Senate Panel Hears Testimony From VA Inspector General
During a hearing of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, Inspector General Richard J. Griffin said administrators at 13 VA health facilities lied during the investigation of waiting list issues and other improprieties.
The New York Times: Watchdog Says V.A. Officials Lied
Administrators at 13 health care facilities run by the Department of Veterans Affairs have lied to investigators looking into the extent of waiting-list manipulation and other improprieties, the department’s acting inspector general said in Senate testimony on Tuesday. Richard J. Griffin, the inspector general, did not elaborate at the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee whether the lies constituted federal crimes or whether his office had referred those or any other potential violations to law enforcement authorities for prosecution (Oppel Jr., 9/9).
The Wall Street Journal: Senate Panel Questions Independence Of VA Inspector General's Report
During the hearing, Sen. Dean Heller (R., Nev.) asked Mr. Griffin whether the inspector general had allowed the VA to insert a sentence into a final report on the Phoenix VA Health Care System that seemingly exculpated the hospital for alleged wrongful deaths. The sentence in question was at some point added to the final version of the Aug. 26 report, and it said investigators couldn't "conclusively assert the absence of timely quality care caused the death" of 40 veterans who were subject to long wait times (Kesling, 9/9).
Meanwhile, in the news regarding temporary federal employees -
The Washington Post: The Case For Extending Federal-Worker Health Coverage To Temporary Feds
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) last week questioned whether the government can legally extend federal-employee health benefits to its roughly 120,000 temporary and seasonal workers, as proposed by the Office of Personnel Management. In a letter to OPM Director Katherine Archuleta, Coburn said current law prohibits federal workers from enrolling in the program before "1 year of current continuous employment, excluding any break in service of 5 days or less" (Hicks, 9/10).