Wednesday House Speaker John Boehner tore into Veterans Affairs leadership alleging that nearly a year after then-Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned amid the scandal over veterans care, his successors have done little to fix the agency — or even discipline those involved in the wait-times crisis.
The VA has been violating federal contracting rules while spending at least $6 billion a year to pay for medical care and supplies, a senior official for procurement has said, according to The Washington Post. In a 35-page internal memo sent to VA Secretary Robert McDonald, Jan Frye, deputy assistant secretary for acquisition and logistics, accuses the agency’s leadership of “gross mismanagement” and making a “mockery” of federal acquisition laws that mandate competitive bidding and proper contracting.
Many veterans, physicians and congressmen are complaining that the new Department of Veterans Affairs “choice card” program which allows veterans in certain circumstances to visit private doctors for care instead of traveling long distances to VA facilities just isn’t working.
Although several weeks ago Congress passed legislation to allow the Veterans Affairs secretary to quickly fire corrupt or inefficient employees, VA Secretary Robert McDonald said he cannot fire anyone until various investigations from inside and outside the VA are completed.