President Trump has created a new office for protecting whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs
President Donald Trump has acted on his campaign promise to help veterans by signing an executive order last week designed to protect whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Enacted just before the end of his first 100 days in office, Trump’s order created a new, wide-reaching office at the VA that will work on finding poor performers in the department and protect those who expose them.
According to VA Secretary David Shulkin, the order empowers the department to better “identify barriers that are preventing us from moving employees and people that we have identified that should no longer be working at VA.”
The VA has a poor track record when it comes to removing poorly performing employees. A 2014 report by former Sen. Tom Coburn’s office found that more than 1,000 veterans might have died in the past decade due to malpractice or poor care at the VA.
That report was three years ago, and yet many of the problems at the VA have persisted. Many lawmakers are hopeful that Trump’s order represents a step in the right direction.
“Whistleblowers take great personal and professional risks to expose practices and procedures that could be harmful to our veterans,” said Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson. “Those who have the courage to come forward shouldn’t be punished.”
“We are not going to let them down,” Trump said, adding that the order “makes it clear that we will never tolerate substandard care for our great veterans”