Accountability Hearing: How Far Can Peter O’Rourke Hit Softballs?

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Quite a few friends of mine were disappointed when writing back to me yesterday while they watched acting Secretary Peter O’Rourke smash softball after softball.

I watched it. And yes, there were quite a few softballs. And, O’Rourke is adept at hitting those softballs pretty far. But the questions were not all softballs.

In particular, I would direct your attention to the questions from Mr. Lamb starting around 2:18:20. All I can say is, “Officers eat last,” but that certainly is not the case in VA.

That aside, my take away is the agency is misusing the Accountability Act while also not properly implementing the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection in part because the second half of the office’s name is clearly ironic.

With this quick article, I am not looking to address the entire hearing, but instead, I am wondering what your thoughts are. What are they? I want to know the answer to at least one question: Why Peter Shelby was removed from his position as head of HR just days prior to a hearing on Accountability?

RELATED: VA HR Chief Removed Days Prior to Accountability Hearing

Many whistleblowers now claim the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection is purely an intelligence gathering office. It purportedly relays whistleblower data back to decisionmakers for further adverse action rather than holding the identity of whistleblowers confidential during investigations.

Curious during the hearing were a few erroneous statements from O’Rourke about numerous disabled veterans inside leadership who were asked to leave the agency for reasons other than performance.

RELATED: Massive Purge Inside VA

If you skip to an exchange with Mr. Peters at 2:01 toward the end, you can hear the question and see at least one person in the crowd shaking her head.  He asked O’Rourke about removals and the acting secretary flat denied the terminations.

The reality is VA now has a purge going on of many high-level officials in the middle of massive changes in senior leadership of both the head of VBA and the agency switching over to Robert Wilkie. Massive turnover in this capacity will destabilize the agency and is a huge gamble.

RELATED: Advice For O’Rourke As Acting Secretary

But then again, the previous model was not working, so who knows?

So, what do you think? Is VA heading in the right direction? Should we embrace a wait and see approach to the current purge? What about reports that the new Accountability Office is simply gathering intelligence rather than substantively protecting whistleblowers.

I am throwing out this article as a fishing line to readers concerned about how the agency is applying or misapplying the law related to accountability. Let me know.

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34 Comments

  1. I am being abandoned by the VA, I take a lot of gabapentin for the pain and I am in an electric wheel chair ot in bed because of the Pain..The NP who would come and see me will not provide me with the necessary meds for pain….They want me to travel to Long Beach when often the traffic is so bad that it is 3 hour drive and I can not handle that…so my NP says that she cannot provide for me and I need to see a Doctor at the VA and so I guess I have been pushed out. I am going to have to go outside the VA for medical help….I told them to put me in the choice program but they will not do it. I have Doctors all around me who I could go to…but they say no….so I GUESS I AM OUT OF THE VA WHEN THEY ARE THE ONES THAT CAUSED ME ALL OF THIS PAIN AND LOSS OF BOWEL AND BLADDER. A BAD SHOT LEFT ME A CRIPPLED AND IN A LOT OF PAIN 24/7. i TRIED TO TALK TO CAROLINE CLANCY BUT HERE ASSISTANT WOULD NOT PUT ME THROUGH TO HER.

  2. **A BIG I TOLD YOU SO**

    “[…Many whistleblowers now claim the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection is purely an intelligence gathering office. It purportedly relays whistleblower data back to decisionmakers for further adverse action rather than holding the identity of whistleblowers confidential during investigations….]”

    Back when this office was first established I remember distinctly posting here that the office of accountability and whistleblower protection act would somehow be bastardized by the VA and utilized as a way to keep tabs on the perceived troublemakers…anyone that dares to tell the truth and speak-out…

    The answer now of course is: $$$$$ to establish the Office of Accountability for the Office of Accountability and Whistle blowers for the Whistle blowers….and all the while the VSO’s chant, “SAVE OUR VA”…(fuck off).

  3. cj ¯¯̿̿¯̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿’̿̿̿̿̿’̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ ‘̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

    You keep using that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means. Your looking for accountability, and the VA is off a counting hillbillies.

  4. Why am I going to come here to state the obvious?

    I, like others, said this VA Accountability Office was a joke and that they really didn’t need it to get rid of whistleblowers because already they are doing it already while the MSPB, OSC and courts rubberstamp their nonsense.

