Benefits

Senate bill likely to draw more vets into VA health care system, CBO says

A Senate bill aimed at improving veterans' access to care at the Department of Veterans Affairs could carry a hefty price tag, according to a preliminary assessment of one portion of the bill by the Congressional Budget Office.

FEND

VA IG demands whistleblower files

The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General has issued a subpoena to a government watchdog group, directing it to turn over information the organization has collected through a confidential tip-line created to gather information from VA whistleblowers.

Pay

Bill would ban VA bonuses

The House passed legislation June 10 that includes a measure that would ban bonuses for all Department of Veterans Affairs employees through fiscal 2016.

FEND

Insight by Mike Causey: VA fallout

If you've ever gotten a bonus from your agency, cherish the moment. Hold that thought and remember how much it was, and how proud you felt when you got it. Why the trip down memory lane? Because as the ever-widening "scandal" at the Department of Veterans Affairs spreads, it could have an impact on bonuses and job security in other federal agencies, up to and including yours ...

FEND

Lawmakers propose slate of VA fixes

Senate and House lawmakers have proposed a range of legislative remedies aimed at reforming senior management at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and increasing veterans' access to care.

Employee Policy

Sanders, McCain announce bipartisan VA bill

Two key members of the Senate announced they have agreed on legislation aimed at improving veterans' access to health care and tackling the much-publicized problems plaguing the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Benefits

McCain bill would let vets seek care outside VA system

Several Republican senators have introduced a bill aimed at quickly addressing problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs by giving veterans greater flexibility to seek care outside the VA system at the government's expense.

Employee Policy

Lawmaker wants VA union reps to resume official jobs

The chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs has asked the new leader of the Department of Veterans Affairs to order VA employees who are using “official time” to perform union business to return to their regular jobs.

Benefits

Lawmaker wants to fast-track fixes for VA

Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) over the weekend laid out a legislative package he said would correct problems that hinder veterans' access to medical care.

FEND

VA whistleblower website launched

A government watchdog group and a veterans service organization last month launched a website for Department of Veterans Affairs employees to report mismanagement, fraud and abuse.

Employee Policy

VA's Shinseki steps down

Shortly after publicly taking responsibility for problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs on May 30, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki tendered his resignation as leader of the organization.

Benefits

VA OIG releases interim report on Phoenix facility

An ongoing review of the Department of Veterans Affairs Phoenix Health Care System by the department's Office of Inspector General has identified 1,700 veterans who were waiting for a primary care appointment but were not on the facility's waiting list, according to an interim report issued by the OIG.

Benefits

Shinseki tells vets VA will regain their trust

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki addressed allegations of VA employee misconduct in a message to veterans in advance of the Memorial Day holiday, and offered assurances that the department would re-earn veterans' trust.

Employee Policy

House passes bill to ease firing of VA execs

The House on May 21 passed a bill that would give Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki new authority to fire senior executives for poor performance.

Employee Policy

AFGE says staffing shortage at core of VA woes

While allegations of secret waiting lists implicate senior management at Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, one union claims understaffing is at the heart of the problem of long wait times.

Pay

Legislation bans all SES performance awards at VA

The House on April 30 approved a measure to ban the payment of performance awards to all members of the Senior Executive Service at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Benefits

Senate to probe allegations of patient neglect at VA facility

The Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs will hold a hearing on alleged patient neglect at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., after the department's inspector general completes an independent investigation of the allegations.

Benefits

Survey shows vets satisfied with VHA service

While some members of Congress may not be pleased with the performance of Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities, VA is touting an independent survey that indicates customer satisfaction among their patients is equal to or greater than that of patients of private-sector hospitals.

Employee Policy

Boehner pushes for VA accountability bill

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has thrown in with supporters of legislation that would give the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs the authority to demote or remove senior VA officials for poor performance.

Benefits

VA trims disability claims backlog

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it has reduced the backlog of pending disability compensation claims by 44 percent over the past year.

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