Congress has sent to President Trump HR-2772, the latest in a years-long series of measures targeting senior executives at the VA, this one a response to a 2015 IG audit questioning some reassignments as more for personal benefit than for official need.
A House report on the bill also cited “the perceived practice that VA moves senior officials to another location within the department instead of providing true accountability for the misconduct or poor performance for members of the SES.”
The bill would require the VA to semiannually report to Congress about where senior executives are being moved and to report all expenses associated with such moves. In addition, the VA secretary would have to personally approve all reassignments of SES employees to ensure that such moves are justified and are in the best interests of the department, veterans, and taxpayers.
The report added that in light of the IG audit and subsequent attention in Congress, the VA suspended the use of the “appraised value offer” program that the department used to help sell the homes of SES employees when they were reassigned to a new position within the department, “often at a significant expense to the taxpayer,” but then “quietly reauthorized the AVO program with little to no transparency on its use or new implementation policy to avoid abuse.”