Second VA Commission To Select New VBA Under Secretary

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Second VA Commission

Yet another VA commission was created to help select a new leader for its Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), presently led by Thomas Murphy.

The agency called its second VA commission to select a new head of VBA last spring that included Allison Hickey. The commission reviewed three candidates, Thomas Murphy, Curtis Coy and Al Poteet. The commission preferred the selection of Murphy, the present acting under secretary.

Apparently, the first VA commission did not do a satisfactory job resulting in more taxpayer dollars being spent to redo the process that is set to conclude December 1.

RELATED: VA Commission Reviews Thomas Murphy For Nomination

First VA Commission Background

VA regulations create the framework and requirements around the agency reviewing and selecting a nominee to recommend to the sitting present as under secretary of VBA.

Murphy’s selection was reportedly blocked once President Donald Trump’s team learned Murphy was a former nominee of President Barack Obama, in 2016. Murphy was also considered an Obama supporter who allegedly donated to Obama’s campaign, in 2008.

After President Obama won the 2008 election, Murphy, a retired military member and then Home Depot employee, was placed into a leadership role as director San Juan Regional Office. He swiftly was promoted to head of Compensation under former under secretary Allison Hickey.

Allison Hickey resigned from the agency following an investigation of her role in allegations of moving incentive fraud by Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves. Both women gave themselves demotions from VBA leadership roles back into director roles at Philadelphia RO and St. Paul RO, respectively.

A scandal quickly erupted when the women took moving incentives not intended for individuals in their circumstance. Hickey approved their career moves. Pushback from the House Committee on Veterans Affairs resulted in Hickey’s resignation.

Hickey was replaced by Danny Pummill, a longtime DC insider and someone with a reputation as a political operative for Democrats. VA tried to punish Rubens and Graves for the confirmed impropriety, but the agency was unable to do so because Pummill was also involved an not punished.

RELATED: Danny Pummill, ‘Pay To Play’ Gov Contractor Allegations

Employment laws preclude punishment of subordinates where a supervisor is equally involved but not punished, at least to the same degree as the subordinates. As a result, Pummill also stepped down resulting in Murphy taking over at the helm.

RELATED: Danny Pummill Punished For Role In Fraud Scandal

Murphy has since pushed through numerous technology solutions he asserts will fix problems with a disability compensation backlog and other processing deficiencies. The fixes were aimed at speeding up adjudications with technology while removing certain due process rights including the agency’s requirement to assist the veteran in gathering evidence. Instead, veteran service officers are required to fully develop the claim for the veteran should the veteran opt for the quicker options.

Of course, the premise of this quicker model presumes veteran service officers have the training and time to develop evidence supporting a claim for a veteran. Most do not. And most veterans do not realize this shortcoming.

While Murphy curried favor with certain national veteran organizations, at least behind the scenes, he was not well received amongst individual veterans for his views against those seeking benefits for Agent Orange herbicide exposure.

RELATED: Attempted Tom Murphy Ouster Over Agent Orange Denial

VA On Second VA Commission

According to VAntage Point, VA’s official blog:

VA announced has announced the establishment of a search commission to help identify candidates for the position of VA’s under secretary for benefits.  The under secretary for benefits is the senior official within the Veterans Benefits Administration who oversees a variety of benefits and services to service members, Veterans and their families.

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 an undersecretary 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 the Veterans Benefits Administration or of similar content and scope.

The Veterans Benefits Administration includes a network of 56 regional offices and more than 21,800 employees. Nearly four million Veterans currently receive compensation for disabilities incurred in service or pensions for wartime Veterans who become totally disabled in civilian life.  In addition, more than half a million widows, children and parents of deceased Veterans are paid survivor compensation or death pensions.

Other programs administered by the undersecretary for benefits include: education benefits, vocational rehabilitation and employment for Veterans, and life insurance, as well as VA guaranteed home loans for both active-duty personnel and Veterans.

