Wenstrup, Loudermilk Promote Accountability and Efficiency at all Federal Executive and Independent Agencies

Washington, November 8, 2017 Contact: Katie Webster (2022253164)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH-02) and Congressman Barry Loudermilk (GA-11), along with 38 other colleagues, sent a letter this week to all federal executive and independent agency heads asking them to evaluate whether accountability reforms that were recently implemented at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should be implemented at their agencies or departments, in order to increase their efficiency, effectiveness, and performance.

The recent accountability reforms at the VA were implemented pursuant to the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017, which passed the House of Representatives on June 13, 2017, and was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on June 23, 2017.

The full text of the letter is available below or here:

Dear Secretaries, Administrators, Directors and Commissioners:

Thank you for your service to our nation. As our country grapples with ever-increasing debt and the fiscal reality of needing to do more with less, promoting government efficiency is imperative. Over the past several years, one need not look further than the Department of Veterans Affairs to find numerous instances of waste, fraud, and malfeasance. These range from instances of staff intoxication during surgery to improper bonuses awarded to senior employees -- all while our veterans suffered from lengthy wait times for medical appointments and benefit appeals claims.

Recently, however, Congress granted VA Secretary David Shulkin the flexibility to promote greater accountability and efficiency for all levels of VA employees. Specifically, these new authorities include the ability to swiftly remove underperforming VA employees, recoup bonuses and other benefits provided to employees engaging in waste, fraud, or abuse, while expanding whistleblower protections for VA employees with the establishment of a new Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection. By signing this legislation, known as the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-41) into law, we appreciate President Trump’s support in working with Congress to make bold reforms to existing operational processes at a currently-beleaguered federal agency.

We write you today to solicit your input on whether the new authorities extended to Secretary Shulkin would be beneficial towards increasing the efficiency, effectiveness, and performance of your departments/agencies.

  • Would the extension of these authorities to your department/agency be beneficial to operational efficiency, morale, and employee accountability?
  • What recommendations do you have to improve or expand these authorities?

We appreciate your consideration of this request, and thank you for your attention to this matter.




Members of Congress

CC: All Federal Executive and Independent Agencies



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