VA: 80 percent of Senior Executives Got Bonuses

By: Matthew Daly, Associated Press
By: Matthew Daly, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The VA says nearly 80 percent of its senior executives got performance bonuses last year, despite widespread treatment delays and preventable deaths at VA hospitals and clinics.

Gina Farrisee is an assistant VA secretary for human resources. She told Congress Friday that more than 350 VA executives were paid nearly $3 million in bonuses last year. Farrisee says the VA needs to pay bonuses to keep executives who are paid up to $181,000 per year.

Florida Republican Jeff Miller is chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Miller says the VA's bonus system "is failing veterans."

He said that instead of being given for outstanding work, the cash awards are "seen as an entitlement and have become irrelevant to quality work product."

U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released this statement Friday following news that 80% of senior executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs (V-A) received bonuses despite reports of extensive delays and preventable deaths at its health care facilities:

"It is an outrage that while Virginia veterans were suffering because of gross mismanagement by the VA, its senior executives were receiving cash performance bonuses on top of existing salaries. The lack of due diligence in validating performance data and the lack of accountability by these executives is unacceptable. While many VA employees work hard to provide quality care and service to veterans, I’ve cosponsored the VA Accountability Bill to provide the Secretary more tools to demand accountability from senior executives at the VA. I will continue to fight to make sure our veterans receive the quality, timely services that they have earned.”

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