Fed Takes Anti-Press, Anti-Public Scrutiny Stance On Key Staff Selection

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Anti-Press

One federal agency has refused to provide names of candidates up for consideration to the press for public scrutiny despite continued record of failure at the agency.

The selection of the Department of Veterans Affairs under secretary for benefits is well underway but the agency asserts providing names of candidates, or the names of those on the review board, to the public, will result in unwarranted interference in the process.

Specifically, a VA agency spokesman said public dissemination of the names would cause an unwarranted “interference” with the “process.”

Why is VA taking such an anti-press, anti-public scrutiny stance of its selection of one of the most broken divisions within VA?

For some background, I received reports concerning the selection of a new under secretary this weekend, and stakeholders expressed concern over the names being circulated.

Anti-Press, Anti-Public Scrutiny Stance?

I asked for the names of individuals intimately involved or up for evaluation, but VA refused to verify the reports or to provide any names. In response to my press inquiry, a VA spokesman replied:

The process on this must work without interference, so we do not impede it in any way. 

Please find attached the News Release and Statute regarding the Under Secretary of Benefits Commission. 

As stated in our vacancy announcement here is the evaluation process.

Step 1:  [Application reviewed to determine if applicant meets] Minimum qualifications.

Step 2:  Screening by Executive Board to determine group of candidates to be considered by the Commission.

Step 3:  The Commission interviews the most qualified candidates.

Step 4:  The Commission recommends the final candidates for consideration by the Secretary and the President.

Applicants will be evaluated based upon resume, application or curriculum vitae, and an interview if invited to appear before the Commission.

Why the need for secrecy? Is this the NSA or the VA?

VA clearly believes the former. And should we be surprised given that VA won the Golden Padlock Award in 2016 for being the most secretive federal agency?

VA even beat out DoD.

But should VA be entitled to such secrecy given the chronic fraud, waste, and abuse that has occurred over the past 80 years?

Can the agency be trusted to select competent leaders after decades of failures that ensured further waste and erosion of the public trust?

RELATED: Will New VA Exec Continue Pay For Play Scheme

Names Of Those Selected For Review By Executive Board

Over the weekend, I was given the names of individuals involved in the process involving a review board convened to select the new VA under secretary of benefits.

Reports surfaced that Thomas Murphy, Curtis Coy and Al Poteet were being considered for recommendation to the Under Secretary of Benefits Commission.

The board is formally called the Executive Board.

Former under secretary Allison Hickey is reportedly on the Committee at the request of Secretary David Shulkin, MD. By regulation, the secretary is the only official who could invite Hickey to participate in the selection process.

Commission On Under Secretary For Benefits Selection

On March 15, 2017, VA announced it established the Commission to recommend an under secretary for benefits for confirmation before the Senate:

Search commission candidates will be selected based on criteria governed by law, along with appropriate skills, knowledge and attributes as leaders, managers and educators. The commission is a prerequisite to the president’s appointment of a successful candidate, subject to Senate confirmation.

By law, the appointment is made without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of demonstrated ability, both in fiscal management and in the administration of programs of VBA or of similar content and scope.

Criteria For Commission Members

According to 38 USC § 306, there are certain criteria the Commission is supposed to follow when selecting the nominee. There are also certain individuals required to be on the committee:

  • Three persons representing education and training, real estate, mortgage finance, and related industries, and survivor benefits activities affected by the Veterans Benefits Administration.
  • Two persons representing veterans served by the Veterans Benefits Administration.
  • Two persons who have experience in the management of veterans benefits programs or programs of similar content and scope.
  • The Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
  • The chairman of the Veterans’ Advisory Committee on Education formed under section 3692 of this title.
  • One person who has held the position of Under Secretary for Benefits (including service as Chief Benefits Director of the Veterans’ Administration), if the Secretary determines that it is desirable for such person to be a member of the commission.

Without regard to political affiliation or activity, the Commission must select the nominee “solely on the basis of demonstrated ability in”:

  1. fiscal management; and
  2. the administration of programs within the Veterans Benefits Administration or programs of similar content and scope.

Let’s Help The Under Secretary For Benefits Commission

I would like you, my researchers and readers, to take a little time to evaluate each of the candidates and report back what you find on each.

While there is not a lot of information about Al Poteet online, there is loads of data on Thomas Murphy.

We know the claims disability backlog started under his watch signifying policy changes he was responsible for led to a substantial increase and failure to timely adjudicate claims.

