AFTER VA FIRING BILL, CONGRESS LOOKS TO ADD MORE CIVIL SERVICE REFORMS - July 12, 2017
Lawmakers, VA Eye More Civil Service Reforms After New Firing Law
By Eric Katz, Government Executive
Just weeks after President Trump signed into law an overhaul of how the Veterans Affairs Department fires employees, Congress is taking another crack at major civil service reforms at the agency.
The proposals focused primarily on recruiting and hiring changes, such as giving the secretary greater latitude on onboarding and creating new pipelines for students and recent graduates to join VA’s ranks. The Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee also considered the best avenues to streamline and expand veterans’ access to private health care. Both issues have captured the attention of lawmakers and VA for years, with the department itself reporting 45,000 vacancies and an overly complicated maze of various “community care” programs.