VA Execs Will Leave if Congress Bans Bonuses, Group Says

Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., has introduced a bill that would place a five-year moratorium on all bonuses for senior executives at the VA, saving the federal government $18 million. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., has introduced a bill that would place a five-year moratorium on all bonuses for senior executives at the VA, saving the federal government $18 million. Keith Srakocic/AP

Proposals to ban performance bonuses for senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department are unwarranted and damaging to VA’s mission, according to a professional association representing top federal managers.

The Senior Executives Association wrote a letter to Reps. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., and Mike Michaud, D-Maine, the chairman and ranking member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, to condemn a recent push to limit or altogether block performance awards to Senior Executive Service and equivalent grade employees at VA.

“There seems to be a misperception that federal career senior executives are collecting Wall Street salaries and bonuses while accomplishing little of value,” SEA President Carol Bonosaro wrote in the letter. “Nothing could be farther from the truth.”

Miller has introduced a bill -- the Putting Veterans Funding First Act -- that would place a five-year moratorium on all bonuses for senior executives at the VA, saving the federal government $18 million. VA has come under increased pressure after a Government Accountability Office audit found inadequate oversight led to suspended and unlicensed doctors receiving significant bonuses. Miller held a hearing Monday to further examine VA’s bonus program.

Bonosaro emphasized the bonuses are part of SES employees’ pay structure, and are awarded only after a “rigorous review of executives’ achievements against both individual and organizational performance goals.”

“In those very infrequent instances when a career executive abuses his or her position or fails to meet established performance requirements, their agency can and should take appropriate corrective and/or disciplinary action,” Bonosaro wrote. “However, all indications suggest that the federal career executive corps is an extremely hard-working, dedicated and effective group of senior managers who work to maintain the public trust.”

She added threats to ban bonuses  are “counter-productive and run the risk of detracting from mission accomplishment and driving high performing VA executives to retire or seek more rewarding positions in other parts of the government or the private sector.”

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.