We know the appeals backlog at the Board of Veterans Appeals also started under his watch meaning his employees kicked the can down the road with bad decisions.

We know his staffers are teaching veteran service officers to pressure veterans into filing to reopen claims rather than appealing claims with a notice of disagreement. This scheme rips veterans off of earlier effective dates and makes the appeals backlog look artificially small.

What else can you all find out?

Reports are circulating that Thomas Murphy is the most likely choice for the position despite his checkered history.

Or, maybe his checkered past is that makes him the likely choice?

Mk

GOP Crickets Now??? LoLLLL

91Veteran
91Veteran

Yeah, LOLLOLLLOLOLLLL.

Things would be so much better if the VA stayed the way it was under Obama. LOL.

Amirite?

I mean, what’s the suicide rate staying the same as long as party hacks are in power.

Note to others, this is sarcasm in case that wasn’t clear.

cj
cj
@Windguy: Fist I apologize if my spelling is horrid. the color sceeme on this computer is a black background and a very light greay font, and I can’t figure out how to change it. Windguy, from your post, you have me re-thinking some stuff. For myself, I am sorry if anything I have said has added to any shit your going through. Please do not give in to these assholes. Remember, you are a warrior, warriors do not give up.… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor
“[…But should VA be entitled to such secrecy given the chronic fraud, waste, and abuse that has occurred over the past 80 years? Can the agency be trusted to select competent leaders after decades of failures that ensured further waste and erosion of the public trust? Reports are circulating that Thomas Murphy is the most likely choice for the position despite his checkered history. Or, maybe his checkered past is that makes him the likely choice?…]” No. No. And of… Read more »
OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

Humana Veterans Healthcare Services Names New Chief Executive Officer

Apr 03, 2007, 01:00 ET from Humana Military Healthcare Services

namnibor
namnibor
” LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 3 /PRNewswire/ — Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) announced the appointment of Alonzo Poteet, as Humana Veterans Healthcare Services’ (HVHS) new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Poteet will anchor the company’s growing veterans’ healthcare initiatives and seek to create strategic partnerships with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in order to improve the efficiency and quality of care for the entire VA healthcare delivery system. “We are very pleased to welcome Al to our team,” said David J.… Read more »
OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

thats where my link takes you to

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

Alonzo Poteet

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

YUNUS v. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
Email | Print | Comments (0)
No. 00-3051.

242 F.3d 1367 (2001)

namnibor
namnibor

Rant:

Too bad Veteran Suicides do not make the mainstream news with the veracity of sports players like former NFL Aaron Hernandez hung himself in his prison cell last night…and this will be all over the news for coming week or more…so watch-out, the VA Public Affairs might take advantage of this smokescreen to let loose a whammy of a corruption scandal tidbit this week’s end….wait for it…

Lem
Lem

Now I understand why the money changers are on top. The commission is loaded on the “loan” side. So we actually get less service in getting mortgage and education loans with the bankers getting the top cut.

Meanwhile our direct benefits are cut. Compensation (previous article), direct education and rehab checks, etc.

The money changers at the Temple get their choice.

cj
cj

LOL, we are about to get fucked over again. This is news? I have an “OLD” idea, before they chose anyone, let’s drain the swamp “FIRST”!!!! Not gonna happen, business as usuall. Nothing to see here folks, move along, move along.
╭┳━┳┳━━━━━╭┫╰╮┈┈┈…┏━╮╭━┓┈.╭━━━━╮
┃┃╭╯╰╮┈VA┈┃▎▃╰╮.┈┈┃┏┗┛┓┃╭┫AFGE┃
╯┣╯┈╭╯CASH╰╭╯╭▌┈┈╰┓▋▋┏╯╯╰━━━━╯
╱┃┈┈╰╮COW╮┈╰┳┻╯┈╭━┻╮╲┗━━━━╮╭╮┈
╱┃┏┳┳┻┻━┓┣┳┳╯╱╱.┈┃▎▎┃╲╲╲╲╲╲┣━╯┈
╱┃┃┃┃╱╱╱┃┃┃┃╱╱..┈.╰━┳┻▅╯╲╲╲╲┃┈┈┈
╱┗┛┗┛╱╱╱┗┛┗┛╱╱ ..┈┈┈╰━┳┓┏┳┓┏╯┈┈┈
…………………….. ┈┈┈┈┈┗┻┛┗┻┛┈┈┈┈

Windguy
Windguy

Just heard that Trump signed the extension of Veterans Choice, where locally, Tri West was paid to not place us in outside services, even though we’d far exceeded wait times. Yet another giant Beltway Schwanzstucke being ungracefully rammed into the collective and now-leathered bung-hole of veterans.

