Veterans Affairs Begins Posting Disciplinary Actions Online

by | Aug 3, 2017

Last Updated June 5, 2024

disciplinary

The Department of Veterans Affairs has started posting all major disciplinary actions taken against employees. They think this will send a message about the new culture in the agency. Something like this has never occurred before in the federal government.

Transparency in Disciplinary Action

The online posts display all terminations, demotions, and suspensions of more than 14 days of VA employees since January 20, 2017, when Trump took office. It does not include names; however, it does include employees’ position, specific adverse action, date it took effect, and region of work. The VA plans to update the list weekly and post it on the website for the VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection.

Commitment to Reform

“Under the administration, the VA is committed to becoming the most transparent organization in the government,” VA Secretary David Shulkin said. “Together with the accountability bill the president signed into law recently, this additional step will continue to shine a light on the actions we’re taking to reform the culture at the VA.” He also said veterans and taxpayers have a right to know what the department is doing to hold their employees accountable.

The first post shows actions dated from January 20 to July 3. It shows 743 disciplinary cases. Of those, 526 were removals, putting the VA on pace to fire 1,169 employees during Trump’s first year in office. In comparison, the VA fired 2,575 workers in FY2016 for discipline or performance issues, according to OPM.

New Settlement Requirements

In addition to posting adverse action information, Shulkin announced he is requiring approval by a senior official of any monetary settlement with an employee over the amount of $5,000. He said, “taxpayers need to know 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. We’re changing to a culture of accountability at the VA, and this is an important step in that direction.”

Reactions

The president of the American Federal of Government Employees, J. David Cox, said the posting was just an “intimidation tactic”.

“If the VA and the administration were serious about transparency and cutting down on the backlogs at the agency, then they should publish every single one of the 49,000 vacancies that currently exist,” Cox said. “Hiring—not firing—is the biggest issue facing the VA since the waitlist backlogs were first brought to light three years ago, and until they take a serious approach to fully staffing the agency, veterans will suffer.”

 

Here at Harris Federal, we help injured or ill federal employees secure the federal benefits they’ve worked so hard for. We’ve helped over 10,000 happy clients at a 99% success rate. Please give our office a call to schedule a free consultation to see if you qualify.

Message us & find out if you qualify today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Recent Articles

Yes, You Can Work after Federal Disability Retirement

Have you looked at your Federal Disability Retirement annuity, a knot of uncertainty coiling in your stomach as you question - will it be enough? Have you ever wondered if you could keep working after being approved for Federal Disability Retirement? You can work...

The 4 Key Benefits of Federal Disability Retirement

Imagine a lifeline, a beacon of hope for your future when you're struggling with an injury or illness that’s impacting your federal job. That lifeline is Federal Disability Retirement. If you can't perform at least one of the essential functions of your role, you...

6 Key Reasons Why Your Disability Retirement Application Was Denied

Have you recently applied for Federal Disability Retirement, only to receive a denial? The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is denying more initial applications than ever. However, it's important to understand that a denial does not mean the end of the road for...

Federal Employee Resources

Our ever growing library of federal employee resources give you the knowledge you need to make smart choices about your future.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Get the answers you need on-demand, from a team of federal employee benefits professionals.

View FAQ
Webinars

Federal Benefit Webinars

Twice per month we host webinars to help federal employees better understand their benefits and answer their questions LIVE.

See Webinar Schedule
Guides

Benefit Guides

From guides to detailed charts, these educational resources will help clarify confusing federal employee benefits topics.

See our resources