    I’m here, still trying to pick up my mouth off of the floor after each level of the courts deny my appeals – when my constitutional right to due process was violated over and over, the decisions made by the courts is not consistent with precedent, and “substantial evidence” is the court agreeing with a bunch of liars that can’t even keep their story straight.

    If I was a VA manager, they would have granted my appeal from the day I filed it.

    This thing yesterday was another trick and pony show. Where congress pretends they did something and the VA goes back to business – which is to delay, deny and kill as many veteans they can during the process….and, anyone who isn’t on board with the VA’s iReallyDon’tCARE, will suffer a punishment that no one can do a thing about.

  5. Two Whistle-Blowers Say They Were Run Out Of VA Hospital In Jennings, Louisiana
    3:24 AM 07/18/2018
    Michael Volpe | Contributor
    Daily Caller News Foundation

    “Two whistle-blowers at a Louisiana Veterans Affairs hospital say they found widespread corruption and were subjected to uncomfortable retaliation when they brought their concerns forward.

    Crystal LeJeune and Harvey Norris are whistle-blowers and former employees of the Alexandria, Louisiana VA Medical Center system.

    Each worked at a clinic in Jennings, Louisiana — which was part of the Alexandria VA Health Care system; both are speaking out exclusively for the first time to The Daily Caller.

    Both say that not only did they find widespread waste, fraud, and abuse — primarily in the Home Based Primary Care (HBPC) department — but experienced retaliation for speaking out.
    Crystal LeJeune

    The Allegations

    LeJeune said in an Office of Special Counsel (OSC) complaint that she has witnessed “patient neglect, falsification of Veterans’ medical records, fraudulent billing, misuse of government vehicles, tampering with government vehicle tracking systems, and deceitful time documentation” at the hospital.

    As part of her duties, LeJeune said she regularly examined the Veterans Equitable Resource Allocation (VERA) Report.

    By examining the report, LeJeune found all sorts of waste.

    “When I would go into the system, it proved they (HBPC employees) weren’t actually seeing patients,” LeJeune stated.

    As one example, she noted that one HBPC nurse visited 11 patients in one morning, something which LeJeune said was impossible for a nurse making house calls.

    “They were supposed to be seeing the patients every thirty days,” LeJeune said, “but that wasn’t happening. There was (one) who hadn’t been seen for more than one hundred thirty days, but there was numerous ones (patients) who hadn’t been seen on a regular basis.”

    A group of HBPC employees also appeared to be using the cars for outside work.

    “The car log wasn’t matching the GPS.”

    In those instances, the car log would show little or no activity while the GPS showed the car making stops at several homes at addresses without a VA patient.

    The Retaliation

    LeJeune said her problems first started in July 2012 when, as the program support assistant in HBPC, she was ordered to log in all the miles which HBPC employees used with government vehicles.

    As part of her duties, she was to receive all HBC’s employees’ calendars and patient schedules, but that never happened.

    Instead, she came back from a vacation in September 2012, and five minutes after arriving back at the hospital, LeJeune said she was told she was under investigation and moved to another assignment temporarily while the investigation was ongoing.

    She was eventually cleared but this began years of harassment, LeJeune said.

    LeJeune’s most aggressive harasser was Tabitha Nicholas, a HBPC dietician.

    “Tabitha was taking notes as to my comings and goings since I first started at HBPC. Every time I left the office, she went to the front door/window to make sure I was gone (I actually saw her). She reported my every move to my supervisor at the time,” LeJeune stated during the 2012 inquiry into the hostile work environment.

    “I am requesting a desk change, to somewhere that I have privacy. This atmosphere is getting more intimidating and the stress is taking its toll on me. I am having to take leave on a regular basis, because of this stress and that is not fair,” LeJeune wrote to another supervisor in 2016.

    “I understand I have to do my job but Tabitha Nicholas, what purpose does she have doing here at the clinic,” LeJeune stated in an April 2017 email to a colleague. “Again, face to face with me today.”

    LeJeune said she became so paranoid of what Nicholas might do that she moved from her office which could not be locked to an adjoining office which she locked.

