The VA secretary is not merely angry at the MPSB’s recent request to reinstate Brian Hawkins, he’s determined to fire him
Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) reintroduced the Promote Accountability and Government Efficiency (PAGE) Act after a similar bill died in the previous Congress. The legislation would give agencies the authority to remove or suspend new employees “without notice or right to appeal, from service by the head of the agency at which such employee is employed for good cause, bad cause or no cause at all.”
The Republic will continue to function if the MSPB lacks board members. But what about fairness and accountability?
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.
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.
Some advocates of the House Veterans Affairs Committee’s new employee accountability bill say it’s different enough from previous attempts to tackle this issue and should assuage past concerns. But others fear the legislation revives familiar worries.
Agency culture and a poor understanding of the disciplinary process are some of the biggest challenges supervisors, managers and senior executives said they face when trying to fire an employee for misconduct. The Merit Systems Protection Board surveyed 10,000 federal managers about their understanding and opinions of civil adverse action procedures.
The Merit Systems Protection Board had a productive 2016, but the departing MSPB chairman, Susan Tsui Grundmann, warned of several budgetary, legislative and personnel challenges that could impact the agency’s future.
Unless President-elect Donald Trump appoints two new members quickly, the Merit Systems Protection Board will likely have one voting member come March 1, when Chairman Susan Tsui Grundmann’s term expires. But the upcoming seat-changes have federal employment experts wondering whether this is the beginning of the end for MSPB.
The Merit Systems Protection Board announced it’s launching the 2016 Merit Principles Survey to feds in July and August.
Nepotism is on the mind of the Merit Systems Protection Board because of the impending presidential transition, and it wants to warn potential appointees — even the next president.
The House passed a bill that would change the way agencies discipline and remove federal employees and members of the Senior Executive Service. One provision would put all SES members under the same, expedited disciplinary process that senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department had until the Justice Department challenged its constitutionality.
The Veterans Affairs Department officially fired three more senior leaders at the Phoenix VA Health Care System, the hospital where reports of wait time manipulation first started two years ago. Two of the three VA executives can appeal their removals to the Merit Systems Protection Board.
The Justice Department says a specific provision in the Veterans Choice Act, which ultimately renders that the disciplinary decision from administration MSPB judge is final for certain senior executives, violates a clause in the Constitution. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says Justice will continue to uphold vast majority of the Choice Act.