Thursday, May 17, 2007

We're taking what they're giving while we're dying for a living*

posted by The Sailor @ 7:02 PM Permalink

White House: 3.5 percent pay hike unnecessary

Troops don't need bigger pay raises
On the other hand
VA bonus recipients sat on boards that oversaw payments

Nearly two dozen officials who received hefty performance bonuses last year at the Veterans Affairs Department also sat on the boards charged with recommending the payments.

Documents obtained by the Associated Press raise questions of conflict of interest in connection with the bonuses, some of which went to senior officials involved in crafting a budget that came up $1.3 billion short and jeopardized veterans' health care.

The documents show that 21 of 32 officials who were members of VA performance review boards received more than half a million dollars in payments themselves.

Among them: nearly a dozen senior officials who devised the flawed 2005 budget. Also rewarded was the deputy undersecretary for benefits, who manages a system with severe backlogs of veterans waiting for disability benefits.

Some members of the review boards, which are appointed by VA Secretary Jim Nicholson, also had input on bonus recommendations involving themselves, fellow members and spouses that made questionable performance claims and neglected agency problems.
Annual bonuses to senior VA officials last year averaged more than $16,000, the highest average in government.

(Big hat tip to skippy.)

* Sincere apologies to BTO for munging their hook. And sincere thanks to Randy for feeding me when I was hungry.


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