VA reportedly paid $142M in bonuses last year

Warning: The following will dramatically increase your blood pressure.
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Fox News: The Department of Veterans Affairs reportedly paid out more than $142 million in performance bonuses in 2014 despite a string of scandals inside the agency. USA Today reported that the bonuses ranged as high as $12,705, and most were over $500.
The bonuses continued even after former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, who resigned last year amid the scandal over falsified wait-times, suspended certain bonuses. But that move only restricted bonuses for senior execs in the embattled Veterans Health Administration. 
The VA continued to pay bonuses to other workers in other departments, including those facing their own controversies. 
According to USA Today, the VA gave bonuses — from $4,000 to $8,000 — to executives overseeing the construction of an overdue and over-budget Denver facility.
Managers at a Wisconsin office also got bonuses between $1,000 and $4,000 despite findings the office was over-prescribing opiates. And some employees in the VHA have continued to receive bonuses.
A total of 156,000 workers reportedly got them for performance in 2014. 
Speaking Wednesday morning with Fox News, VA Secretary Robert McDonald did not address the bonuses but touted improvements at the agency since the wait-time scandal was exposed last year. He said wait-times are down to five days for specialty care; four days for primary care; and three days for mental health care. Further, he said, the disability claims backlog is down 88 percent. “We have work to do,” McDonald acknowledged.
According to USA Today, a VA spokesman defended the bonuses as important for attracting talent. “VA will continue to review tools and options in order to ensure the department is able to attract and retain the best talent to serve our nation’s veterans, while operating as a good steward of taxpayer funds,” spokesman James Hutton told the newspaper.
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Glenn47
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Glenn47

Hush money, perhaps? Rewarded for wrongdoings, how nice. I still think as many as possible returning vets should run the VA. From the paperwork, phones, on up. I would bet the service would improve. How can they brag of improvement when no one has been fired and the service still sucks and people are still dying while waiting? Just more government lies. We ask our military to do unthinkable things and spend inordinate amount of time from their families. They deserve better than this. Makes me think part of the PTSD actually happens after returning. No jobs, no income, possible… Read more »

Dr. Eowyn
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The Obama admin is an outlaw regime. Misdeeds and outright crimes repeatedly are committed, but no one is ever held accountable. So much for voters voting in a Republican majority in BOTH houses of Congress.
This so-called government in D.C. is a travesty and an utter disgrace. In other places and times, this would be grounds for a revolution.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Yes, bonuses are great for attracting talent… but they should not be paid for jacking things up royally and then not fixing them.

MeThePeople
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MeThePeople

These VA administrators are like IRS; they cannot be prosecuted or fired.
They cannot be held accountable. Krauthammer said do away with the VA and allow vets to go the the same hospitals as the rest of us. Will that mean Congress will have to also?

Auntie Lulu
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Auntie Lulu

Sorry I guess I got off tract in my rantings. It is a travesty that this much money has been wasted on employees of a system that just does not work! In the private sector do folks who are incompetent get bonuses? No, in many instances they get a pink slip. It’s time that our VA starts working more like a private sector organization. I heard part of the Presidents speech wherein he congratulated our Vets on their service, blah, blah, blah, blah. blah–yet, he has done nothing to cleanup the VA mess.

Observant_One
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Observant_One

Why should bonuses be paid to Government employees? They don’t improve government services!