The Senate is tied up with the 2018 budget and probing whether Russia influenced the 2016 election. But members still remain interested in the Veterans Affairs Department. The committee is marking up the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act. If enacted, this bill could help the department attract the talent management says it needs. Kristine Simmons, vice president of government affairs at the Partnership for Public Service, joins Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more.
Both the Veterans Affairs and Justice departments believe they can easily resolve some concerns with the constitutionality of the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. DoJ is concerned, however, that VA will run into the same issues that ultimately rendered a controversial provision on firing senior executives unconstitutional.
The Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which senators introduced last week, may have more momentum than previous bills. It now has 12 co-sponsors, including four Democrats and VA Secretary David Shulkin himself. Yet some federal employee groups and experts question whether the new bill has the teeth to truly tackle long entrenched cultural problems at the department.
Open government and press organizations are fighting back against the new communications policy the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee recently set between his committee and the Treasury Department. The new policy says any communication between the committee and the department will be considered a “congressional record” and therefore isn’t subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
Members of the Senate have reached a long awaited agreement on new accountability procedures for senior executives and employees within the Veterans Affairs Department. A bipartisan group of senators introduced the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act Thursday morning. It would change current disciplinary appeals rights for both SES and rank-and-file employees.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld an appeal from Sharon Helman, the former director of the beleaguered Veterans Affairs medical center in Phoenix, Arizona, who was fired in 2014. The court said a key provision that lets VA more quickly fire and discipline senior executives is unconstitutional. The Merit Systems Protection Board will review the original decision an administrative judge made regarding Helman’s removal.
New Defense guidance says the blanket hiring freeze is now over. But it includes several caveats in line with the goal of reorganizing and reducing the size of the federal workforce.
The executive order establishes the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protections as a new entity within VA. The new office will identify barriers and duplicative processes and resources to quickly disciplining and firing VA employees for poor performance or misconduct.
Sexual harassment at work is page one stuff of late. It’s everywhere, says Senior Correspondent Mike Causey, even in federal offices.
It’s unclear exactly when Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz will leave office, but his departure as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committees opens the door to a variety of new candidates, who have the opportunity to shift the committee’s focus back to issues of federal and financial management and government efficiency.
What do federal employees think about President Donald Trump’s plans to reorganize the federal government? Find out this week on Your Turn when host Mike Causey talks with Federal News Radio Executive Editor Jason Miller and NARFE Legislative Director Jessica Klement. April 19, 2017
When we think of sexual harassment at the office it’s usually a male boss or coworker bothering a female subordinate. Senior Correspondent Mike Causey wonders if that dynamic is changing.
Senior Correspondent Mike Causey points to one agency that’s trying to shrug off its image as a haven of sexual harassment.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney sent a memo to agency leaders outlining a series of long and short term actions agencies need to take around reducing the number of employees, improving how they measure employee performance and restructure their mission areas.