Accountability for SES Senior Executives
Previous efforts to ease the discipline of VA’s Senior Executive Service members, implemented after the 2014 Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, stalled when the Obama administration declined to defend the provision in federal court.Transitioning
- 4 days ago – January 3, 2017
The House on Tuesday approved a measure to require the Veterans Affairs Department to permanently note reprimands in employees‘ personnel files, MAKING THE ACCOUNTABILITY MEASURE THE FIRST BILL THE CHAMBER APPROVED IN THE 115TH CONGRESS.
Federal Employee Accountability Bill Is First Approved by House in New Congress
- The House on Tuesday approved a measure to require the Veterans Affairs Department to permanently note reprimands in employees’ personnel files, making the accountability measure the first bill the chamber approved in the 115th Congress.
- The Ensuring VA Accountability Act would mandate that VA keep copies of reprimands and admonishments in the employee’s permanent record for as long as they are working for the department. Currently, “admonishments” remain in employees’ records for two years and “reprimands” for three.
- “The artificial limitations make it difficult for VA managers to properly review employee performance and obtain an accurate picture of their work history,” the Republican Policy Committee said.
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- The prioritization as the first bill in the new session of Congress — following only a resolution to set the House rules for the 115th Congress — could signal VA and federal employee accountability will be a key area of focus over the next two years.
- Congressional Republicans have fought since 2014 to make it easier to fire VA employees and restrict their bonuses, though many of their efforts were blocked by their Democratic colleagues or President Obama. President-elect Donald Trump spoke throughout his campaign of the need for VA reform and as part of his official platform promised to bring more accountability to VA senior executives.
- “I think that’s a good sign,” Dan Caldwell, vice president of policy for Concerned Veterans for America, a conservative group that backs increased accountability measures, said of Tuesday’s vote. He added Congress would need to pursue “much deeper” reforms to “really make a difference.”
- Previous efforts to ease the discipline of VA’s Senior Executive Service members, implemented after the 2014 Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, stalled when the Obama administration declined to defend the provision in federal court.
- Later in the 115th Congress’ first week, the House will consider a series of bills aimed at providing more oversight of federal agencies. The Taxpayers’ Right to Know Act would require the Office of Management and Budget to post online information related to “the cost and performance” of federal programs that exceed $1 million. The House approved the bill in 2015, but it stalled in the Senate. It will also vote on a measure that would require agencies to give all federal records requested by the Government Accountability Office to the auditing agency, and authorize GAO to bring civil actions against those who fail to comply. The House will also consider Office of Special Counsel reauthorization and a bill to bring more transparency to federal advisory committees.
- Later in the week, the House will vote on the 2017 Midnight Rules Relief Act, which would allow Congress to nix en bloc regulations finalized by agencies within 60 legislative days of the end of a presidential term. It will also consider the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which Republicans have pushed for years and would require congressional approval of rules and regulations that would produce an impact on the economy of more than $100 million.
FACT CHECK ANYONE…
Sep 3, 2015 – Pedestrians walk past the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, May 10, 2013.
AND NOT A SINGLE GOVERNMENT PUBLIC SERVANT AT THE VA WAS FIRED.
ACCORDING TO THE APRIL 22, 2015 NEW YORK TIMES, THE ACTUAL NUMBER IS: ZERO.
As the Times recalls, soon after the “Sixty heads rolled!” headlines were written, the Department of Veterans Affairs backpedaled and said that only 14 people had actually been removed.
THAT WAS A LIE, TOO.
AS SO OFTEN IN THE OBAMA YEARS, IT FELL TO A COMMITTEE OF CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS TO FLOG THE TRUTH OUT OF THE ADMINISTRATION, AND IT TOOK MONTHS OF EFFORT:
The documents given this month to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, which provided them to The New York Times, show
THAT THE DEPARTMENT PUNISHED A TOTAL OF EIGHT OF ITS 280,000 EMPLOYEES FOR INVOLVEMENT IN THE SCANDAL.
One was fired, one retired in lieu of termination, one’s termination is pending, and five were reprimanded or suspended for up to two months.
The only person fired was the director of the Phoenix hospital, Sharon Helman, who technically was removed not for her role in the manipulation of waiting lists but for receiving “inappropriate gifts,” according to the department.
In a statement released Wednesday night, the department did not dispute the numbers released by the committee, but said that more than 100 other employees were facing disciplinary action.
OVER A YEAR AND A HALF LATER as of OCTOBER 28, 2016 there were still over 300 UNTOUCHABLE (SES) Senior Executives STILL EMPLOYED BY the Veteran’s Administration AND VA senior executives still collecting bonuses of over $10,000.00 a year
Oct 30, 2016 – October 31, 2016. 54 … She received a bonus of $9,120 in January 2016. … /
THERE IS NO PLACE IN THE PRESIDENT TRUMP’S GOVERNMENT AGENDA FOR THIS BEHIND OUR BACKS, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS UNTOUCHABLE, UNFIREABLE, 7000 SES SENIOR EXECUTIVES, A CORRUPT, LAYER OF POWER AND GREED IN THE VETERAN’S ADMINISTRATION OR ANY OTHER BRANCH OF THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT.
WHICH IMPAIRS THE PRESIDENT’S ABILITY TO SUPERVISE THE EXECUTION OF THE FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE LAWS
“SECTION 707 THUS VESTS A FEDERAL EMPLOYEE WITH THE FINAL AUTHORITY —
UNREVIEWABLE BY ANY POLITICALLY ACCOUNTABLE OFFICER OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
to determine whether to uphold the removal of a [Department of Veterans Affairs],
WHICH INCLUDES THE POWER TO OVERRULE THE DECISION OF A CABINET-LEVEL OFFICER,”
SOMETHING WENT BLATANTLY AMOK IN THE US GOVERNMENT CIVIL SERVICE BETWEEN 1883-2016.
HOW DID THE U.S. GOVERNMENT END UP WITH 7000 (SES) UNFIREABLE UNTOUCHABLES CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES CHARGED WITH LEADING THE CONTINUING TRANSFORMATION OF OUR GOVERNMENT?
Congress must pursue “much deeper” reforms to “really make a difference.”
The bottom line…
Later in the week, the House will vote on the 2017 Midnight Rules Relief Act, which would allow Congress to nix en bloc regulations finalized by agencies within 60 legislative days of the end of a presidential term.