VA to review bonus for Pittsburgh VA Director

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VA to review bonus for Pittsburgh VA Director

This story is pretty ridiculous.  Or rather, this story is good, but the fact that at some point they were planning on giving a 67k bonus is pretty unconscionable.  From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

After a growing chorus of congressmen, veterans, U.S. Veterans Affairs  employees and family of victims of a Legionnaires' outbreak in Pittsburgh  expressed their outrage, the VA said late Friday that it is reviewing a  presidential award and bonus given to a regional director three days after a  federal report blamed lax management for the outbreak.

Though the VA was silent about the award and $62,895 bonus since the  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first asked about it on Wednesday, it commented Friday  about the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award given to regional director  Michael Moreland at a black-tie dinner in Washington, D.C., on April 26.

"VA is committed to providing the high quality care that veterans have earned  and deserve," national VA spokesman Mark Ballesteros said in an emailed  statement. "VA is conducting a review of the nomination of this Presidential  Rank Award recipient and will take any appropriate action when that review is  complete."

That statement came after two area congressmen, the American Legion, the head  of a union representing VA employees and the chairman of the House Veterans  Affairs Committee all issued statements in the previous 24 hours, joining  victims' families in condemning the award and bonus, and calling for the VA to  rescind both.

The article goes on to include a quote from National Commander Koutz, but it's only part of a longer quote that I liked.  So, here is the quote given to Jeff Miller, the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee:

“The American Legion is concerned that the VA doesn’t seem to be taking their own Inspector General reports seriously.  It’s astonishing the VA IG report would find a specific facility failed to follow long-existing guidelines which resulted in the death of five veterans, and yet within a week’s time the Director of that region should be singled out for the government’s highest employee honor.  It defies all logic.  Even the government’s own guidance is clear.  The Office of Personnel Management clearly states nominees for this award must not be involved in any investigation or situation which would cause embarrassment.  I certainly think this qualifies as such a case.” – James E. Koutz, National Commander, The American Legion


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It is beyond belief that any government (State or Federal) even considers using or giving Bonus's for anything. Any government official or employee is elected or hired by choice to serve the Community at a State or Federal Level. They are public servants there to serve the needs of the people. When most Federal and State Laws prohibit the use of Bonus's for anything, it seems our government's continue to throw money away. Stop throwing away tax payers money.

This is only one of many that gives large bonuses. If you remember when Obama gave all that money to bail out all those companies we were told that no bonuses were to be given but then we hear of all these that went ahead and gave huge bonuses. ( no one was taken to task or even an attempt to make these companies recover the money that was given out. Also think about congress we are having to have people take time off to save money, why don't we take the members of congress and deduct money when they miss a vote or when they are not working when they should be trying to get bills passed or failed and not play the games they do. Almost every year this bill or that bill doesn't get done before due date (different budgets for military, Veterans and a lot of others just to name a few. Why doesn't congress have the same health care, retirement, and pay raise rates like other Government employees have to live with each year. Also why is it that anyone who is elected to congress even for one term or if they stay 40 years they get that pay for the rest of their lives, if it was $185,000 that is what they get every year after they retire . why doesn't congress have to pay for medical coverage and why are they exempt from Obama care, they should have to have the same as every one else. Also I think any "perks or pay raises or whatever", must be voted by the people who put them in office. Another thing they should not be allowed all the money that they get for their special projects and that vote should also be known to the voters. The people in congress should not be allowed to have any gifts of any kind from anyone. Sorry to be going on and on but you talk about waste. The government should start monitoring contracts to make sure everything is as stated in the contract and there should not be any "sole source" contracts written because of the high costs. In this day and age anything anyone wants or needs can be found on the internet with a little bit of searching. what I have said here is only a tip of the iceberg.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.