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Chairman Miller Statement on MSPB Preventing VA from Firing Linda Weiss

Feb 16, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today Chairman Miller released the below statement regarding the Merit Systems Protection Board decision to overturn the removal of Albany Stratton VA Medical Center Director Linda Weiss. MSPB rulings have now prevented more disciplinary actions under the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act than they have upheld.

 

“No business in the world could operate efficiently and effectively if many of its major personnel decisions were subject to approval by an unaccountable board with a strong bias against accountability. Yet that’s what we have with the MSPB – and it’s setting the entire federal government up for failure. The MSPB forces agency leaders to wastefully accommodate employees they have no confidence in by either keeping them on the payroll or in leadership positions or paying them vast sums of taxpayer money to get them to leave government employment. The MSPB is so biased in favor of misbehaving government bureaucrats that its rulings have actually prevented more disciplinary actions under the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act than they have upheld.  The problems the MSPB is creating are so serious that even senior officials from the labor-friendly Obama administration are seeking to cut the organization out of the disciplinary process for VA senior executives. Sec. McDonald and Dep. Sec. Gibson should be commended for admitting our federal civil service system is in need of reform and pledging to work with Congress to fix this problem because VA needs all the help it can get on this front. That being said, if their proposal has any chance of getting through Congress, it needs to be strengthened. Negotiations with the Senate on this and other issues are ongoing, but when it comes to accountability, we need to create a system that allows VA’s most senior leaders to swiftly fire and discipline employees for cause, without being second guessed by biased bureaucrats who favor misbehaving government employees over taxpayers and veterans.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

 

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