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.”
Does the government fire enough people? Does it deal effectively with poor performers? Is the disciplinary and adverse action process effective? The answer to all three questions is probably no.
It’s been a busy couple of months for the Veterans Affairs Department. But VA Secretary David Shulkin said he wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s pushing the VA workforce to embrace risk and begin making bold, fundamental changes to the way it does business. He said he sees the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act as one bold change that will improve the department’s employee morale and recruitment efforts.
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.
President Obama’s 2.1 percent pay hike may be the last feds see for awhile from Congress, says Jeff Neal, former DHS chief human capital officer.
With the the chairman of the Merit Systems Protection Board resigning in less than a week, employees appealing their disciplinary actions will have to be patient as they wait for President-elect Donald Trump to appoint at least one member for a quorum.
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.
In a report released by the Merit Systems Protection Board on Sept. 26, nearly 20 percent of federal resource management officials surveyed said political appointees at their agencies received no comprehensive training on merit system principles.
An Energy Department scientist told members of the House Science, Space and Technology committee on Wednesday that management sought to fire her for defending funding certain research during a congressional briefing.
Donald Trump concluded the third and final night of the Republican National Convention Thursday with a speech that unpacked several of the presidential candidate’s views on how federal executives and the Department of Veterans Affairs should be managed.