AWARD: Veterans Affairs Most Secretive Agency In 2016

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Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs was the winner of this year’s Golden Padlock Award as the most secretive U.S. agency or individual.

The Golden Padlock Award was presented by Investigative Reports and Editors (IRE). VA was invited to accept the award in person but did not respond to the invitation.

How about that in an era of supposed transparency and change? The agency responsible for our veterans is allowed to be the most secretive when it screws those veterans over?

WHY VETERANS AFFAIRS WAS SELECTED

Personally, I wish I could have been there for the award announcement. IRE Executive Director Mark Horvit explained VA’s selection:

“The judges believed the VA represents all of the hallmark attributes that we try to honor with the Golden Padlock — secrecy, evasion and a fundamentally curious view of what contributes ‘to the public’s understanding’ of government.”

RELATED: TV Special Report On TBI Scandal

According to IRE, the agency was selected for the honor because of its move to withhold the records about qualifications of medical staff who evaluated tens of thousands of veterans for brain injury without proper qualifications.

RELATED: Fix For TBI Scandal Announced

BEHIND THE SECRECY

Rather than disclose the evidence so veterans and the public could hold VA accountable, the agency violated FOIA law and obstructed access. IRE further explained:

When TEGNA TV stations across the U.S. formally requested the information, VA hospitals withheld the names, board certifications and medical specialties of doctors performing the exams, saying release of the information “would not contribute to the public’s understanding of the Federal Government.” Kare11 in Minneapolis first obtained records showing many potential brain injuries were evaluated by staff whose qualifications did not meet the VA’s own requirements, potentially missing cases of injuries that can trigger additional benefits for veterans. Following an internal investigation, the VA now acknowledges 25,000 veterans across the country had their brain injury diagnoses performed by doctors who were not qualified to make those diagnoses. TEGNA is currently in the process of appealing the agency’s public disclosure denials.

RELATED: 25,000 Veterans With TBI Impacted By Unqualified Doctors

Again, I know President Barack Obama promised greater transparency. But when it comes to veterans and our rights, VA was allowed to completely clamp down and obstruct access to records in any number of scandals.

With transparency like this, VA officials should not worry about ever getting caught or fired for anything.

Source: https://www.ire.org/blog/ire-news/2016/06/19/va-wins-2016-golden-padlock/

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27 Comments

  1. The VA’s ‘Golden Padlock Award” is only gold spray-painted poo from AFGE Union President Little David Cox’s Golden Crapper.
    However, the AFGE and VA Employees had to contract out to the IBM Watson Computer to determine exactly what a “farce” actually means to THEM and to a tune of $30 Million to determine the VA was actually being made fun of and no ‘gold’ was actually involved. Planned heist called-off of stealing said award and taking to nearest D.C. pawn shop. LOL! 🙂

  2. Darn Namnibor,

    Why did you have to tell them it is not actually gold?

    I was really looking forward to hearing about the big poo heist in Washington and finding out which ones had the most poo on their fingers when they got caught.

    Now someone is going to have to tell them that is magical poo from Disney Land fresh out Mickey himself. That makes it priceless.

    ~~

    • That way while they are distracted planning their big poo heist. A few Veterans can slip in under the radar and actually receive health care without the AFGE putting a stop to it.

      • @Seymore Klearly

        Did you see on last nights evening news where a physician, in Iowa, with “Tri-care” is being investigated for fraudulently sending prescriptions through the mail when he NEVER saw the patient?
        He even admitted to this illegal act to the reporter ON CAMERA!

        My friends in Illinois call people in IOWA – “(I)diots (O)ut (W)alking (A)round”
        Kinda fits this guy!

    • That Disney Goose that lays golden eggs must be only able to make golden goo poo these days. 🙂 The AFGE Union and VA will be squeezing that goose today at their stage and dance today. That much concentrated corruption in one place in Midwest may also cause air quality alerts. 🙂

      • A little bit south of Tomah is where the corn belt starts in Wisconsin and it is the Dairy State. So every spring they spread cow and pig manure on all of the fields. That is the fresh smell of spring time in Wisconsin farmland.

