President Trump keeps up with his promise of “draining the swamp.” However, this is bad news for hundreds of Veteran Affairs officers that have either lost their job or have been suspended.
It has been noted that around 500 employees of the VA have been fired and 200 have been placed on suspension and around 30 have been demoted. It has been reported that “those disciplined include 22 senior leaders, more than 70 nurses, 14 police officers, and 25 physicians.”
Taking into account the scandal that took over the media, as several veterans died during the never ending waiting for their required treatment at the VHA, only nine employee were targeted out of a pool of 57 employees that were held responsible, and only three were removed from their position – President Trump and administration stood by the promise he made during his campaign; to “take care of our veterans like they’ve never been taken care of before.”
Trump argued that the previous laws had “…kept the government from holding those who failed our veterans accountable.”
It was in June that Veterans Affairs Chief David Shulkin announced that would be making some important changes under the new law that President Trump and his administration introduced to minimize the restrictions placed on terminating VA employees. Shulkin went on to call it as an action that was much needed to reform the organization.
VA is the very first government agency to take the initiative to make their employee disciplinary date public. It was this Friday that the VA announced that they shall make their actions transparent, going forward. They stated that shall allow the public to have complete access to view all and any disciplinary action they take against employees under the Trump administration. Veterans Affairs Chief David Shulkin stated, “Veterans and taxpayers have a right to know what we’re doing to hold our employees accountable and make our personnel actions transparent,” he continued. “Posting this information online for all to see, and updating it weekly, will do just that.”
This additional step will continue to shine a light on the actions we’re taking to reform the culture at VA.”
Following this announcement by Sulkin, the VA noted, “In addition to posting the adverse action information, Secretary Shulkin announced that he is requiring approval by a senior official of any monetary settlement with an employee over the amount of $5,000.”
And that, “Any settlement above this amount will require the personal approval of the undersecretary, assistant secretary or equivalent senior-level official within the organization in which the dispute occurs.”
It was shortly after that the VA’s official website, went under maintenance and was back up and running on Sunday with a new accountability page that and a copy of the Adverse Action Report, as of July 03.
As per CBS, “The Veterans of Foreign Wars praised this new VA decision and said the organization is ‘…very, very hopeful that the Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act will continue to heal the VA, which will definitely help restore the faith of veterans in their VA.”
Donald Trump Jr. also showed his support by tweeting, “A great start, need to get replace bureaucrats w thinkers: Hundreds of VA officials fired since Trump’s inauguration,” as he cited an article by CBS that talks about the firings.