Chairman Miller Statement on VA’s Proposed Disciplinary Actions
WASHINGTON — Following VA announcements that it has proposed the removal of four senior executives, one of whom has already retired and no longer works for VA, Chairman Jeff Miller released the following statement.
“Quite simply, any VA administrator who purposely manipulated appointment data, covered up problems, retaliated against whistleblowers or who was involved in malfeasance that harmed veterans must be fired. Unfortunately, I’m concerned that VA’s implementation of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014 may be interfering with this concept. By creating an added appeals process in which VA employees are given advance notice of the department’s plans to fire them, VA appears to be giving failing executives an opportunity to quit, retire or find new jobs without consequence – something we have already seen happen in recent weeks. Right now, it's incumbent on all of VA's external watchdogs — Congress, the press and the American public — to maintain pressure on the department until those who created VA’s problems receive the accountability they are due. This is the only way veterans and families struck by the VA scandal can get the closure they deserve. If any current laws or regulations are impeding the department’s ability to swiftly hold employees accountable, VA leaders must work with Congress so those laws and regulations can be changed.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs