A Problem with Veterans Administration Management

Leo Shane described one aspect of this in his piece in the Military Times. Shane centered his article on Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I, VT) role in making it nearly impossible to fire non-performing Veterans Administration executives.

Sanders—the independent Vermont senator who at the time was chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee—insisted on preserving the protection board’s appeals role, and held up reform legislation in his chamber until it was included.

That protection board is the Merit Systems Protection Board, an allegedly independent facility with a degree of judicial authority that supposedly ensures that nobody gets fired without due process. In the realization this Board, which Sanders was so desperate to protect, is a union facility that ensures that nobody gets fired.

The larger problem, though, is less Sanders’ union’s interference with the VA leadership’s inability to get rid of the trash and other non-performers in the VA leadership, than it is that inability to throw out the trash.

In recent weeks, the VA has seen a host of job actions against senior employees overturned by the Merit Systems Protection Board [see, for example, here]…. They include the demotion of two VA executives accused of gaming the department’s hiring system for personal benefit, and the dismissal of a New York VA director over patient safety concerns.


The appeals fight has grown into an escalating intra-administration showdown between VA leaders, who call the decisions off-base, and protection board officials, who blame bad legislative changes for the unsatisfactory rulings.

These union hacks even are trying to turn the problem back onto Congress:

They also accused lawmakers of overhyping problems within the department, saying lawmakers are conflating malice and malfeasance with mistakes made by under-trained supervisors.

Under-trained? The union hacks agree, then, that these supervisors are unfit for their positions, yet they insist these unfits must be retained, anyway. No trash out, not under-performers out, nobody out.

After all, our veterans are used to the idea of becoming casualties on a war’s battlefield. They and everyone else should just shut up, and our veterans should accept being casualties on an artificial VA battlefield, too.

Veteranos administratio delende est.

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