    Curt Cashour is the press secretary for the Department of Veteran Affairs, and he dismissed LeJeune’s allegations, saying she “did not provide any information that supports [her] assertion [of] any threatening conduct directed toward [her],” Cashour stated. “There was insufficient information to conclude with a substantial likelihood that the actions of HBPC employees amounted to wrongdoing.”

    Besides providing several hundred pages of documents which detailed the harassment to The Daily Caller, LeJeune said her complaints were eventually investigated by the VA’s Office of Resolution Management which produced a near 700-page report.

    As part of the retaliation, LeJeune said she’s been followed, stalked, had her photo taken by an employee, false allegations were made, and had her religion demeaned in a staff meeting.

    “In 2011 & 2012, I was asked by Tabitha what religion I was. Because of her actions that followed this conversation and her discussion of me in an email, she obviously did not agree with my religious beliefs,” LeJeune noted in a 2017 report. “There is an email between supervisors where Tabitha Nicholas questioned my Christianity and stated I needed to find God, in a meeting that I was not present.”

    In 2016, several photos were taken — purportedly of her desk with sensitive patient information unattended — and then shared with the privacy officer to start another investigation.

    The allegations were determined to be false; the photos had a laptop on the desk and Lejeune doesn’t own a laptop.

    “They were cropped,” LeJeune said.

    On February 1, 2017, she says she was followed to a restaurant by Nicholas, who took photos of LeJeune, Norris and another hospital employee having lunch.

    The meeting was quickly reported to hospital management, triggering another investigation.

    LeJeune said she took medical leave after her photo was taken and she has been told nothing about the investigation.

    LeJeune was granted medical retirement in June 2018.”

    Full Article At: “https://dailycaller.com/2018/07/17/two-whistle-blowers-va-hospital-louisiana/”

    • More From the Artlcle —

      “Harvey Norris

      The Allegations

      Norris started in the HBPC in November 2016 on what was supposed to be a temporary assignment.

      He quickly found rampant corruption.

      “What happened was that I found all sorts of problems: the overbilling, misuse of government, and filing false documentation.”

      He said that he discovered that the nurse practitioners had formed their own corporation and were funneling patients illegally to their company.

      Norris said that he submitted his complaint to the VA Office of Inspector General’s Office (VAOIG).

      Cashour dismissed Norris’ claims as well: “VA has asked Mr. Norris several times for evidence backing up his complaint. To date, Mr. Norris has not provided anything that backs up any of his claims. VA stands ready to look into this right away should Mr. Norris provide evidence and/or documentation backing up his claims.

      “Additionally, the Office of Special Counsel found that it could not establish that Mr. Norris made a protected disclosure and/or engaged in a protected activity within OSC’s jurisdiction.”

      But Norris said Cashour was trying sleight of hand, because his main complaint went to the VA OIG, not to OSC.

      “It will take me a month to go through all of the information you provided. I really appreciate you referring this case to us,” Norris’ caseworker at the VAOIG noted in a February 2017 complaint upon receiving it.

      He made a complaint to OSC for whistle-blower retaliation, and while it was technically dismissed, Norris noted, this was only because OSC did not want to conduct an investigation while the VAOIG investigation was still ongoing.

      “The VA OIG reviewed the matter and referred it to the VA for appropriate action,” Michael Nacincik, public affairs for the VAOIG, stated of the information Norris brought them.

      The Retaliation

      On February 1, 2017, Norris was having dinner at a truck stop in Jennings with LeJeune and another Jennings VA employee when he noticed Tabitha Nicholas and another Jennings VA employee.

      They drove to the truck stop, got out, and started taking photos, Norris noted; he said he was informed he was being investigated the following morning for misuse of a government vehicle.

      Norris explained the use of the vehicle, saying that he drove to St. Martinville to do a presentation to St. Martin Parish Sheriffs in late January 2017. After the presentation, he met with a veteran at a Waffle House a few miles from the presentation. The veteran’s son was suicidal, and Norris convinced the suicidal veteran to visit his hospital immediately.

      Norris said he went to see the doctor who would be handling the case in the Jennings VA, and the VA filed a complaint because his original itinerary had called for him to go to a hospital in Alexandria from the conference.

