WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Veterans Affairs (all times EDT):
President Donald Trump is creating an office at the Department of Veterans Affairs to improve accountability and protect whistleblowers.
Trump says the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection's creation sends "a strong message: Those who fail our veterans will be held, for the first time, accountable."
Trump signed an executive order creating the office during a visit Thursday to the VA.
The office's eventual head will report directly to VA Secretary David Shulkin. He says the office will help identify "barriers" that make it difficult to fire or reassign employees who are no longer considered fit to work there and serve veterans.
In 2014, as many as 40 veterans died while waiting months for appointments at the VA's medical center in Phoenix.
President Donald Trump is signing an executive order to create an accountability and whistleblower protection office at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
VA Secretary David Shulkin says the eventual head of the office will report to him and help identify "barriers" hindering the department's ability to reassign employees who are no longer deemed fit to work in service of the nation's veterans.
The House has passed a bill to make it easier to fire VA employees.
Shulkin says Trump's decision to create the office by executive order speaks to his commitment to accountability at the VA.
The office is a byproduct of a 2014 scandal in which as many as 40 veterans died while waiting months for appointments at the VA's medical center in Phoenix.