Legislation Introduced in House to Make It Easier to Fire VA Employees

Legislation was recently introduced in the House of Representatives to make it easier to fire VA employees for poor performance.

Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) has introduced legislation to make it easier to fire VA employees.

The legislation, known as the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2017 (H.R. 611), is being introduced as companion legislation to a bill recently reintroduced in the Senate by Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Both bills would increase flexibility at the agency to make it easier to remove employees for poor performance or misconduct as well as strengthening protection for whistleblowers.

Lamborn said in a statement:

After three years of witnessing systemic abuse—including falsified waitlists, whistleblower retaliation, and abysmal patient care—this bill will provide real accountability and culture change at the VA.

Too often, misbehaving and even criminal employees have continued to receive a salary at taxpayers’ expense. This strong piece of legislation expedites the discipline process to make it easier to demote or fire employees for misconduct.

Although I recognize that the vast majority of VA employees are good people trying to serve our veterans, we cannot ignore the serious problems that result from employee misconduct. Eliminating the worst of the worst will send a clear message to all agency employees and will begin to change the culture of corruption that has become too prevalent at the VA.

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.