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CHARLOTTE – Today, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) received the results of an investigation regarding Salisbury VA Medical Center staff who manipulated patient wait time data in order to appear to meet performance criteria.

“The Salisbury VA Inspector General report is replete with a lack of accountability and the self-serving interests of employees.  Staff was more focused on serving the bureaucracy than serving our brave veterans,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “This is what happens when leadership, including President Obama and the VA Secretary, don’t pay serious attention to management oversight while civil service employees have job protections securing their employment.  They don’t understand the concept that you inspect what you expect.  Bureaucrats cooked the numbers to make everything look great.

“To be clear, there are many dedicated employees at the Salisbury VA who make it their mission to serve our veterans, and we are grateful.  Unfortunately, this report reminds us there are also many employees who are simply marking time and exploiting the system.  Last month I helped pass legislation to restore accountability and transparency at the VA.  This report demonstrates why reform is desperately needed to bring a spirit of true dedication to the VA.”

Congressman Pittenger makes serving veterans a top priority and employs the region’s most experienced veterans director.  Any veteran living in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District who needs assistance with VA issues is encouraged to call Congressman Pittenger’s office at 704-362-1060.

Last month, Congressman Pittenger helped pass the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act (H.R.  5620), which he co-sponsored with Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-FL).  This legislation:

·         Authorizes the VA Secretary to fire or demote VA employees for poor performance or misconduct, and reduce pensions for VA executives convicted of job-related felonies.

·         Reforms the VA appeals process by providing veterans the option of an expedited appeal.

·         Streamlines the whistleblower process and provides new protections for whistleblowers.

H.R. 5620 passed the U.S. House of Representatives on September 14th with a strong bipartisan vote of 310-116.

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