      Norris managed the suicide crisis hotline when this investigation was started, but during the investigation he was not allowed to talk to veterans, respond to crisis line calls or to call people back. If a nurse or a doctor called him about a suicidal veteran in the hospital, he had no choice but to tell them to call the police.

      It ended with a demotion and a two-week suspension. He was able to get another job, and, on the day he resigned, he received another write-up.

      “OSC also found that VA had clear and convincing evidence supporting Mr. Norris’ discipline and closed Mr. Norris’ file,” Cashour noted. But Norris said OSC made no such determination, closing out the file because the VAOIG was still investigating.

      The OSC did not respond to an email for comment.

      Norris said he’s much happier since switching jobs.”

    • Do they read from the same playbook or something?
      They started clocking my coming/goings, tried to take pictures of me, and even went insofar to have some fool follow me around the building….yet somehow the VA Accountability Office has no clue this is going on..

      What the F ever…

      • Need to flood the VA with lawsuits and at the same time take out some of these big time crooks playing their own game. It is called “counter espionage’ You have to make THEM cry, instead of crying because of their treatment of you. You must put FEAR in their hearts NOTHING ELSE WILL DO IT.
        It’s like a boxing match Jab, Jab, Jab Jab, POW. Jab, Jab, Jab, POW, After the fifth round they will not respond to the bell. You cannot play paddycake with these criminals. Why hasn’t this fat shit who heads the union checked into a mental hospital out of Paranoid Fear??

  6. Answering Ben’s questions relating to what his reader’s thoughts are on this topic, I can only offer anecdotal evidence.

    It very well could be a coincidence that once I filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint against my VA supervisor my employment was terminated seven days later. It could be happenstance that in my complaint I submitted all documentation under the header, “In accordance with and protection by the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989,” and despite the fact that the VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection was not formed during my employment period neither the VA Office of Resolution Management (ORM), Alternative Dispute Resolution program, VA Human Resources office, nor VA EEO Manager in any way whatsoever offered protection for me.

    It may be a simple fluke that even though the ORM later determined that my complaints were credible I remained unemployed while my supervisor maintained employment. It could’ve been accidental that even after the official EEO investigation was completed, and the preponderance of evidence supported my claim, the VA refused to budge on my case. It truly could be an anomaly that during the lengthy EEO Commission (EEOC) hearing, a time when it seemed obvious to the judge that my complaints were valid, the VA doubled down on its stance. It could be coincidental that VA employees who testified on my behalf stated that they, too, experienced reprisal and further feared that their employment was in jeopardy simply for testifying during the EEOC hearing.

    Maybe, maybe not.

    I tend to agree with the statement, “Many whistleblowers now claim the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection is purely an intelligence gathering office.” I was one of the “numerous disabled veterans” employed by the VA, though not in a leadership position, who “were asked to leave the agency for reasons other than performance.” No, on second thought no one “asked” me to leave; they demanded my termination. Though the VA Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection was established on April 27, 2017, after my employment was terminated and while I awaited justice, I suspect the Office remains as flawed as the aforementioned levels of resolve I used.

    As bleak as this may sound, I place no faith in the whole “drain the swamp” rhetoric that gave us the current administration. All I’ve observed is a sleight of hand that has resulted in a musical chairs approach to resolving issues within the VA. The music stops, a person is cast out, a chair is removed, and the game continues. Again, my subjective experience may not be applicable to others. Still, I maintain emic understanding of how whistleblowers within the VA are treated. The music stopped, I was the last one standing, there were supposedly mechanisms in place to prevent my removal, I was jettisoned from the game, and around and around others went until it was their time to face the music’s end, too.

    • I would not direct or encourage it or do it myself, but it is my hope that many of these higher up crooks will be killed by beserk Veterans who can commit murder instead of suicide. At least a death will advance a cause. These boobecrats need to pay attention and like mules they will only pay attention if you hit them in the balls with a piece of steel. For every Veteran who commits suicide due to failure of the system, a senior boobecrat should be executed. Sounds scary and crazy, doesn’t it? Imagine that you are back on the battlefield………

    • The OSC does the same thing to me…

      They sit on your complaint for the 120 day period then find any technicality (i.e. another office is responsible) to blow you off.

