It seems like only yesterday we were discussing the faltering Veterans Affairs with its inability to hold executives accountable, massive bonuses in departments which were falsifying records, and systematic trust breakdown which resulted in one lawmaker after another questioning whether they needed to step in.
Thankfully, we have put all of that behind us and today the VA is back on top of its game. Unless, of course, you read the news lately. It seems that instead of respecting a recent hiring freeze, executives and senior managers gamed the system to create new positions within the organization with less responsibility that they then transferred themselves to, all the while retaining their current pay.
These internal job postings are nothing new. Most organizations have something similar. When there is a role that is required to be created, HR and managers will work together to target the qualifications and specifications that meet the requirement. If there is already someone in the organization who can perform the task, they can tailor it to that individual, and then post it publically, all the while recognizing that they will most likely conduct an internal hire.
Seems fair enough, except when the person creating the job requirement is also the person who takes the job. In the case of the Philadelphia VA Director Diana Rubens, she did just this and used her position to have the government pay almost $300,000 to move her less than 150 miles to her new job. Thankfully, the new job, with fewer responsibilities, allowed her to keep her previous paycheck – more than $181,000.
It would be bad enough if this was a single incident, but another director has been identified for performing the same actions at the St. Paul regional office. She netted $100,000 to conduct her move and still retained more than $170,000 in her, now less rigorous, position.
There is such a thing as open corruption. It is when people perform actions blatantly without care or concern as to who knows or is aware. These directors are the top representatives of their organizations, catering to themselves. The $400,000 in moving expenses could have gone towards the care of veterans. The reduction in responsibilities should have resulted in a reduction of pay. The HR department should have seen red flags all over these situations.
No one is saying that a business person should not maneuver to place themselves in the best position competitively. What they are saying is that at no time should a leader manipulate the processes to benefit themselves at the expense of the organization as a whole. Their actions directly affect the credibility of the Veterans Affairs, and put to question the leadership in place.
These actions give credence to naysayers who would ask what the purpose of the VA is in the first place if it is not to serve the veterans. It seems that in many places, what we receive is long wait times, delayed appointments, extended distances to VA hospitals, and diminishing returns on medical treatment.
It is high time that the VA found some executives to be proud of, and demonstrated their actions to benefit the very people that the organization is founded and funded for – veterans.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.