Veterans

May 1, 2013

VA withholds disability claims executives’ bonuses

The Department of Veterans Affairs is withholding bonuses for senior officials who oversee disability claims, citing a failure to meet performance goals for reducing a sizable backlog in claims processing.

The backlog has increased dramatically over the past three years, and the department has come under intense criticism from veterans groups and members of Congress who have asked President Barack Obama to try to speed the process.

VA spokesman Josh Taylor said April 29 the savings would be used to help reduce the backlog. He didn’t provide specifics, nor could he say how many people would be affected or how much the savings would be. The withholdings apply only to Veterans Benefits Administration executives.

“We remain confident that VBA senior executives are dedicated to our nation’s veterans, and they will continue to lead our drive toward VA’s goal: eliminating the claims backlog in 2015,” Taylor said.

In all, records show the department paid its senior executives a total of $2.8 million in bonuses in fiscal year 2011. Three staff members received the top payment of $23,091 each.

The amount of the bonuses was first reported by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

The number of disability claims pending for longer than 125 days jumped from less than 200,000 to nearly 500,000 in fiscal 2011.

“How does the department expect to turn things around when it is rewarding employees and managers for falling behind?” said Rep. Jeff Miller, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

The VA and other federal departments routinely give bonuses to Senior Executive Service workers and other non-political employees. The Office of Personnel Management put new limits into place in June 2011. The VA’s total spending for executives bonuses reflected those restrictions and dropped about 25 percent that year.

Miller said he was pleased the bonuses were halted.

“One can only wonder what effect this sort of policy may have had if VA had instituted it years ago,” he said.

Political appointees such as Allison Hickey, who oversees the Veterans Benefits Administration, are not offered the bonuses.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines March 27, 2015

News General Dynamics withdraws as T-100 prime contractor General Dynamics Information Systems and Technology has withdrawn itself as the prime contractor on the T-100, the offering for the T-X trainer replacement program based on the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 design.   Business SpaceX’s fight with U.S. Air Force called a clash of perceptions Billionaire Elon Musk’s...
 
 

News Briefs March 27, 2015

Contractor extradited from Iraq pleads guilty in bribes case A man extradited from Iraq in a military contract bribery case has pleaded guilty to three charges in an agreement with federal prosecutors. U.S. District Judge Thomas Rose has scheduled sentencing for July 1 for Metin Atilan. His attorney, Nick Gounaris, says the two sides agreed...
 
 

Ninth Boeing GPS IIF reaches orbit, sends first signals

Boeing Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellites are steadily replenishing the orbiting constellation, continuing to improve reliability and accuracy for users around the world. The ninth GPS IIF reached orbit about three hours, 20 minutes after launching today aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and...
 

 

F-35 Lightning II costs drop, report shows

A recent account of F-35 Lightning II aircraft program costs shows decreases, the Air Force’s F-35 program executive officer told reporters in a media roundtable March 24, 2015. Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan, citing this year’s selected acquisition report on the aircraft, called the roundtable to clarify cost and performance facts. He also acknowledged the...
 
 
NG-growler2

Northrop Grumman delivers center/aft ‘shipset’ for first international EA-18G Growler

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman mechanics perform final quality inspections on the center/aft fuselage shipset produced by the company for the first Australian EA-18G Growler. The subassembly will be delivered to B...
 
 
Navy photograph by Monica McCoy

Navy conducts production acceptance test of Tomahawk missile

Navy photograph by Monica McCoy Members of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division team at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head prepare a Tomahawk missile for a functional ground test at the Large Motor Test Fa...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>