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Problems at the VA

While many severely wounded veterans have faced financial hardship waiting for their first disability payment from the VA, lots of money has been flowing in the form of $24 million in bonuses inside the VA.The VA’s inspector general reported that thousands of VA technology office employees received the bonuses over a two-year period. The VA’s IG accused one recently retired VA official of acting “as if she was given a blank checkbook” for awards and bonuses, some without justification. While bonuses are a valid way of rewarding employees whose performance exceeds expectations, our veterans get no such reward—so if they are being poorly served, it’s tough to justify these rewards.When you consider that the number of claims the VA needs to process has escalated, and the Information and Technology Office plays a key role in improving things, the bonuses look very questionable. It is worthy of note that it was the VA who found this problem; the VA’s IG should maybe get a bonus. In the meanwhile, given all the wild spending by our government, let’ see a bunch of money spent to get this problem resolved once and for all. That would be good, but I’m not holding my breath.

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Denny Gillem
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