The commission, once named, is expected to complete its work by Dec. 1.  To apply for this job, go to https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/481447500

All I want to know is how much this second commission will cost and who the new candidates will be for consideration at this stage.

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41 Comments on "Second VA Commission To Select New VBA Under Secretary"

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Dennis
Dennis
The new VA??? “Search commission candidates will be selected based on criteria governed by law…” Maybe this could catch on! Other possibilities; “Reimbursement for emergency room visits will be based on criteria governed by law.” “Medical teating on human subjects will be selected based on criteria governed by law .” “Chicken will be cooked based on criteria governed by law.” “Due process will be based on criteria governed by law.” “Dead bodies will be buried based on criteria governed by… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

Lest you forget; “Tennis Bracelet for wifey poo to keep a level of separation between wifey poo and Dr. Poon based on criteria governed by what benefits VA Sec. & wifey poo best…and of course, that criteria governed by thing called law.”

Oldmarine
Oldmarine

So they found that pervert at Home Depot, They sure had to dig deep, Must have been a fluke of good luck for them…LOL

Oldmarine
Oldmarine

RELATED: “Danny Pummill Punished For Role In Fraud Scandal”

Should the worst happen and some sliver of the truth emerge despite the best efforts of the thugs, corporate media, legal mercenaries and PR handlers, then the playbook follows the script of any well-managed Communist dictatorship:the oligarch predator is thrown to the wolves to protect the oligarchs’ systemic predation and exploitation of the peasantry/debt-serfs.

T
T
You just hit the nail right on the head when it comes to Indiana. Both parties in our two party corrupted system, the entire medical systems here, state agencies, politicians, vet groups, those who are paid well and in positions that are supposed to protect and support us, all are a total corrupt waste. Every damn thing basically. This is the only forum I have not been attacked on, asked to leave because of PC-ness, “group-think,” for not being a… Read more »
Oldmarine
Oldmarine

The “Official” Story Will be the ONLY Story We Get to Hear….Coming soon to a computer near you…LOL…..

namnibor
namnibor

Does it seem the hurricane has loosened some of the deckchair’s bolts on V.A. Titanic or are the larger rats just jumping ship because of a larger scandal not yet reported to news as yet? Wait for it…

AvengingAngel
AvengingAngel

Rubens and her HR manager are cockroaches that made it ten months into a Trump administration but let’s hope.

namnibor
namnibor

Okay, I also have to ask this; Does anyone else see the profound irony of BVA Thomas “agent orange denier” Murphy WEARING ORANGE, working @ Home Depot? THANK GOD I can still laugh at life!

namnibor
namnibor

I wonder if Murphy managed the Monsanto Round-Up Weed Killer Section? 🙂

Oldmarine
Oldmarine

At least likely as not..The garden section

namnibor
namnibor

Makes sense, it’s where the bodies are buried.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Given that 1985 decision that protected DuPont. Which severely limited their liability for Agent Orange.

There is a good chance Murphy could have been working in the paint department handling all the white wash sales to the Gov.

“http://www.agent-orange-lawsuit.com/settlement/”

AvengingAngel
AvengingAngel

Diana Rubens and her vile HR manager continue to spread their cancer at the Philly RO with impunity from good old boy Tom. Including the alleged embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars, death threats to whistleblowers, and the alleged coverup of Veteran employee suicides. A grim but true picture of the Philly RO.

March Hare
March Hare

hey hey VBA how many people will you condemn to death today?