  7. A failing system that has committed numerous crimes over the years and continues to do so, is there any point to have a VA or just have the system merged with a medical system that has proven to deliver good care and service to it’s patients maybe this the way to go, but no telling if some big wig would want to sit at the helm and screw things up, the VA needs to be completely purged of all of the nonsense that continues to plague and corrupt and deny the benefits our Veterans are entitled to

    • It has been advocated both by myself and several others here to dismantle the VA by giving Claims control to SSA and healthcare over to Medicare. The VA’s budget could be split in half and given to each agency to shore up for the additional workload.

      The VA, at this point is a complete and utter relic from a bygone era kept afloat by ignorant legislators who just want to be seen on TV as being “for the vet”

      I would argue that if you take any average veteran out there with healthcare issues and strip the word veteran what you have left is a citizen with health issues. I can’t think, off the top of my head, of any type of injury or condition that the VA is uniquely qualified to treat over the private sector.

  8. Me, I think the vA is one of the most disgusting, despicable organizations on the face of the planet, I’m sure there’s others
    but the vA leads the way. Free health care, that’s what the vA and others use for the bait, “its free”, yeah free medical debauchery practiced at your expense. There’s nothing free at the vA, and one will end up paying with their ass in one form or another.
    It’s a management problem, a management that looks at every problem in a cover their own ass first type of approach. Legislators are just fartin against the wind, the vA will operate the way its always operated, with no accountability, I mean that seems to be the only reason for the vA’s existence, no accountability for whatever the gov does to its soldiers, sailors, marines airmen, and its veterans.

  9. Your all a bunch of ingrates. Trump has fixed the VA on day one, he has put in a Hot Line to the White House to go over VA’s head and is personally involved in it, and he has issued all of us a VA Health Care card, that is good anywhere Medicare is accepted. And, you’re STILL not happy?

    • Hi Ron,

      I’ve seen you post before so out of respect I won’t go all in. I will, however, relay my experience with the White House hotline. I called the first time and was promptly referred to the VA main desk which got me nowhere. I called a second time last week. I was told the turn around time to handle my inquiry was 21 days. Maybe not a big deal when I’ve been waiting years already I suppose. Apparently the hotline isn’t even located in the WH it’s in Virginia somewhere and manned by VA employees. I seriously doubt Trump is sitting in a cubicle somewhere picking up the phone.

    • yeah I’m ungrateful, why shouldn’t I be, the two programs you mentioned don’t work properly, if at all. When will I be grateful? When there is REAL accountability and the courts start to take legal action against managerial impropriety. Emphases on REAL

    • Smoke screen. Turn on your fan bro. Ron Nesler = Fake News

      Down playing other Veterans VA experiences, and awarding no validation in what they share. Comment is bullshit, deflective, and dirty, like VA’s dirty Precision Healthcare and the science they use.

      My Brothers and Sisters, don’t buy this type of mindset believing the VA is OK.

    • What’s the point of signing into laws that no one enforces and/or has no teeth and/or a hotline that logs in complaints?

      Look, the writting is on the wall….all show, talk and no action.

      Each of us is evidence of nothing changing.

      BTW, Trump still hasn’t ensured that the MSPB has a full Board, so now after some loser “administrative” judge (who probably got their degree from a popcorn box) sends you into appeal limbo, you’re screwed, cuz it’s either appeal to the CAFC (which will affirm constitutional denial of due process rights) or sit in the MSPB eternal queue.

      They are stripping away federal employees’ rights – starting off with whistleblowers….plain and simple…so they can continue with using government agencies as taxpayer funded money pits to give out jobs/contracts to private entities under the guise of serving the public.

  10. OMG…and I thought I was the Lone Ranger out there…of course the VA has me in a line that will never end. My issues are just PTSD and Hearing but with what I have just read I know why, even as an OFFICIALLY approved by VA
    YOU ARE HEREBY “CERTIFIED AS ADVANCED AGE for your “F9 appeals hearing to be held in WDC” that was nearly ONE YEAR AGO and NOT a single world by phone, USPS or email have I heard from whothehellever and at now going on age 80 I, too, am in the loooong line of men and women whose life expectancy is such, (unless they/we take a gun to our heads in protest…and with zero help for surviving vets who are also in line.

