The next time someone tries to spin the federal deficit and/or debt by saying it is impossible to cut back or that federal agencies have already been cut to the bone, remind them of this story. The Federal Times reports on the bloated VA health care bureaucracy, which Sen. Richard Burr is seeking to reform and streamline.
And recent inspector general reports show disturbing indications of waste and mismanagement. In one example, $1.7 million in health care money was used to pad management bonus pools in 2010.
Although an increase in VISN management staff over 17 years is predictable, “the growth and duplication of duties we have seen at VISN headquarters offices and medical facilities quite simply is troubling,” Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the top Republican on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said last month after he introduced a bill to slash the number of VISN offices to 12.
The committee will examine problems with the department’s VISN bureaucracy at a hearing scheduled for June 27.
Burr’s bill would cut VISN staff from 1,719 to 780 — 65 at each of 12 offices. Employees who lose their jobs in the consolidation would move to other positions within the department. The bill also would require VA to review VISN operations every three years.
You mean to tell me that ALL of these people are necessary? Not one can be eliminated?
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