VA Secretary is wrong to say “no fire drill”

VA Secretary is wrong to say “no fire drill”

DENVER—Last week, Deputy Veterans Affairs Secretary Sloan D. Gibson said that the VA doesn’t want to go through a “last second fire drill,” despite the fact they cannot account for over $1 billion in expenses.

“He’s certainly right that the agreement to hand this reckless VA a blank check sends a message to veterans and the community at large, but it’s not a good one,” said Advancing Colorado Executive Director Jonathan Lockwood. “His message that the VA needs more money and shouldn’t have to deal with a last minute fire drill is insulting to veterans and insulting to taxpayers. The VA deserves critical audits, investigations and accountability, and it doesn’t deserve one more dime until it can account for how it tripled original cost estimates. Veterans deserve so much better than what they are getting from these so-called advocates at the federal government.”

The Aurora hospital project skyrocketed from $604 million in construction estimates to $1.73 billion in just over two years.

The VA Accountability Act of 2015 is being proposed as a solution to the severe problems and lack of accountability within the VA. The proposal would expand authority to remove or demote any VA employee based on poor performance or misconduct.

Veteran advocacy group Concerned Veterans for America’s Colorado State Director Frank Crocker told the Denver Post:

“Individuals overseeing such a disastrous project should be held accountable, but instead they were allowed golden parachutes and received millions of dollars in bonuses.”