    So, here is my suggestion, go back to the late 1930s when I understand that Congress passed Federal Law “The GI BILL”, whereby we vets, back then and now, either were drafted or enlisted signed an enlistment contract that is supposed to be guaranteed by the late 1930s act of Congress.

    My limited research has revealed (for lack of any hard evidence) that the very first VA Administrators where (I believe) the “consiglieres” of mafioso “familia” controlled their consiglieres. I was born in 1939.

    I believe there is a fishermans saying that ” The Fish Rots From The head, down” There is no doubt that the late 30s VA was a dead fish and gives us Vets the bad deal unhonored by our VA. I pity these younger men and women who will, I pray, reach my age someday
    and NOT suffer, as todays surviving vets must suffer and dies, either natural or by suicide.. Ay nearing 80 it sure looks like the VA is merely waiting for me to die and not bother the higher ups in the system with our “petty” gievances.

    The VA perhaps for most Vets is our ADVERSARY and we have not been able to do anything about it…except die as the claim also dies with us to the detriment of our estates.

    I know I am as useless as a boar tit on a log. All I/we can do is vent.

    Bruce R Nelson (geezerkatz) Banner Elk, NC 28604

    • Great analogy Bruce, “The Fish Rots From The Head, Down.” You’ve captured the zeitgeist of the moment.

  11. Walter: You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude.
    Walter: Hell I can get you a toe by 3 o’clock this afternoon…………with nail polish. The Big Lewboski

    • I got one for ya 😀

      Col. Tye “What side are we on, Chief? We’re on the side of the demons. We’re evil men set loose in the gardens of paradise to wreak our havoc and destruction. I’m surprised you didn’t know that.”

      Colonel Saul Tye
      Battlestar Galactica

      Oh and my personal favorite.

      “Sometimes you just gotta roll a hard 6”

      Admiral Adama
      Battlestar Galactica

      😀 😀 😀

  12. Bruce, welcome. I like the lone ranger and you can be assured your not alone.

    We feel alone. As long as ur alive keep being the lone ranger and remember you have a very large group of side kicks.

    In your honor. I proclame to as lone ranger day YOU can lead the charge as lead lone ranger.

    You know the lone ranger never gave up and in the End, placed the bad guy’s in jail.

    Next question are you service connected for PTSD. If not send Ben a separate. Message on the bottom he has a place where veteran’s can write directly to Ben.

    I am truly sorry for what the VA has done to you and to thousands of other veteran’s.

    Took me over forty years and only after finding an attorney to help did we get the VA to admit that my official Military records were not destroyed as the VA told me over and over again.

    Took me over forty years and been rated by the VA 100% Perment and total since 2001.

    I should have been considered 100% Perment and total since I was shot in the head while serving this country in 1972.

    I applied again for my traumatic brain injury and now the VA forced me to go to another comp and pension examinations for my post traumatic stress disorder.

    Just retaliation for me daring to ask to be service connected for the traumatic brain injury.

    Retaliation for dare asking the VA to consider my PTSD claims to be considered as a clear and unmistakable error.

    Retaliation for dare asking the VA to consider my wife as my caregiver.

    The VA is very adversarial towards veteran’s and confirmed by the highest level of authority Secretary Shulkin himself.

    The VA is trying to take away my rating of 100% Perment and total since 2001.

    Only they do not know, if and when they take illegall action and take away anything, I have a Team of attorneys waiting in the wing’s, to swoop in and fight for me.

    Still very disturbing to think, those entrusted to care for it’s nation’s veteran’s are evil enough to harm veteran’s such as yourself or veteran’s such as myself.

    Bottom line ! Never give up ! VA has discovered if they deny veteran’s disability claims a few time’s. The veteran’s will eather let their disability claims lapse or will never reapply.

    Nice scam hu ! The scam needs to be stopped today.

    • V E T E R A N S B E N E F I T S A D M I N I S T R A T I O N

      unwarranted Medical
      Reexaminations for
      Disability Benefits
      “https://www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-17-04966-201.pdf”

      • well isn’t that handy dandy…100 mil projected waste over the next 5 years. I did gather some good info out of that report like when their not supposed to order a reexamination. Good shit to know thanks for the link dude. +1 internet to you, Sir.