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
VA commission to select new VBA Under Secretary. Wonder how much shulkin is paying these people on the commission for their rubber stamp of his preselected choice? No doubt there will be the usual line-up of totally incompetent and unqualified individuals added to the list to be considered. Making Shulkin’s choice the best of the worst and the best they can find out of the limited people they will consider. After all that is how it is done the VA… Read more »
james gallegos
This is the VA way, even when hiring a regular employee. They want a certain employee and they do not meet the standards, so they relist the position and keep doing so until their person is selected. The Ethics committee just set up Secretary Shulkin by Authorizing him and his wife to travel. Now the Secretary has been made Null and Void and now VA employee’s can take all the travel they like and take their family with them and… Read more »
NiteWish
NiteWish

This position may be Temporary – Indefinite with a Salary of $165,300 per year. To apply for this job & serve as an accountable & innovative steward of the Human Capital; US citizenship, background investigation & Drug Testing etc. is Required AND As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

namnibor
namnibor

Not to mention all the freebies from the pharmacy *after* your initial drug test.

namnibor
namnibor

That drug test for AFGE herd at VA is only to ensure they are smoking from the same crack pipes.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Can we give them ice cream too, on their special days? Multiple flavors? Sugar and cake cones? Can they have the whipped crème in the can sprayed in their mouth? Can we spike the ice cream for them? – – – Nutter.

namnibor
namnibor

You may be onto something. Every VAMC could become open 24/7 simply if we feed the herd of hacks enough to where they cannot fit out the exits or windows. Need a 3 a.m. colonoscopy for some reason? Bring a box of Twinkies or Ding Dongs as your only copay. Choice would no longer needed but eventually new foundations for all structures would be.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Don’t forget, NiteWish,
IF they’re caught in a scandal, they can retire with full benefits!

March Hare
March Hare

everybody knows you don’t go full retard, yeah they went full retard, they probably fart in bath tubs and laugh uncontrollably too. veterans have choice either an idiot, imbecile or a . They all need to spend some time in one of there despicable mental health wards. personally i’d choice the moron

91Veteran
91Veteran
This seems to be an ass-backwards process. So, this commission, which seems more formal than the previous one, will review applications, then submit their selected candidate for nomination to Trump? Why would the WH not be reviewing these applicants for Trump to select a nominee? Is the nomination simply a formality? In some respects, I can’t complain about the cost of this latest boondoggle if it means Murphy is drained from the swamp. On the other hand, if bureaucratic swamp… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

The swamp creatures and the gravy train are one and the same. I would not be surprised one bit of either Rubens or Graves are nominated…I only expect the VA to keep testing the waters….or pissing in them…

Lem
Lem
Still the fastest route, Ben: “Of course, the premise of this quicker model presumes veteran service officers have the training and time to develop evidence supporting a claim for a veteran. Most do not. And most veterans do not realize this shortcoming.” I did it your way and it took 8 years. Once the Attorney got it to the BVA things moved. You get to the BVA faster. Ask the BVA for a “DENOVO REVIEW” and a REMAND which the… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet
@Lem – – – Curious. Besides TBI, are you claiming other medical conditions related to this condition? Can you list the military related medical conditions that you; (1.) are currently receiving compensation for, and (2.) the conditions that are still pending? I want to be aware and prepared in possibly filing for multiple conditions that may be related to each other. Just trying to get a feel for this, while seeking out a VSO that I can trust. With VA… Read more »
Lem
Lem

No problem. I’m 40% TBI and 30% Personality disorder from TBI. 20% hearing and 10% tinnitus that predated the TBI unless it was from concussive effects, which have now been shown by NIH to cause brain damage, of being under a 5″ gun turret when it was firing without protective gear. Total to 70% on the combination schedule which gave me the 38 CFR 4.16 (a) TDIU 100% rating from the BVA.

ANutterVet
ANutterVet

Very interesting. And, as you know, complex for most Veterans that are trying to understand the system without mentorship. Many Veterans are perplexed. Plus, the VSO’s are corrupt or ignorant as can be. I see why one must always keep challenging BVA findings if not satisfied per the Veterans evidence. Thanks. – – – Nutter.