        With this meeting in Tomah the concentrated Bull Manure in this summer heat is really going to give off a lasting stench. A stench so bad it will never go away.

  3. Too bad we don’t have shows like, “Laugh-In” or “The Smother’s Brothers” anymore. In my opinion, the time is right for these kinds of ‘political shows’!
    Remember the “Fickled Finger Of Fate Award”? Or the “Sock It To Me” skit? Remember Nixon on the receiving end? No one deserved it more!
    Remember how the Nixon Administration, via recording, went on a “rant” calling out the Smother’s Brothers. Wanting them investigated by FBI?

    When will the ‘Sheepies’ awake from their Utopian Sleep? There is NO such place in the world!
    Do y’all see what’s occuring in Argentina today? The President is one rich bitch, while her people are starving. They can’t even buy shit paper!
    Sounds much like what happened to France, before they had an uprising in 1792, called “The French Revolution”!
    These things are taking place right now all across the globe. The main stream medias aren’t reporting it. Because that could lead to anarchy!
    Here are some articles to ponder over: the first two are from “Townhall.com”. The third one is a Utube video.
    I really would like y’all to google them, please!

    1.)
    “No Fly, No Buy Means No Freedom”
    by Judge Andrew Napolitano | June 23, 2016

    He states; quote: “…the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental personal right, not a gift of the government to a group [or an individual].”
    Many of those in Congress, “…must have forgotten [their] oath to uphold the Constitution, which guarantees that the government may not take life, liberty or property without due prcess.”
    There is much truth in his opinion.

    2.)
    “When ‘They’ Come”
    by Laura Hollis | June 23, 2016

    This opinion shows just how ignorant the “left wingers” can really be!

    3.)
    “Donald Trump Destroys Hillary Clinton In Speech On Her Being A Liar And Corrupt”

    published 22 June 2016
    It’s 7:46 minutes long!

    As “Porky Pig” would say; “That’s all for now, folks!”

    • P.S.
      Are y’all aware just a few months ago, “silicon valley’s electric grid was knocked out”? It took them “…almost a month to repair…” the damage of the transformers. They attribute it to a “terrorist attack!”
      How come the MSM’s didn’t report this?
      We’ve had well over 40 attacks by terrorists since Obama took office.
      “Judicial Watch Uncovers Muslim Plot to Blow Up Americans”!
      This wasn’t reported. She, the “undocumented Muslim” was caught about a week ago in New Mexico! This wasn’t reported. Why?
      How many of these people have “slipped in undetected”?
      “WHEN”, not “IF”, will be the next attack on OUR SOIL!
      Why isn’t the Obama administration, and Congress, protecting our citizens? Which they are required to do by LAW!

  4. Part of my complaint on my SF95. The physician who did my exam was in Japan and a Japanese who did not have functional conversational English and required a translator who also did not fully understand the nature of the examination. The examination report was written in Japanese and then translated into English. Several blatant errors are in the finale translation.

    All because the VA didn’t want to pay travel from Kumamoto, Japan to Tripler in Hawaii.

  5. Lets see the VA is now known for being the most Secretive Agency in America.

    I am going to have to add that to my short list of what the VA is known for. Here are some of the other things on my list that the VA is known for. If anyone has any recommendations on additions to the list please let me know.

    What The VA is Known For:

    The VA is known for — providing the Deadliest Health care in America.

    The VA is known for — being controlled by the AFGE Union which leads all American Unions in Criminal Misconduct by its officials.

    The VA is known for — Sabotaging the Veterans Choice Program to prevent Veterans from receiving proper & timely medical care.

    The VA is known for — the wait-list constructed to prevent uninsured Veterans from receiving medical care.

    The VA is known for — the most out of control construction budgets in America.

    The VA is known for — Shredding Documents that support Veterans Claims for service connected disabilities.

    The VA is known for — protecting employees who have stolen $100s of thousands of dollars.

    The VA is known for — protecting employees who have murdered Veterans.

    The VA is known for — failing to follow disabled Veteran owned small business rules.

