Alexander Cosponsors Bill to Hold VA Officials Accountable

Says legislation allows immediate removal or demotion of senior employees at the VA for poor job performance

Posted on May 30, 2014

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“We owe our veterans a debt of gratitude we couldn’t possibly repay, so the idea that many are not receiving the care they deserve is unacceptable. There has been a lack of accountability at the VA, and this bill will allow for timely and effective action to hold the people in charge accountable for their failures.”– Lamar Alexander 

WASHINGTON, May 30 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today announced he will cosponsor legislation introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) that would allow the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to immediately fire or demote Senior Executive Service employees for poor job performance.

“We owe our veterans a debt of gratitude we couldn’t possibly repay, so the idea that many are not receiving the care they deserve is unacceptable,” Alexander said. “There has been a lack of accountability at the VA, and this bill will allow for timely and effective action to hold the people in charge accountable for their failures.”

Following numerous allegations of mismanagement at Veterans Affairs health facilities, including those in Tennessee, the VA Management Accountability Act gives the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs the authority to make necessary personnel changes immediately. It also requires a written explanation to the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees within 30 days of taking such action. Currently, the system requires 30 days’ notice for termination and allows for an appeals process.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed an identical version of the bill, H.R. 4031, on May 21 by a bipartisan vote of 390-33. The bill is supported by several veterans organizations including the AMVETS, The American Legion, Concerned Veterans for America, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and the Reserve Officers Association.

In addition to this legislation, Alexander has sent several letters requesting information on Veterans Affairs health facilities in Tennessee and around the nation. Those letters are available here, here, and here.

 

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