In 2014, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs faced a huge scandal involving cooked books, excessive wait times, and preventable deaths. This bill seeks to punish those involved by granting the Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs the ability to demand that employees repay (a part or full amount of) reward or bonus money that they received.
That can be a bonus that was paid to a VA employee before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act. The Secretary would have to give advance notice to the employee and, if they wished, a hearing by the Secretary. But, if the Secretary did find it necessary to recoup payment, that would be the end of the line. The bill would ban reviews of the Secretary’s decision by outside agencies.
"Based on discussions with the agency, CBO expects that this provision would be used infrequently, primarily to recoup payments made to senior VA employees who were determined to have committed a serious violation of the agency’s standards of conduct. Of the roughly $400 million that VA pays out each year for awards and bonuses, about $4 million goes to senior staff."