Dennis
Dennis
I have carefully evaluated the three most relevent facts involving these candidates for VA office; 1) The federal government is involved. 2) The federal government is involved. 3) The federal government is involved. I have concluded, therefor, that the federal government is involved in these decisions. It must be my genius level intellect working hard again? Drawing from my pool of enormous cognitive potential, I have determined that there are of course two possible conclusions. One conclusion is based on… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran
Why the secrecy? Likely because the VA wants to do what it wants and ignore the law in favor of a pre-selected hack with a history of illegally denying earned benefits to veterans. Their actions scream of an attempt to keep a lid on a problem, possibly with the support of Isakson. One would think the VA would want to be transparent in this process after the Hickey fiasco, with Pummell steering contracts and Murphy arbitrarily over-riding years of medical… Read more »
touchavet@gmail.com

I think Trump is finding out who has control over what goes on in the Admin.

Windguy
Windguy
Off topic – sort of. Reading Ben’s work every day, and reading the ensuing – often angry exchanges seems both addictive and depressing. The anger is understandable and shared, and sometimes lightened with dark humor. I’m in the throes of the recurrence of dreams, and trying to treat depression and dealing with physical stuff I know was caused in-service, but will never, ever be able to prove. Freud the fraud said “familiarity breeds contempt.” I have to wonder if familiarity… Read more »
cj
cj

@Windguy: I see my reply to you ended up way out of location. One more thing about your post. You commented, ” I’m in the throes of the recurrence of dreams, and trying to treat depression and dealing with physical stuff I know was caused in-service, but will never, ever be able to prove.” As long as “they” can’t disprove it, you win. Please don’t give up.

91Veteran
91Veteran
Windguy, in my opinion discussing this stuff helps relieve stress more than it contributes to it, and helps inform other vets who may or may not be familiar with the corrupt beast they are dealing with. I too wonder if its worth it. I went to the VA for about 20 years before moving and other life issues caused a break in going to them until about 2012. It was amazing the difference in stress levels. I could likely walk… Read more »
cj
cj

Out of the asylum for the rest of the day…………..I know, good, don’t let the door hit me in the ass.

91Veteran
91Veteran
So, Murphy. I won’t comment on the lunacy of thinking an AO denier is competent or honest enough for this job. Coy. Given he has been serving as the Deputy Undersecretary for Economic Opportunity at the VA since 2011, and given the state of the economy for a veteran, homelessness, jobless, the disaster known as VocRehab, the mish-mash of the GI Bill, home loans, etc., one can only ask why anyone believes such a person is qualified for a promotion.… Read more »
Lem
Lem

Sounds like a TBI while in the anti-sub officer not severe enough to board him out. Damaged goods. Would like to see his military health record.

91Veteran
91Veteran
Poteet. What an interesting history. According to that YUNUS vs DVA before the MPSB, Yunus was appealing his firing from the VA in 1998, and he lost the appeal. Poteet was involved in that as the Daytona Clinic Coordinator. Interesting to see he rose to become a VA Deputy Assistant Secretary fast enough to be a former Deputy less than 10 years later when he was hired by Humana in Feb 2007 to grease the skids for Project HERO, which… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Off topic but important:

“Trump signs bill allowing veterans to seek care outside broken VA system”, by Sarah Westwood | Apr 19, 2017, 11:53 AM

“http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-signs-bill-allowing-veterans-to-seek-care-outside-broken-va-system/article/2620659”

Jo3n

Good to know, now to get it to work in Alabama. Thanks for all the info all of you provide.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
In a recent article published in USA Today the author states that VA Secretary David Shulkin said “bring it on” is his new message about public scrutiny. Yet Shulkin is still hiding the truth about who is being considered for selection of the Department of Veterans Affairs undersecretary for benefits. We all know that the big six VSOs have had their chance to enter their two cents on the pick at monthly backroom meetings. Clearly VA Secretary David Shulkin is… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

If anyone is interested, in the name of Public Scrutiny, I will put together a list of the VAMCs involved and the Dr. Names at those facilities who are involved with this murdering of Veterans.

