Veterans Affairs Workers Collect Bonuses

August 26, 2009

Over the weekend, reported on a cringe-inducing story out of the Department of Veterans Affairs:

While hundreds of thousands of disability claims lay backlogged at the Department of Veterans Affairs, thousands of technology employees at the department received $24 million in bonuses, a new report says.

The story continues:

Four high-level employees received about $60,000, $73,000, $58,000, and $59,000, respectively, according to the report, without sufficient justification. Another employee received a $4,500 performance award within the first 90 days of her employment from a manager who said that she did not even remember her.

The VA Office of Inspector General charged in a report: “The frequent and large dollar amount awards given to employees were unusual and often absurd.”

Overly generous pay without commensurate performance is one of the many pathologies of the federal workforce. Government data show that the average federal employee now earns twice the pay and benefits of the average private sector worker, yet mismanagement scandals are all too common in federal agencies.

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