Tester, Blumenthal, Baldwin, Brown Call for Investigation into VA’s Implementation of Accountability Bill

Senators Hold VA Accountable for Misusing Law, Missing Deadline

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) are calling for an investigation into the implementation of bipartisan legislation to make it easier to get rid of employees who engage in egregious misconduct and jeopardize the VA’s ability to serve veterans.

The Senators are requesting that the VA Inspector General look into the implementation of the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act after VA employees raised concerns that the VA is using the bill to inappropriately and inconsistently punish staff for minor offenses or whistleblowing.

“We request that the Office of Inspector General conduct a thorough review to ensure implementation is being carried out consistent with law and Congressional intent,” the Senators wrote. “We have had numerous VA employees and their representatives contact our offices about the law’s implementation, indicating that the authorities provided by the law are being used in an inconsistent and inappropriate manner. Unfortunately, VA still has not been able to alleviate our concerns or demonstrate in any way that implementation has been consistent, fair, and appropriate.”

The VA was legally required to provide a report to Congress in December on the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act that will show how the agency is disciplining employees under the bill. To date, the VA has failed to provide data or information required by this report.

The Senators’ letter to VA Inspector General Mike Missal can be found online HERE.