On Thursday, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at improving accountability among employees and protecting whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Titled “Presidential Executive Order on Improving Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs,” the edict establishes a new office within the VA to penalize or dismiss employees found to be incompetent.
“We are not going to let them down. [The order] makes it clear that we will never tolerate substandard care for our great veterans,” Trump said at the signing.
The order creates a new role of special assistant who will report directly to the secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Describing the order as “taking accountability to the highest level,” Georgia Republican Senator Johnny Isakson further praised Trump’s action.
“(The order is) a critical step toward helping [VA] Secretary [David] Shulkin hold bad actors at the VA accountable,” he said.
The VA has been reeling since revelations in 2014 of negligence at the Phoenix VA hospital in which 40 veterans died while awaiting medical treatment. The negligence was attributed to massive delays caused by officials who had manipulated procedures and records to meet performance standards and conceal wait time.
A probe into the matter later revealed over 120,000 veterans were mired in line to receive care or never received care altogether.
During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump pledged to reverse conditions which led to delays. Just last week, Trump signed the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act, which will extend the life of the Veterans Choice Act and pump $950 billion into the program.
Similarly, Trump’s signing the measure will expand the program and allow veterans greater choice to expand options for private health care.
[Breitbart] [The Hill] [Military.com] [Photo courtesy VA.gov]