Miller Statement on VA Secretary’s Refusal to Punish Confirmed Whistleblower Retaliation in Phoenix
WASHINGTON — Today, Chairman Miller released the following statement regarding the VA secretary’s refusal to punish confirmed whistleblower retaliation at the heart of the VA scandal in Phoenix.
“VA’s routine and pervasive refusal to seriously discipline employees who have engaged in proven incompetence, corruption and malfeasance is contributing to all of the department’s most serious problems. In this case, the department’s own investigations determined more than a year ago that two high-level Phoenix VA Health Care System administrators retaliated against whistleblowers, yet incredibly VA still hasn’t disciplined these officials for their retaliatory behavior. The fact that VA’s top leaders have likely known about these issues for more than a year and haven’t acted on the reports’ disciplinary recommendations severely undercuts the credibility of the department’s repeated assertions that whistleblower retaliation will not be tolerated. Additionally, it’s now clear that no matter what type of investigation – including those done by VA itself, the inspector general or Congress – finds misconduct on the part of VA employees, the end result is almost always the same: the department fails to institute meaningful discipline against the employees found to have done wrong. It’s well past time for VA leaders to prove they are committed to holding corrupt and incompetent employees accountable. This can only be achieved through actions not words. Unfortunately, up to this point, VA has offered little more than rote talking points on the importance of accountability while the department’s rampant lack of discipline remains on perpetual display.” – Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
The Washington Post
Dec. 16, 2015