    The VA is known for — falsifying Veterans Medical records on a grand scale systematically.

    The VA is known for — retaliating against both Veterans and employees who are Whistle-blowers.

    The VA is known for — covering up crimes committed against Veterans by their employees.

    The VA is known for — hiding and preventing further research that could show service connection to an illness.

    The VA is known for — covering up fraud and waste at all levels of the VA.

    The VA is known for — allowing Pharma researchers to use the VA and Veterans to make $100s of Millions.

    The VA is known for — denying Veterans access to drugs developed using VA facilities and Veterans as human subjects for testing so that Big Pharma can make Billions selling the drug back to the VA.

    The VA is known for — allowing Veterans to be used in life threatening and disabling research with no concern for the damage to the Veteran.

    ~~

    Really the list needs work and is incomplete so if you can think of any additions please add them in the comment section.

    • Great list. After going to our lame state government and government I was directed to discuss matters with our state’s attorney general, then told to blame and file grievances with our state’s licensing medical boards and with the Feds. Pass the buck, distract, the old fashion Hoosier run-around and nothing gets done. Then end up dealing with patient advocates who claimed they could find deleted emails and info VA computer techs deleted. Nope, all gone and the nasty degrading and lying emails and treatment all gone from that “secure and private” Veteran’s E-Health scam website. The long list of conflicting prescriptions and accusations gone too. Everything is in the favor of our corrupt state leaders, state VA over-seers that don’t care, the locals, and to the very top who will never hear about our issues.

      The ball or power always seems to end up on their side with plenty of support. All the stuff and support we don’t have.

      The more we/I try to get things done or heard about here the worse the retaliation and attacks are. Along with our elected officials keep stabbing us in the back and making decent less costly health care impossible in these here modern times. So, so much for trying to make things better for future generations. It will continue to get only worse and more costly, more oppressive and controlled.

    • When they RED FLAG YOU and you don’t know it till they start cancelling your apps,but they don’t tell you so you go to check in and a V.A. COP [she was fair looking with a real badge % pistol ] escorted me to the door told me to leave and never come back to the V.A. or I would be arrested.L.O.P.C. FELT I was a threat to there safety.! I will continue this post after I rest my shoulder a little while.!

  6. How can we change this? We must make an impact. All the wounded and sick vets should arrange a parade and march, walk of crawl in front of the White House. Shame O’Bama. We can ‘t let them win. my husband is 94 and I’m 80. Local VA Hospital has suppled little help to assist us in our need. We’re living a nightmare. I’m his only caregiver and emotionally and physically exhausted.
    Some nights I cry myself to sleep from sheer exhaustion.
    Can’t give up.
    Wife of a World War II Veteran.
    Sylvia Mastrobuono

    • I totally agree veterans must do as you said parade. Not March !

      Many veterans have said s March on Washington. Would the police involved and veterans would get hurt.

      Veterans see being hurt because we have not done a parade or uses our right to assemble. !.

      We news someone with media contact and clout to contact them and tell all veterans when where and how to meet in Washington !

      Advised those whom can not make it to assemble at their nearest VA facility. That includes the regional office’s.

      That’s the only way I see to get national attention. Veterans have to he heard hand taken seriously. !

    • Sylvia, until real congressmen and senators stand up and actually stop the VA, no one’s going to have a referendum vote about it… Get real Representatives in office, which means removing everyone who’s currently taking up chair space in the Capitol. It’s that or someone could go after the prez for the no-bid contract Bob McDonald got to administer all benefits at the VA before he became the Sec of the VA. Bobby boy is the head of the board of directors at the Xerox Document corp, the company VA SecShinseki contracted to administer all VA benefits shortly before their board of directors, Bobby boy McDonald, became the sec of VA. But in answer to your question, no one’s filing a class action lawsuit to address the mis-administration of benefits at the VA OR the illegal no-bid contract the prez gave to Xerox and Bobby boy McDonald.

    • @Ron Nestler

      What ever happened with that “phone conference” between McDuck and/or whomever was on the call?

      People have been asking!

