After watching the House Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing – "Evaluation of the Process to Achieve VBA Goals," (Watch here) it must be stated out loud:

The Department of Veterans Affairs is THE most corrupt, morally bankrupt, depraved, and self-serving organization that has ever existed under our Flag.

Over the last year, VeteranWarriors has worked diligently to inform and educate both Congress and the public of the depth and breadth of the massive corruption in the VA. We have been called "hostile," "uneducated" (on how the VA works) and "opinionated." 

Vindication is not what we have wanted, but it has arrived…in the form of VA employees who have had the immense courage to come forward and very publically thumb their noses at the VA leadership who, if allowed to continue, will assure that every veteran who has served this great nation so honorably, does not ever receive a single earned benefit or service

Our weekly "Wasteful Wednesday" Report has been issued since February, solely to highlight the deliberate disingenuous and corrupt nature of the VA. It is distributed to show the "real" numbers of claims the VA has, not the ones which Under Secretary Hickey proudly spouts during her cheerleading sessions. We have always known and made clear to everyone, that the numbers reported by the VA are highly suspicious. The VA freely admitted in February that they only chose to report on one category of claims. Click Here to view our latest report.

On Tuesday, we were nauseated to hear Mr. Ronald Robinson testimony. He is currently the President of the AFGE union local # 512, retired Army First Sergeant, and 18 year veteran of serving in the Columbia, SC Regional Office as a Senior Veterans Service Representative. 

When questioned by Congressman Gus Bilirakis, (R-FL), on what effect, if any, the driven use of "metrics" versus "quality" had on the veteran; Mr. Robinson detailed how the manipulation of data "End Product Codes" – (those which are used by the VA in the "Monday Morning Workload Report," submitted to Congress, the media and used during Congressional testimony, under oath). These codes are the "identifiers" of types of claims a veteran submits and ultimately keeps the veterans claim moving along the correct path towards adjudication.

Currently, the Veterans Benefits Administration "reports" on thirteen (13) codes…because The VBA chose which ones to report. The VBA only publically discusses 4 of them. The outrageous part of this is the VBA employees are being instructed by the leadership to change the dates, change the codes and utilize codes that are "…not counted in inventory." Such as code 930; this code is for "Premature Decisions on Claims," or EP400 is for "Correspondence" – meaning claims which are closed and have only letters that are being tracked.

That is fraud. That is the deliberate harm to veterans. These are not "metrics"…they are not "performance points"…these are the claims of our nation's veterans. These are claims for rightfully earned benefits and services – which VA leaders are deliberately manipulating for their own personal gain. These "leaders" are defrauding the American taxpayer, the Veteran and the U.S. Government. 

The Acting Secretary issued a press release promising the following: 

  • Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan Gibson has directed that an expert team be assembled to determine possible scenarios where an individual might find a way "around the system" and decide if further controls are needed. 
  • VA has directed a 100-percent facility and desk audit of mail and documentation at all 56 regional offices. The purpose of the review is to ensure records management compliance and proper control, storage, and maintenance of claim mail and other benefit-related documents. 
  • VBA's quality program has been independently verified in the past, but in order to be responsive to concerns and further instill trust in the system that serves our Veterans, Under Secretary Hickey recently directed VBA to apply for ISO 9001 certification – considered the ultimate global benchmark for quality management, which would provide additional external validation and additional quality assurance of VBA's data.
  • When any individual is found to have worked around the standard claims process, the Acting Secretary will respond quickly to begin necessary actions. One of those actions is to immediately notify the Office of Inspector General, where VA proactively refers cases on an ongoing basis as was done with allegations in the Baltimore regional office.
    No one has been fired. No one is in jail or has even been charged with a crime. A source in the House of Representatives has confirmed that the Department of Justice has not opened a singled investigation into any of the known crimes that have taken place. The only action by the VA "Central Office" has been to put people who have committed these actions on "Paid Administrative Leave" – known to the non-veteran world as "paid time off" or "vacation.

Yet his Under Secretary of the VBA, Allison Hickey, testified on Tuesday, on the "great successes" of the VBA in getting rid of the backlog! Either she doesn't get his memos or she is lying. In either case, she needs to be immediately removed from her job. Ms. Hickey has never acknowledged the malfeasance, corruption or dysfunction of her department. She has never accepted an ounce of responsibility for the actions of her subordinates…one's she praises and signs off on huge bonuses for. 

However, as there is less than 15 months to the "changing of the guard" – we can only hope that Acting Secretary Gibson will take her aside and lay down the law. Nothing short of a direct order will force this VA cheerleader to stop lying to the Veterans, Congress and the rest of us; and nothing short of criminal charges will force the "leaders" in the VA to change how they behave.

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