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house Bill H.R. 1038

Should VA Employee’s Misconduct Stay on Their Permanent Records?

Argument in favor

This bill would ensure that the misconducts made by VA employees are not forgotten. After recent controversies, it’s important that mistakes made by employees of the agency be well-documented.

BananaNeil's Opinion
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05/18/2015
This bill reduces the potential corruption in public sphere. I am in favor of that.
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Taret's Opinion
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05/18/2015
Misconducts stay with employees in private corporation and business, why should the VA be any different?
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Kevin's Opinion
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07/29/2015
This should be so for all Federal agency senior executives.
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Argument opposed

The VA is certainly in need of more oversight. But reprimands and admonishments are given for stuff like showing up late. The real problem of the VA is in its structure and leadership, not just some guy or gal showing up late a few too many times.

KeeganHayes's Opinion
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05/18/2015
There's no need for these to be permanent records. 3-4 years is sufficient, as it allows for enough time to see a pattern if needed but not enough to permanently punish someone for a minor infraction.
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Yogi's Opinion
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05/18/2015
This would surely lead to under-reporting of any misdeeds.
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Tony's Opinion
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05/18/2015
There should be a statute of limitations so that minor misconducts are expunged from the records after some period of time, e.g. 3 years after tardiness has resulted in a warning.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • The house Passed May 18th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Economic Opportunity
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    IntroducedFebruary 24th, 2015

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What is House Bill H.R. 1038?

This bill seeks to increase accountability at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) by changing the way it manages disciplinary records.

The VA, like many institutions, maintains a structure for disciplining its employees. Two of the less-severe punishments (not necessarily firing or suspensions) are admonishments (for “minor misconduct”) and reprimands (for “misconduct”). They’re essentially letters to the employee telling them how they messed up.

Under current law, admonishments stay in an employees’ file for two years, reprimands for three. This bill would keep the reprimand or admonishment on file as long as an employee works for the VA.

Impact

VA employees, managers at the VA, veterans and service members, taxpayers.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1038

A CBO estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth: Poor, lonely Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA). This bill has no cosponsors. Maybe sit with him at lunch?

This bill is one in a couple pieces of legislation that the House is voting on to regulate the VA this session. There’s The Department of Veterans’ Affairs Budget Planning Reform Act of 2015, which would require the VA to submit a bunch of new reports to Congress and the VA Accountability Act, which would make it easier to fire VA employees. These bill come after a 2014 scandal in which it was revealed that the VA manipulated wait times last year.


Media:

Summary by James Helmsworth
(Photo Credit: Flickr user petukhov.anton

AKA

Ensuring VA Employee Accountability Act

Official Title

To amend title 38, United States Code, to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to retain a copy of any reprimand or admonishment received by an employee of the Department in the permanent record of the employee.