The Executive Protection Division at the Department of Veterans Affairs operated ineffectively and without proper adherence to procedures under the latter part of former Secretary David Shulkin’s tenure, according to the agency’s chief watchdog.
In a Jan. 17 report, VA’s inspector general concluded that the division — responsible for providing security for Shulkin and other department executives — was mismanaged between May and October 2017.
The IG conducted its probe after garnering complaints of “ineffective procedures, scheduling and overtime abuses, pay administration issues, time card fraud, and various policy violations.”
The report also addressed allegations that Shulkin was responsible for wrongdoing, noting that his wife did use an official VA vehicle for personal transport.
The IG also determined that:
* An agent shared information about Shulkin’s movements to persons who were not authorized to receive it.
* Agents failed to put keys to motorcade vehicles in safe places when not in use.
* They also failed to wear appropriate body armor while serving as Shulkin’s protectors.
* Problems with Shulkin’s duress signaling system — revealed when a test of it failed — went unaddressed.
Other issues involved agents who went on personal “tourist excursions” on government time, garnering overtime pay for these trips, and misuse of official parking spaces.
The IG recommended that VA do a better job of formalizing appropriate procedures for guiding and monitoring activities at the Executive Protection Division.