touchavet@gmail.com

how would a vet know if he or she has become a test subject.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
For the record. “Conflict of Interest Disclosures: All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest. Dr Gerding reports holding patents for the prevention of CDI licensed to ViroPharma/Shire; consultancy for ViroPharma/Shire, MedImmune, Sanofi Pasteur, Cubist, Optimer, DaVolterra, and Pfizer; and membership in the advisory boards of Merck, Rebiotix, Summit, and Actelion. Dr Lee reports participation in clinical trials for ViroPharma, Actelion, Cubist, and Merck and membership in the advisory boards for Rebiotix,… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

If I didn’t know any better, I would say these doctors have holdings in a foreign medical entity so they can also obtain patents and shield any earnings for any medicines created after testing on US veterans.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Touchavet,

If you use Veterans Administration Health Care you are a lab rat.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
91Veteran, You are right, also check who is also collecting a paycheck at Hines VAMC and he also owns the patent rights for the new drug at Viropharma/Shire. Dr. Dale Gerding at: “https://www.va.gov/providerinfo/includes/detail_iframe.asp?sitenameOD=HINES&providerid=513” It is exactly like Dr. Raymond Schinazi and his company Pharmasset and the Hep-C drug. Gerding owns Shire and Viropharma. Both are privately owned and the ownership is hidden. One very disturbing issue I have with their reported research was that on the same day that the… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

Seymore, another exhibit of the stellar ethics by VA medical quacks.

So even though this is well known, I bet he claims he only worked 5% of his time on this and spent no government money when he cashes in.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet
@Seymore Klearly – Some Veterans, at the present time, have no choice but to use the services of the VA Healthcare system. As per myself, I try to keep abreast of types of treatments that I should be more aware and why. Remember when I mentioned that I was on Tramadol in the past? Seymore, I don’t consider myself to be a lab rat, only if I subject myself to a medical service from the VA in which I know… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

ANutterVet,

I don’t mean to upset anyone, but the plain truth is anyone receiving health care through the VA is a research subject. Whether you give your consent or not they use all patients at the VA in research. Some of it terminal.

namnibor
namnibor
Back when I still utilized the VA for my medical the VA infected me with a very bad case of C-DIFF *and* MRSA. I spent a good part of a year and half in and out of private/state hospital using my at the time State Medicaid and Medicare, as I was dually qualified in those years waiting on my VA Compensation and SSDI. The VA could have cared less and was even told by some nursing hack that “…all medical… Read more »
MSGT Leroy G FOSTER
DEFINITELY NO NO NO TO THOMAS MURPHY AND THE OTHER TWO. TOM MURPHY IS A LIAR. MOST NOTABLY HIS LETTER TO ME DENYING THAT I HANDLED, MIXED AND POWER SPRAYED AGENT ORANGE HERBICIDES ON GUAM WHERE I SPRAYED IT FROM 1968 TO 1978 FOR THE US AIR FORCE. MR MURPHY AND MRS MURPHY ARE LIARS. TOTALLY. I EXPOSED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF VETERANS AND MILITARY DEPENDENTS AND CIVILIANS,TO VAST AMOUNTS OF AO TCDD DIOXIN WITH HUNDREDS OF EYE WITNESSES INCLUDING… Read more »
Jo3n

@SeymourKlearly, I was trying to follow up on the choice bill. What I come up with is there is a billion dollars in the bank, and program ends in August, this year. I go to Clinic tomorrow, and plan on trying to apply it.. Does someone know about the ACCOUNTABILITY bill that was stalled in the Senate?

ANutterVet
ANutterVet
@Seymore Klearly – Subject; Veterans as Lab Rats – There are those Veterans that are going through additional stress, because they have no choice at the present time but to be treated at the VA, until their circumstances change. What I was talking about is being a little more sensitive. For me, as a Biologist, I surely know that the VA dramatically fails in treating Veterans properly. And, being on the edge of defending myself from what I know to… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

@ANutterVet- Amen!!

(if I may be away in a few days, my father passed early this morning. Heading to be with my mother and funeral in another state for a quick departure from my own life. Life’s shit sandwiches keep getting served and sometimes, you just have to eat it and ask, “Sir, may I have another!”.

