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Reality

"VA Accountability Act" not so fast

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Reality    3

I felt compelled to join this board and write a short article on the new “VA Accountability Act” recently signed into law.  I know there is a bunch of hype about this law and many are applauding the signature law, but proceed with caution and we must take a look at the complete picture of what is really going on and who this really affects.  Sure, there are some bad employees in the VA and those folks should rightfully be sent packing and I concede this law may help in that process.  However, there is a dirty little secret the VA is not telling you and the public display and spectacle of the adverse action report available tells the real truth behind this law.  First, look at the report.  You will notice the majority are low level employees and not any mangers, Directors, Assistant Directors, Coaches or Assistant Coaches. Again, most are considered low hanging fruit.  Now, to the average person reading this report and has no knowledge of how the VA works one would assume, or think, “This is great, they are holding people accountable.”, however once again it is the wrong people.  This law has now empowered the VA Leadership and Mid-Level Managers to go after the low hanging fruit as demonstrated in the adverse action report.  The VA has now giving the green light to go after employees who “Rock the Boat”, this included employees who challenge bad leadership decision, ideas, report potential fraud, waste, abuse, may openly disagree with their leadership in a public forum, stands up for what is morally and ethically correct. These little pesky VA employees are targeted through the leadership, typically by scrutinizing every little move they make. Unfortunately this includes Combat Veteran’s, Disabled Veteran’s and others who just want to do the right thing. The management teams target the employees by setting them up for failure on at least one critical element of their job.  This targeting then requires the employee to be placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). The management knows there is no way for the employee to survive the impossible PIP.  This becomes the final death sentence for the employee, ultimately sending him or her packing.  Again, look at the report, it does not reveal how many where placed in a PIP and failed to achieve the PIP standards.

So, what does this law really mean?  well, once again it provides cover for the incompetent VA Leaders, it has failed to hold accountable the real problem with the VA, Mid-Levels Leaders and Management, the law does not address the corruption, fraud, waste and abuse, it has placed fear in most all low level VA Employees, and as the report clearly demonstrate it has only impacted the low hanging fruit.

I would ask you to ponder this though.  Would the CEO of Amazon, Google, Ford or GM make a spectacle out of all the employees they have under adverse action? Why is the VA the only government agency to make a spectacle out of all the adverse action pending or completed?  How is this something to be proud of?  Should it not tell you something is wrong with leadership if we are required to send so many people home?  Is this not a direct result of poor leadership?  How much money did the tax payers spend training, paying all of these bad employees only to send them home?

I will be doing some follow on reports about the fraud, waste, abuse and corruption to demonstrate who really needs to be sent home.

In closing, the law has good intentions but as we all know or should know by now it has and will continue to be abused by management and leadership to provide cover for their incompetency while they make a spectacle out of all the low hanging fruit they fired.  The self righteous management will continue to protect themselves and their own while they continue with the corrupt machine know as the VA.

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14 answers to this question

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Reality    3

Tbird, I appreciate your response and yes, hopefully you and many others will catch on to this travesty.  When the day comes and we have a list posted showing we removed SES, Senior Management, Directors, Assistant Directors, Coaches and Assistant Coaches, then and only then will I concede progress. Until then, nothing or very little will change except those folks protecting each other and patting themselves on the back for firing a House Keeper or GS-4 Clerk, it is laughable.

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Reality    3

Jimmer, I clearly understand, the corruption is so deep in the SES and Senior Management , Directors, Assistant Directors, Coaches and other management staff.  Just like the two clowns who worked up in the head shed in D.C remember this?  "A VA Office of Inspector General’s report found Rubens and Graves manipulated the hiring system to get moved to positions of lesser responsibility while maintaining the same salary. Rubens and Graves are paid $181,497 and $173,949, respectively.The VA disputed the allegations and instead found the women guilty of the less serious offense of not recusing themselves from the relocation process, in which they received about $400,000. The VA ordered the women demoted and reassigned. "They were demoted to Directors of two Major VBA Offices and still hold those positions!!!!  I will be doing some articles here in the near future which should shock most to the core relating to waste, fraud and abuse known by senior leaders and still going on today!!!

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Tbird    0
1 hour ago, Reality said:

So, what does this law really mean?  well, once again it provides cover for the incompetent VA Leaders, it has failed to hold accountable the real problem with the VA, Mid-Levels Leaders and Management, the law does not address the corruption, fraud, waste and abuse, it has placed fear in most all low level VA Employees, and as the report clearly demonstrate it has only impacted the low hanging fruit.

I would ask you to ponder this though.  Would the CEO of Amazon, Google, Ford or GM make a spectacle out of all the employees they have under adverse action? Why is the VA the only government agency to make a spectacle out of all the adverse action pending or completed?  How is this something to be proud of?  Should it not tell you something is wrong with leadership if we are required to send so many people home?  Is this not a direct result of poor leadership?  How much money did the tax payers spend training, paying all of these bad employees only to send them home?

@Reality I think these are some excellent points and ones that' I've made myself. I may have felt differently if it had been a list of Mid-Level Managers than over 88 in housekeeping etc. Here's a link to report and totals https://www.hadit.com/va-adverse-actions-staff-july-2017/

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Jimmer    62

Reality/T-Bird.  I totally agree with your assessment.  That is the first thing I notice on the report, all sub-ordinates being fired. Here in Phoenix, AZ., the former director Sharon Helman is trying to get her job back.  She won her first appeal, and if she is rehired, things will get "real ugly" at the Phoenix facility.  Under her watch,  over  60 vets died, and she falsified records, denied treatment, refused to give proper medication, etc., you name it.  The place was nothing more then a "shit hole", and massive  cover-ups.   I know several  veterans that said they will "take matters into their own hands" if she is rehired.  The told me if Helman is rehired, that  things will go back to the way it was.  Right know since she has been gone, the facility has changed dramatically.  It is clean, appointments are kept, no waiting, medications are filled and refilled, etc.  These veterans told me they have a real "axe to grind with Helman", and they will deal with it, on THEIR terms.  can't say I blame them.

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Tbird    0

we should all stay tuned and always double check the hype - the devil is in the details. 

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MikeHunt    50

There's other problems (non-exhaustive):

1. You're accepting the list as fact.

2. What were the numbers from 2016? IOW, did Shinseki or McDonald actually discipline more people?

Don't get me wrong, you're overall right on in general and in detail.

The VA is smart. They know most of us are not, sad to say.

21 hours ago, Reality said:

The self righteous management will continue to protect themselves and their own while they continue with the corrupt machine know as the VA.

Sadder yet, the VA propaganda was posted here by a member who should've known better.

If you can't tell, I'm extremely discouraged by this - Shulkin started attacking Veteran programs right out the gate, then floats a talking point that comp "incentivizes disability". It doesn't take a genius to predict what's in store for us, yet some gobble up their next presser without thought.

Of course the media had a big part in it- Their stories gave the problem as management, and even provided background management misconduct stories, and pointed out that the firings (if true) were low level employees, but never connected the dots; added two plus two in their own story.

Perhaps the VA has divided and conquered, I don't know- But I see there's very little chance of anyone's opinion having any effect on the VA. They're just too good.

And the parting on the left Is now the parting on the right

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