  13. How can the gov make the vA more accountable to veterans, when gov knows the vA’s very existence is all about denial and non accountable to veterans for anything the gov is responsible for. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Whatever the gov does will be basically meaningless and the accountability problem will just keep getting worse

  14. Kahtar
    Apparently accountability and whistleblower protection were not designed to hold employees. liaisons and executive staff accountable for negligence, retaliation against veterans, and intentional CUE errors (VAROs). The laws, statutes, rules and codes designed to protect (us) veterans are misinterpreted to deny benefit payments. If a major victory for veterans occurs (Staab v. McDonald/Shulkin, 042016), a new regulation is written to reverse it.
    The hotline, the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, OSC, VA OIG, and the various registries are, as stated above, information/intelligence gathering resources. The “list” is veterans who are dropped from the roles, never received an initial assignment to a VA hospital or clinic, or those who ask questions about their care.
    If you think RAMP will get you a decision in 125 days, consider the years (25-70) claims and appeals have resulted in backlogs, closed as “failure to pursue”, and constant resubmission.

  15. 07/18/2018

    Re: The first VA Committee review of the implementation of the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act—it is a failure!

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    Is VA heading in the right direction? No.
    Should we embrace a wait and see approach to the current purge? No.

    As Rep. Higgins put it lightly—it has been going on for “decades.”
    Rep. Clay Higgins LA —“Do you [O’Rourke] generally recognize sir that this is an era of reform in the VA? The VA has been mess man for decades it did not get this way under one administration or under one VA committee…. Does the VA get it this is an Era of Reform? O’Rourke “ I don’t think any organization self-reforms…its going to be what leadership…”

    Benjamin you should send in the USS New Jersey and use all its guns to wake up the VA Headquarter in Washington DC! Acting VA Secretary Peter O’Rourke knows damn well the Congressional War is beginning and that is why there is a purge of its officers/ administrators/ witnesses; and that is why the Head of HR, Peter Shelby, had to go! Robert Wilkie may never reach the VA if more information is made public.

    The U.S. Representatives that you should be proud of are Rep. Takano, Rep. Higgins, and Rep. Lamb who asked solid questions, and got answers. Why J. David Cox AFGE President refused to answer Rep. Higgins on matter that would go in favor of his Union is mindboggling [so he is under pressure from another source].

    The VA is preventing Veterans from getting the care they should receive.—end of story.

    According to O’Rourke statement: “I don’t think any organization self-reforms…????….its’ going to be what leadership…????….”

    Or was he pointing to Congress and the Senate but wimped out with un-audible sounds????

    Don’t expect Jake from this guy [The Acting VA Secretary Peter O’Rourke]!!

    What we Americans heard in the Congressional Hearing that whistleblowers are a target as soon as corrective actions are being implemented in the VA Hospital System [by Demotion/ Removal/ suspension] and there is no one to provide safety or protection or sustainability for the Brave and courageous Employees against criminal administrators who prevent Veterans from getting their rightful care. This VA administration is a Pure Dictatorship.

    And Congress and the AFGE and the Americans went along with this for decades—-Why?

    Rep. Barbara Boxer answered a call/letter years ago in Late 1991 [see 1998 Cox Report]—that saved thousands of jobs in Aerospace in America and abroad. I wonder how Rep. Higgins’ is going to handle the Call?

    2014 and the year 2018 look the same to O’Rourke.
    No one of influence, in reality, was fired for this “national embarrassment” or the “five alarm fire.”

    The conclusion to this mess “it was and is an inside job.”

    51 books ago I called it what it was!

    This Act/Law was a total failure in its first year and the Chairman of the Committee Rep. Roe failed to make that clear, and the Congressman did not apologize to the American Public that another year has vanished as a total and complete failure. Time is running out!

  16. What they said (except for Ron )

    RE: he has put in a Hot Line to the White House to go over VA’s head and is personally involved in it, I called and got back an obvious form reply that said someone would get back to me and NOTHING ELSE.

    RE:he has issued all of us a VA Health Care card, that is good anywhere Medicare is accepted.
    Went to the ER in VTAC. Medicare paid promptly. VA refuseed to pay because ” Claim not submitted is a timely manner. ” It was submitted at the same time as the Medicare claim. NUFF SAID.

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