War II and military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, were shunted aside and performance audits were altered and forged, so that VA employees qualified for performance bonuses.

“Included in the expenditures is a 27-foot artificial Christmas tree for $21,500 delivered to Chillicothe, Ohio and two sculptures costing $670,000 for a VA facility in California that serves blind veterans,” according to the report produced by the government spending watchdog Open the Books.

Open the Books was established as a legacy of Dr. Tom Coburn’s vigilance over government spending during his Senate career.


www.breitbart.com...





posted on Apr, 30 2017 @ 06:33 PM
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I'll believe it when they test us for sarin and DU poisoning.



posted on Apr, 30 2017 @ 09:06 PM
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a reply to: BlueAjah

I thought I would give you a better response than the one I just tossed off.

These Executive Orders are simply "feel good" stunts where he can say he's done something that may draw praise from his base. In reality they accomplish little - and let's take this for example.

He sets up the EO and says "I want it done in 45 days." That's all well and good, but ...
...they have to find a person for the position. Trump was off making a speech to people who love him and wasn't in the WH making decisions. Who decides who fills that position? Right now, we don't know, but even if it's Trump and this is one position he can directly appoint, he's got to have someone to step in.
And it's Day One of his deadline.

Now, this person is going to need an office to work out of plus phones and computers and printers. You can't shove someone out of an office (you have to find space) and then you have to get them equipment, set up the security on the computers and all and even if everything was there, it's 2-3 days just to get them an office where they can walk in and take charge.

Then there's the issue of who else they will have. They probably need a receptionist (or to share one with someone) and they will need people to work with because there are 1,233 VA facilities in the US (I just looked that up) and there is just no way that one person could have a meeting with the heads of every single facility out there in any sort of reasonable time. Even if they called with a "drop everything, your government wants you in this virtual teleconference Right Now" it would take a week to get things together.

- hiring people takes time. You have to get the applications, check them out, interview, etc - it is not unusual for such a thing to take 2 months to get the right person into the right spot. You will have to hire forensic accountants for the detail work on the finances (an ordinary accountant won't do.) They're not easy to find and they're expensive.

And right there, the "45 days" (like so many other "45 day announcements") simply isn't happening.

How long will it take to review each facility? If you contract it out (expensive) to a firm like Deloitte, it takes several months to do an assessment. Then someone has to compile the data and analyze it to find out where the problems are. This has to be reviewed with each facility (a check and balance) to make sure it's clearly understood that this is a current problem and not something that was resolved.

Now you're talking 9 months or more just to put your investigators into position, investigate the facilities, before you have enough data to begin making recommendations.

...and that's if you subcontract to people who do this all the time. If you're saving money and doing it in-house, it can take a year or more.

(These observations are from experience. I worked for a company with around 2,000 employees that went through this kind of review where Deloitte did the assessment.)

So, if you track the news, look to see when someone is appointed to this "special position" and start tracking. Unless they are doing a sloppy job (with 1,233 centers to investigate) you will find that this kind of fades off into the atmosphere and you don't ever hear about it again. For example, he had a limit of 60 days for the Regulatory Reform Agenda EO. There doesn't see to be any action on that (at least when I google for it) beyond the first hurried announcement.

So I see this, like the other EO's as a hastily conceived action to make himself look good and dynamic, executed without any real understanding of timeframes or structure and doomed to fade off in the sunset. He hasn't called any high level followup meetings to see the outcomes of his earlier EO's.

Compare this to the executive orders of previous presidents. For example, this one from Obama directing a review of the detainees at GitMo has a clear set of processes and no timeline, but we do know that this review did happen. If you look back through the Bushes and Clinton and so forth, again and again you will see EO's with very few timetables given... and certainly none as absurd as "review 1,000 + large facilities and get back to me in 45 days."



posted on Apr, 30 2017 @ 09:09 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

ADDENDUM:

Even if the review of the VA facilities was contracted out to a civilian firm, just the process of getting the contract and the firm getting together the people to start the review (assuming they have the people free) takes at a minimum a month and more likely much longer.



posted on May, 16 2017 @ 09:33 PM
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originally posted by: ABNARTY
a reply to: BlueAjah

I pray this is meaningful and gets traction.

The problem is the VA is a bureaucracy. They all get too big. Eventually they all become about self-preservation versus doing whatever it is they were tasked with in the first place.

Most likely scenario? Circle-the-wagons mentality will take over. Those who really need to go will tell the auditors anything. Folks who should probably be kept with get thrown under the bus. Lots of Dog and Pony BS to demonstrate the "New VA!".

This is because the bureaucrats will get educated on how to more effectively run their jobs program versus how to more effectively take care of the vets.

Sorry. I know I sound cynical. If the VA cannot get their act together after all the heat of the last 15+ years, what are we supposed to expect?


The VA was supposed to help our military Veterans, but Obama didn't want military Veterans to have any help so a good portion of all Veterans are either homeless or are in prison. Part of it is that the PTSD is now getting enough help from those that can help them deal with the PTSD issues.

Trump wants to help our Veterans, those that are ordered to protect the United States and it's citizens.

Trump only wants the Government to be improved and not be so damn regulative.



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