      • AS A TAX PAYER @ VET I DECLARE VA DEATHCARE A FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET @ GIVE ALL VETS VOUCHERS FOR PRIVATE HEALTH CARE NOW CONGRESS COWARDS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • @crazy elf

        >>What ever happened with that “phone conference” between McDuck and/or whomever was on the call? People have been asking!

        Some donated $ too. McDuck must have had a NDA to be signed otherwise why the “silent running” ?

    • agin vets va deathcare one big big big fedral rico crime racket run by afge uinion contracts vets yo are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SCREWED !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Is there a forum or url where Veterans can post their…concerns to Our deaf and blind Commander in chief? They, MY VA, won’t even give me the name of whoever is in charge. I have not the patience any longer to deal with the staff. And the anger grows. The VETERANS ADMINISTRATION needs to be replaced with private care. I have to deal with them, and each time I walk through the VA doors, and watch all these Vets just sitting around waiting, I am a bit angrier.The pharmacy has a sign, 45 minute wait time. I waited 3and a half hours. Every beautiful sign driving into the VA is a lie.

  8. I started getting medical care from the Veteran’s Adversary around 1997. There has always been a black hole in it’s operations. The entity leader needs to be removed from a cabinet position because the daily care and benefits of veterans actually conflicts with the Presidents primary role as the leader of the military. And changing the Veteran Adversary Secretary with each Administration is not beneficial to the veterans. But since “as is” is more about power and money than commitments to veterans, I don’t see any changes coming soon. There is actually no one in control of the Veteran Adversary. Only people with short term influence.

    • Bob McDonald would be welcomed to stay as long as he wanted. ! Or anyone else. !

      As long as they do their job. !

      He and many other are not doing their job’s as it was ment to be. !

      You said it. It’s all about ? it. Not the veterans !

      If they actually due their job’s as would not be where we are now. !

      Many. Many employees have year’s and year’s if service hand they think their job. Is picking their ? !

      Nothing else. !

      They say the veterans want what.?

      Are they kidding. They want us to give up our yearly bonous !

      Look my ? is clean. !

      Don’t they know now many bloody noses I got. Picking my ? !

      Dam. Veterans are never satisfied. !

      And if they don’t like it and complain. Take their name and last four and take their disability away. !

      That will teach them to complain. !

      The problem is they don’t care. If a veteran dies or not. No matter how long they stay. !

      Veterans are just a pon. A stepping stone.

      If Grave’s and her girl friend can get $400000 to move and a veteran whom proves their case after 40 years and they pay him $125K.

      Something is very wrong. Keeping leader’s like them for year’s and year’s is only harming veterans.

      Their job is to Deny. Deny and hope you die. !

      Time is one think many veterans don’t have, waiting for help that will never come. As long as bad employees are kept on the payrole !

      40 year’s of being lied to !

      They all need to be fired and start over or let veterans go where ever they want free of charge as long as they served honorably. !

  9. Last night, just thinking out loud, but seems relevant to @Ben’s story of the day…:

    Many VA doctors leave VA and go into private practice. Especially in the last few years due to the light shedding whistle-blowing into VA/VBA screwing veterans. Let’s go to the doctor review websites where patients can post reviews of their doctor and post a few remarks, neg or pos, as long as truthful.

    If a VA doctor screwed you over, post a review of such on one of those websites. It might save another unsuspecting patient the same treatment.

    If a VA doctor treated you fair & square and honestly tried to help you post that too and give the doctor some credit they deserve.

    We all know the constraints, rules, protocols, bs, that VA upper management & the union put upon the VA employees. I suspect that turns some good doctors into bad ones. But the doctors that try to honestly help given their constraints deserve some good pr just as much as the bad apples deserve neg pr.

    We veterans have our stories & experiences dealing with VA/VBA. One great function of the Internet is we all now see just how common all across the VA landscape our stories are. Going back years when few if any believed us, to current time with almost weekly stories on MSM about veterans getting screwed over by VA/VBA. That leads credence that the “screw the veteran” practices/policies starts in Central Office D.C. and the union. And trickles down to regional and local. And some of those managed VA’s put those bad practices on steroids.

