For the Good of Illinois

Subscriber Special - The VA Scandal Two Years Later

May 25, 2016 11:56 AM
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During and after the VA wait-time scandal, the agency added
nearly 40,000 positions to payroll, but only 3,591 were doctors.
 
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 It's Not Disney World - The VA Scandal Two Years Later
Forbes | May 25, 2016
 
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Who earns how much, for what, and where?
Mapping the 354,959 VA Employees by Location
Click Here to Search VA salaries by ZIP code across America. 
 
Two years ago, Americans were horrified to learn that as many as 1,000 of our nation's veterans had died while waiting for medical care at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities. 
 
Any hopes of reforming the dysfunctional VA culture were dashed two days ago when Secretary Robert McDonald made an appalling comparison to waiting in line at Disney parks. 
 
"When you go to Disney, do they measure the number of hours you wait in line? What's important is, what's your satisfaction with the experience."
 
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Read our Forbes column, click here.
It's Not Disney World - The VA Scandal Two Years Later. 
 
Today, nearly half a million veterans still wait to see a VA doctor. 
 
So, we opened the books on the VA. Here's just a sample of our findings:
  • The VA spent $1.7 million on 'employee engagement' and other satisfaction surveys with Gallup (2010-2014). There is no indication these polls found, flagged or identified the most egregious scandal in VA history.
  • The VA paid $303 million in salaries to non-essential positions:  Painters ($185 million), Interior Designers ($64 million), and Gardeners ($54 million). While veterans were dying, the VA managers were rewarding the efficiency of these positions with bonuses (2012-2015.)
  • $751.1 million spent on 'household' and 'office' furniture including furniture rental, draperies, curtains, carpeting, modification, repair and maintenance (2010-2015). Much of from luxury, upscale manufacturers.
 
While the veterans wait weeks to see a doctor, we found: 
  • The VA lawyered up and added 175 attorneys. 
  • Dramatically increased their spending on public relations (PR).
  • 'Reformed bonuses' so millions of dollars continued to flow to many of the same employees who gamed-the-system during the scandal.
and much more...
 
 
Many have called for VA Secretary Robert McDonald to resign. That couldn't happen fast enough. Our Veterans deserve better.
 
So who at the VA is receiving how much, for what type of work, and where are they located? We mapped the latest 2015 compensation data by employee and job title to local VA center ZIP codes across America.  Search the salaries and bonuses at your local VA medical center here.
 
JOIN THE TRANSPARENCY REVOLUTION.  IT'S YOUR MONEY!
Adam
        
Adam Andrzejewski (say: Angie-f-ski)
Founder, OpenTheBooks.com 

Matthew Tyrmand
Deputy Director
 
PS. Our new video describes how our data and technology can help you stop government waste!  Watch it here.
 
Help fund our movement with a special Crowdfunding donation of $1, $50, $100, or more,  please click here.    
  • $1 or more receives our OpenTheBooks bumper sticker
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Together, we are a strong team. Please click here to help our mission.
 
 
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