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VA Makes Public List of Adverse Actions Against Employees

By Sandra Basu

First Agency to Post Disciplinary Activities

By Sandra Basu

WASHINGTON—With persistent questions of accountability and transparency dogging VA in recent years, the agency became the first federal agency to post public information on disciplinary actions taken against employees.

“Veterans and taxpayers have a right to know what we’re doing to hold our employees accountable and make our personnel actions transparent. Posting this information online for all to see, and updating it weekly, will do just that,” VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, announced in a written statement.

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The list consists of adverse employee actions taken since Jan. 20. This information is posted at http://www.va.gov/accountability and will be updated weekly, according to the agency.

The VA explained that the adverse action list does not include employee names, although it provides information on the position, VA region or administration and type of adverse or disciplinary action taken.

The list, which was first made available last month, includes terminations, demotions and suspensions since the new administration came into office Jan. 20. More categories of punishment will be added in the future, according to the agency.

The 26-page list posted online as of July 3 included hundreds of employees disciplined or removed, including cemetery caretakers, registered nurses, medical support assistants, and physicians, among others.

In a related matter, Shulkin said that he is requiring approval by a senior official of any monetary settlement with an employee over the amount of $5,000.

“Taxpayers need to know that we will engage in good faith settlement negotiations, where required by third parties, but will look to settle with employees only when they clearly have been wronged or when settlement is otherwise in veterans’ and taxpayers’ best interests, and not as a matter of ordinary business,” Shulkin said.


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