Legion: ‘Judicial Board needs to allow for VA accountability’

After yet another attempt to discipline a poor performing employee was reversed by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), the head of the nation’s largest veterans service organization added his voice to a growing legion of critics that unelected judges are making it impossible to bring accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“The burden of proof needed to discipline a VA employee, or any employee for that matter, should not be the same as what is required to send an accused murderer to death row,” said American Legion National Commander Dale Barnett. “VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson should be commended for attempting to remove the director of the Albany, N.Y., VA medical center because he felt that she created an environment that was unsafe for veterans. This is just a week after the MSPB ruled that two senior VA officials in Pennsylvania and Minnesota could not be demoted, even after the VA’s own IG report found that they inappropriately manipulated the agency’s relocation system for personal gain.

"President Obama and Congress have promised to restore accountability at the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is almost impossible to do that when VA’s attempts to discipline poor performers are reversed at the end of the appeals process.”

Barnett said that while The American Legion supports the right of any employee to receive a fair hearing, the burden of proof should not be greater than what most taxpayers would expect from their private sector jobs.

“VA employees have been entrusted with a huge responsibility, the health and well-being of our nation’s veterans,” Barnett said. “By tolerating bad behavior without even allowing a slap on the wrist, the MSPB is risking the lives of veterans. The American Legion is calling on Congress, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the MSPB to work together to reform the procedures needed to finally bring accountability to a department that desperately needs it.”

9 Comments

  1. VA Roseburg called me a stalker using another veterans medical file social security administration used said info 6:15-cv-01558-JE
  2. VA Roseburg called me a stalker using another veterans medical file social security administration used said info 6:15-cv-01558-JE
  3. I retired from the VA after serving my fellow vets for over 20 years. My focus was ALWAYS what's best for the vets. In my time, I saw fewer veterans working at the VA, especially in professional roles and management. That led to an influx of people who's main focus is on their career success and not on serving veterans. I was quite successful in the VA and highly regarded by many of my peers. When asked for career advice, I was a bit stymied. I would finally respond that I didn't worry about my 'career', I worried about doing the best for the veterans - EVERYTHING else was secondary. Sadly, that attitude led to my retirement, because almost none of my peers and bosses were veterans.
  4. If they are doing paper trails to discipline Management and have there signature that they understand what they must do and they don't then you write them up again until you have the burden of proof to fire them..
  5. the problem is there is a process to do so the upper management will not fallow, there for the MSPB has no choice but to dismiss the charges, it's a catch 22 that everyone knows about but when the fox guards the hens this is what happens. we need a out side the agency to preform the disciplinary actions. theft by deception should be a slam dunk. but not if you know how to forget to cross the Ts and dot the Is.
  6. For the VA to boast they have fired over 8000 people and then ask what else do they want? is not the answer as long as you fired scapegoats and not the ones calling the shots. We all take orders from someone and it comes from the top. It is at the TOP where the problem lies. If they are to remain and keep the good old boy system and ignore the front line workers who has ideas to make it simple the problems are going to continue. When you go for a C&P exam and told I don't think this occured while you were in service or further test are needed but no further tests are ordered. What do you do? The individual who's in place to (3Ds-deny deny die)are still in place. Many vets served as diesil,gunners or mechanics with ringing in their ears are told too bad. Especially when they all can identify the same Dr telIing them the same thing. Makes you wonder if some are just for show. There is a disconnect when you walk into a room and you can't get eye contact. Yet we protect those people. If we don't continually complain whether something is done or not we're saying it's OK. I've given parts of me the VA and even my God can't give back. The scarring is deep and forever. Yes I'm currently employed at a VA, for how long I'll not know. I'll not worry. But I will give my 100% to every other veteran that walks into my broom closet of a room. That's real talk. My pts. are reminded they do not have a chain of command if they feel they have a legitmate complaint. Hopefully Tri-west can come up with a better way of communicating with pts. and we a veterans in VA continue to command the respect deserved. My and mine alone opinions. Sorry about the rant but bigger VAs are getting all the attention and not results. Hence good old boys club AIN'T going no where even with proof. Go American Legion! Lobe ya to the moon and back.
  7. The President brought in an outsider with corporate experience to clean it up, Congress passed laws that gave the new Secretary all the authority he needed to go around civil service rules to make dramatic moves and send the message that there was a new sheriff in town. Nothing happened since the bureaucracy is so entrenched that no one can effect the changes needed. It is beyond fixing and the only answer is to disband the agency but this would compound the problem since it would pile up files further delay decisions with the usual catch 21 we have become used to. We need a coalition of veterans organization to meet and decide the next step as this entire dilemma can never be resolved. We should take a page out of the Canadian system that identifies a soldier if his record shows he has had basic training. The Canadians with a small cadre of veterans and a smaller budget allow a family caregiver 7 thousand dollars a month care for a terminally ill veteran living at home. Imagine if this was proposed the response from Hill.
  8. The President brought in an outsider with corporate experience to clean it up, Congress passed laws that gave the new Secretary all the authority he needed to go around civil service rules to make dramatic moves and send the message that there was a new sheriff in town. Nothing happened since the bureaucracy is so entrenched that no one can effect the changes needed. It is beyond fixing and the only answer is to disband the agency but this would compound the problem since it would pile up files further delay decisions with the usual catch 21 we have become used to. We need a coalition of veterans organization to meet and decide the next step as this entire dilemma can never be resolved. We should take a page out of the Canadian system that identifies a soldier if his record shows he has had basic training. The Canadians with a small cadre of veterans and a smaller budget allow a family caregiver 7 thousand dollars a month care for a terminally ill veteran living at home. Imagine if this was proposed the response from Hill.
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