Peace.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet
@Namnibor – I’m sorry to hear about your father. You don’t have my contact information, and vice versa. What to do? Brother, please find that place of contentment and happiness in which we spoke of in the past. I know how you must feel even though you stated that your father and you weren’t close. All to do now is, put all your love onto your mom. You know what I’m saying. Drive safe to and fro, and honestly and… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

I am sorry for your loss Nam.

cj
cj

@namnibor: Sorry for your loss namnibor, be safe.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@Namnibor – – – I am sorry for your loss. Take care. Be safe. Come back to us.

Ex va
Ex va

@namnibor, sorry for your loss of your father. God Bless.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Namnibor,

Sorry for your loss. Also look out for your mother. This is a time she will really need you.

namnibor
namnibor

The funeral will not be until Tuesday, so will be traveling there Sunday evening and then return back here to my home on Wed. Been helping mother where I can with things, she’s quite a machine and like me, I tend to refocus pent-up things into cleaning, hobbies or whatnot.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

@Seymore Klearly – If I came across abruptly, I didn’t mean too. I get tired of the VA’s abusive, corruptive, and down right despicable acts of conduct that directly goes against Veterans, by lining the fucking VA’s leadership pockets with blood money from the lives of Veterans. These people keep pushing it, and pushing it. If there is an outbreak of some sort, there’re to blame.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
ANutterVet, You didn’t come across abruptly or offensively. I appreciate your honesty and concern. I am just being honest in my assessment of the VA. A quick question not related to the VA if you don’t mind. As a Biologist and the current events with Korea. With both China and Russia shoring up their borders with North Korea to prevent a massive refuge crisis of infected refugees. Where do you think the North Korean sponsored biological events will strike first… Read more »
cj
cj

Anybody home?

Ex va
Ex va

@cj, knock, knock……..

cj
cj

@Ex va: Ex how are you? Sorry I was reading and didn’t see the notification.

Ex va
Ex va

@cj, that is ok i am not that fast anyways. Lol! Did you have a good weekend? Pain today had fronts moving thru. How are you doing today?

cj
cj

@Ex va: I am better today then yesterday. Yesterday no drama, then around 5or6pm I strarted to have some kind of an attack, lung related, lasted till around 11pm, was horrible. Didn’t see you online lastnight, thought maybe you were mad at one of my comments lol, or your were in a lot of pain from the weather changes. Sorry your in a lot of pain tonight.

Ex va
Ex va
@cj, no, i wasn’t mad. Lol! If i was i would have said something. If someone says something i find offensive i will say something, but i am getting older so i have to watch it someone could kick my ass easy. Lol. Saw family spent a lot of time with family. No i wasn’t online on the blog. My ipad had to charge and my laptop too. Didn’t do a lot of tech stuff over the weekend. Yes, this… Read more »
cj
cj

@Ex va: Good to hear you will speak up, I like that. Not shure, this isn’t the first time this has happened, but it has been a while since the last attack. Not painful, just very uncomfortable, short of breath, feels like a tickling in the lungs, then skin starts to feel like burning. I have a pulmonary appointment comming due soon. No idea what it is, I do take a lowdose asprin, past heart attack.

Ex va
Ex va
@cj, good you take aspirin for heart. It helps with blood clots too. Good you have a pulmonary appointment. All the pollen is out this time of year. It can irritate lungs. Does it cause you to break out in a sweat?? Good you see regular doctors. I have blooms all over the strawberry plants now. The weather has been warm then cold and then rain. I would like to start a little vegetable bed i don’t know if i… Read more »
cj
cj

@Ex va: No sweats. You should try a small vegetable garden, something simple and low maintenance, like green beans, snap peas, a single tomato plant.

Ex va
Ex va

@cj, i was thinking a small container garden. Like you said something simple and low maintenance.

cj
cj

@Ex va: Figure out what you like to eat and go from there. Tomato plant I would get a cherry tomato, or grape tomato. Veggies are to your liking.

Ex va
Ex va

@cj, i need to get serious about this planting time will be over before i know it. Like a lot of different tomatoes. I like homegrown veggies the best. The other night on this blog was hilarious. I was laughing about that till the next day. Didn’t know who was posting what. LOL!!!

cj
cj

@Ex va: Ex, it isn’t too late, we don’t plant here till mother’s day. Okay, really mean it this time…goodnight.

Ex va
Ex va

@cj, Goodnight and God bless!

cj
cj

@Ex va: LOL I don’t think I spelled like-ing the right way. Anyway Ex, I need to get some sleep, I have my Thursday appointment. Hope you sleep well. Will talk tomorrow evening. God Bless you and your family.

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