10:38 AM, Jul 11, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Veterans Affairs, following the iron law of institutional self-interest, has been paying its people well – improperly and, possibly, illegally so – at the expense of it supposed “clients” and its mission. As David Wood of the Huffington Post reports:
The scandal-plagued Department of Veterans Affairs is systematically overpaying clerks, administrators and other support staff, according to internal audits, draining tens of millions of dollars that could be used instead to ease the VA's acute shortage of doctors and nurses.
This was no sloppy, bookkeeping error of the sort that could be passed off on a crashed computer hard drive. Seems that the agency has been aware of the problem for some time and:
Rather than moving quickly to correct these costly errors, VA officials two years ago halted a broad internal review mandated by federal law. As a result, the overpayments continue.
Read the whole thing. It gets worse.
11:31 AM, Jul 7, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Reporting on the Veterans Affairs, its problems, and what Congress might do to solve them, Craig Harris and Michelle Ye Hee Lee of the Arizona Republic are not terribly encouraging. They write that:
9:12 AM, Jun 24, 2014 • By PETE HEGSETH
Forty-four years after the legendary May 1970 Life magazine cover story first exposed the disgusting and shameful mistreatment of our nation’s Vietnam-era veterans in government medical facilities, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is once again in desperate need of reform. Courageous whistleblowers have exposed systemic corruption and exposed falsified records, secret waiting lists, and delayed care — representing yet another scandalous and unconscionable neglect of our nation’s veterans.
8:28 PM, Jun 21, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The IRS reportedly used a private company to back up emails, a new report claims. The company is called Sonasoft, which boasts, "Email Archiving Done Right."
9:35 AM, Jun 19, 2014 • By KEVIN NICHOLSON
The events of the last few weeks have been gut wrenching for many active duty members of the military and veterans. We have watched the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care scandal unfold, the absurdly lopsided trade of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five top-level Taliban commanders, and now the loss of hard-won Iraqi cities to ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) following the premature withdrawal of all U.S. troops from that country.
2:47 PM, Jun 11, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Jake Tapper has a report of VA officials telling members of Congress to buzz off, more or less, when they came looking for information about the sort of thing that has been in the news lately – lost patients, long waits for this who are not lost, and a clever bookkeeping system for covering it up.
9:09 AM, Jun 10, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Veterans Affairs has problems. This, we all know. Among the questions raised since those problems first began making headlines are: how widespread are they? Are we talking outliers? A few rogue operators. Or is the system, itself, dysfunctional. Today’s partial answer to that question is … kind of looks that way.
11:45 AM, Jun 6, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Two stories about the problems at the Veterans Affairs. Both come with numbers, if not faces, attached.
7:38 AM, May 30, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
A report released this week by the inspector general for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) found that "inappropriate scheduling practices are systemic throughout VHA." But as recently as September 2013, Stephen Warren, the executive in charge for information and technolo
1:08 PM, May 29, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
One of the more intriguing aspects of the VA health care scandal is the way the paperwork was creatively done to make it appear that the system was operating as it was meant to.
7:21 AM, May 29, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
In October 2013, as the nation was focused on the deeply flawed rollout of the Healthcare.gov Obamacare marketplace, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) awarded $3 million in prizes to three participants in the agency's Medical Appointment Scheduling Contest.
6:46 PM, May 24, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In his weekly address, President Obama referred to care for veterans as part of a "sacred trust to all who've served." He said our nation has to do "much more … to make sure all our veterans get the care they deserve."
The comments come amid criticism of the President Obama's Department of Veterans Affairs has been treating veterans. And the comments come just days before Memorial Day.
3:33 PM, May 23, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
In a Memorial Day piece for The Hill, Nancy Pelosi writes:
With every generation of Americans that has put on the uniform comes a renewed responsibility to meet the standard set by the origi