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Chairman Bost’s Statement on VA’s Bonus Distribution Failure

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mike Bost (R-Ill.), released the following statement after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a report – with criminal referrals – that in 2023, VA improperly awarded $10.8 million dollars in bonuses – incentives that were meant for high-demand healthcare and benefits support staff who are vital to VA’s operations following implementation of the PACT Act – instead to VA Central Office senior executives.


“During oversight visits across the country, we have consistently heard from VA police officers, medical supply technicians, housekeepers, and other VA staff about the need for VA to better retain quality employees. Instead of using all of the critical skill incentives to do this, VA inappropriately used the money to line the pockets of VA executives to the detriment of VA’s workforce and the veterans they serve,” said Chairman Bost. “It appears like this was a calculated effort by senior VA leadership including, Undersecretary for Health Dr. Elnahal, and Undersecretary for Benefits Jacobs. The over $10 million dollars in overpayments to VA central office employees were not some type of administrative mistake – that’s a serious problem for the second largest agency in the federal government – and we’re going to get to the bottom of it come hell or high water.”


In September 2023, Chairman Bost and Ranking Member Takano, alongside Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Tester and Ranking Member Moran, sent a joint letter to Secretary McDonough on this issue which can be found here.



In 2022, as part of the expansion of care and benefits for veterans and their families under P.L. 117-168, the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022 (PACT Act), Congress included provisions to build VA’s workforce capacity in response to an expected increase in demand for services. Congress worked with VA to craft Title IX of the PACT Act to address hiring shortages across the enterprise. One such authority in Section 909 allowed VA to provide CSI to employees with “a high-demand skill or skill that is at a shortage” and whose employment serves a critical need. The intended purpose of this authority was to hire positions such as human resources specialists who can aid in hiring for other positions, information technology (IT) professionals to help improve and support VA’s IT systems, and police officers and housekeepers who have faced hiring shortages for years and are essential to the day-to-day operation of VA facilities.
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