Lem
Lem
I’m claiming a CUE of PTSD on a 1985 decision and a CUE on confirmation of complex partial seizures in a 1992 decision and a CUE for spinal disc disease secondary to the TBI seizure condition. All are in Remand from the BVA decision. My advice is to take the short cut offered by the VA to have the VA develop your case. Then go to Hadit.com and get help to file an appeal to the BVA asking for a… Read more »
Jane
Jane
VA conceals shoddy care and health workers’ mistakes Donovan Slack and Michael Sallah, USA TODAY Published 6:58 a.m. ET Oct. 11, 2017 | Updated 9:01 a.m. ET Oct. 11, 2017 “https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/10/11/va-conceals-shoddy-care-and-health-workers-mistakes/739852001/” At least the News agreed this is BS from the VA: and more too: In at least 126 cases, the VA initially found the workers’ mistakes or misdeeds were so serious that they should be fired. In nearly three-quarters of those settlements, the VA agreed to purge negative records… Read more »
91Veteran
91Veteran

USA Today has a story out today about the VA concealing the malpractice by VA providers.

“https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/10/11/va-conceals-shoddy-care-and-health-workers-mistakes/739852001/”

namnibor
namnibor
Thanks. Just read that. Somehow our plight with the VA needs to rise above snowflakes now wanting Columbus Day changed to ‘Indigenous People Day”…WTF?!! Seriously, we are still in active wars and about to tangle with a never finished war (N. Korea), our USA is doing an incredibly piss-poor disservice job of taking care of veteran’s healthcare and snowflakes butthurt over our USA’s history makes the news? Makes me want to go out and light beards on fire as well… Read more »
Lem
Lem

Once you file the Notice of Appeal to the CAVC by yourself you get loads of attorney’s wanting to look at your case. By the time you get there you’ll have a lot of back pay coming. I’m expecting around $500,000.00, could be over a million, from the remand. The evidence in the file is clear and the “examiners” have to consider it by the remand order.

Lem
Lem

It is a different BVA than the one I went to in 1990 and that decision may be a road block to getting my partial and complex partial seizures service compensated back to 1974. But since the BVA decision of 1990 ignored the issue I think it is still open to go back to 1974.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
It seems to me, Secretary of VA, Dr Shulkin, is doing his best to destroy veterans and make himself, and lots of other reprobates, rich(er) in the process! Every day we’re subject to more massive waste, fraud and abuse coming out of these thieves! What else can one call them. They’ve done nothing to improve the lives of veterans. They’ve done everything to financially improve the lives of the upper management, from Shulkin all the way down to the VSO’s!… Read more »
March Hare
March Hare
I agree with crazy elf. They only hire psychopathic and sociopathic upper management personality’s. its the only thing that can explain why they do what they do and go home and sleep at night. I gota call it like i see it, and point it out when i can. They are psychopathic Its truly a shame when a veteran has to either go out of the country or get a state medical card so they can get the treatment they… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

Off-Topic: I just heard on public radio that it’s official, The Boy Scouts have started admitting girls to be members and can earn Eagle Scout level…they did not mention if boys are now allowed to be girl scouts…what if you just love the cookies?

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
“Veterans Affairs abruptly drops plan to suspend ethics law” Hope Yen, Associated Press, Oct 11, 2017 “http://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2017/10/11/Veterans-Affairs-abruptly-drops-plan-to-suspend-ethics-law/stories/201710110145” “WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs abruptly dropped plans Wednesday to suspend an ethics law barring employees from receiving benefits from for-profit colleges. The move comes after criticism from government watchdogs who warned of financial entanglements with private companies vying for millions in GI Bill tuition. In a statement to The Associated Press, the VA said it had received “constructive comments” on… Read more »
ANutterVet
ANutterVet
I’ll say it again, VA needs to be Audited. This Federal Agency has No Accountability, which then supports the temptation for the leadership to perform greedy corruptive maneuvers that only serves themselves. Only 1% of waste-finding or the cost cutting of ridiculous programs, will recover about $1.8 Billion per year. That’s a lot of moola. $180 Billion x .01 (equals 1% or 1/100) = $1.8 Billion This Veteran believes that more monies can be found, saved, or accounted for. This… Read more »
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