    When possible and time permits, let’s put a note or two regarding some of these doctors on those web sites patients go to for reviews so the world knows that doctor screwed over veterans or in fact helped a veteran.

    @Ben, we can do this, yes? or a legal problem?

  10. Hey y’all, remember that high ranking Air Force sgt. Who was “physically dragged out of a Flag Folding Ceremony,”
    Well, here’s a new article over it. There’s two videos also.
    From: “WND ‘Faith'”
    “Pentagon Investigating Military’s Crackdown on ‘GOD'”
    by Bob Unruh | Jun 23, 2016

    The sgt in question was/is “SMSGT Oscar Rodriguez”, a 33 year retired Air Force Veteran!
    This is how the Air Force treats its retirees and veterans – SHAME ON THE AIR FORCE!

  11. The VAMC Tomah employees from the AFGE Union did picket against Veterans receiving improved health care today. Below are several links to articles from the local papers.

    First I would like to point out the changes to Veterans Health Care that the Commission on Care are recommending. These are the same changes that the AFGE is fighting to prevent.

    “Commission on Care: Congressional Mandate”

    “Congress passed the Veterans Access, Choice, and Accountability Act (VACAA) of 2014 in response to concerns about the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA’s) ability to provide access to medical services for veterans and manage the operations of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). In Section 202 of VACAA, Congress established the Commission on Care, charging it to examine veterans’ access to VA health care and to examine strategically how best to organize the VHA, locate health resources, and deliver health care to veterans during the next 20 years. The Commission reports to the President of the United States through the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.”

    The Commission on Care’s website is accessible by googling Commission on Care. The website provides links currently published reports also links to meeting minutes of the Commission.

    The most recent meeting minutes include what is going to be recommended in the final report. These are the some of the improvements to Veterans health. They are also some of the improvements that the AFGE is fighting to prevent Veterans from receiving in our health care.

    “The overarching recommendation to develop locally-based integrated delivery networks in partnership with community providers to expand veterans’ access to high-quality healthcare.”

    “Providers in the networks should be paid using the most contemporary payment approaches available to incentivize quality and appropriate utilization of health care services (ie., using Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) physician payment methodology being proposed by CMS”

    “That the veteran has a choice between seeing VHA-employed providers or VHA credentialed community providers in the VA Care System, both being equal in quality; that the veteran can select a primary care provider within the VHA Care System to be the primary provider; and that the primary care provider is responsible for coordinating the veterans’ care”

    “The current time and distance criteria for community care access (30 days or 40 miles) should be eliminated.”

    “VISN geography should also be eliminated as a factor in where veterans can access care. VA-eligible veterans should be permitted to receive care at any facility and by any provider in the VA integrated care system, to include both VA and community providers.”

    These improvements are what the VA AFGE employees are fight to prevent Veterans from having in our health care. The reason why is they know that Veterans will choose private health care over the current VA health care system. That also means that there will be some aspects of the current VA Health Care system that will no longer be finically viable.

    As it stands these VA AFGE Union Maggots are fighting against Veterans having a choice in their health care so they can protect their jobs. They have no concern for Veterans else they would certainly be supporting the changes which give Veterans a choice.

    The links to recent articles: also although they claim the report is recommending close all VAMC that is not true. The report is recommending giving Veterans a choice in choosing a Medicare based system vs the current VA health care system.

    The Medicare based payment system guarantees providers will be paid in a timely manner and is less susceptible to sabotage by AFGE employees as has been the case with the current Veterans Choice program. Also the report is recommending a continuous review to adjust spending where it is needed. Likely the reviews will result in a number of VA facilities being re-tasked or closed.

    “Union rallies against VA privatization”
    “https://lacrossetribune.com/tomahjournal/news/local/union-rallies-against-va-privatization/article_97862893-fd7d-5e02-994f-23cecef6de29.html”

    “Protesters picket in Tomah to save VA hospitals”
    “https://www.news8000.com/news/protesters-picket-in-tomah-to-save-va-hospitals/40198182”

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