The scandal that engulfed Veterans Affairs was appalling. It rightfully put the whole department under the microscope, but the system isn’t fixed. In 2015, there were reports that hundreds of thousands of veterans, who were backlogged, were no longer living. That same year, a VA inspector general report said that estimated 307,000 veterans might have died while waiting for care. There were also questionable expenditures the VA made, like spending $420 million to solar panel their hospitals, as patients waited to see a doctor. Recently, a VA hospital in Los Angeles lost around 100 patients (43 percent of it 225 patients) between October 2014 and August of 2015 while waiting for care. Things needed to be shaken up. As the VA disclosed today, more than 500 employees have been axed since January (via Washington Examiner):
Department of Veterans Affairs officials have fired more than 500 misbehaving employees since January, according to data posted online Friday.
VA Secretary David Shulkin touted his agency's decision to publish its efforts to hold VA employees accountable, unveiling new requirements for updating the public on personnel actions.
"Veterans and taxpayers have a right to know what we're doing to hold our employees accountable and make our personnel actions transparent," Shulkin said in a statement. "Posting this information online for all to see, and updating it weekly, will do just that."
The VA has removed 526 employees since Jan. 20, according to the accountability report released on Friday. Agency officials have demoted another 27 employees and temporarily suspended an additional 194 employees for longer than two weeks. The list does not include names but shows positions.
Last month, President Donald Trump signed into law a Veterans Affairs reform bill that would better protect whistleblowers and streamline the process to fire incompetent employees.