Kuster: VA Has Proven Itself Unable to Perform a Fair Internal Investigation
(Concord, NH) - Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), the Ranking Member of the Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, is calling for a Congressional oversight hearing to investigate the Department of Veterans Affairs’ review practices. Kuster is sending a letter to the Subcommittee Chairman Jack Bergman (R-MI) requesting the hearing following a scathing review of VA’s investigation into challenges at the Manchester VA Medical Center. Additionally, she is calling for investigations by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to identify what led to insufficient care for veterans at the Manchester VAMC.
“The review released today by the Office of Special Counsel is damning in its assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs investigation into the failure to properly care for veterans at the Manchester VAMC,” said Kuster. “The VA has proven itself unable to perform a fair internal investigation of the mishandling of veterans’ care in Manchester. It’s clear that a more independent investigation is necessary to identify what went wrong at the Manchester VAMC. Furthermore, any investigation, in addition to looking at the specific accusations of the Manchester whistleblowers, must also examine the larger circumstances within the whole VA, including VISN 1, that allowed care to erode at Manchester.”
“The failure of OMI to perform a satisfactory investigation into the serious allegations at Manchester VAMC is deeply concerning and raises questions about the information provided by VA as it regards to care for veterans nationwide,” Kuster continued. “I am requesting that the Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee examine the VA’s review process and that VA immediately provide the Committee with all the documents concerning the investigations of the Office of Medical Inspector and related actions with the Manchester facility. Our veterans deserve much better than this, and I’m committed to working to improve care for veterans in Manchester and across the state.”
Kuster’s call follows the determination by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) that the findings in an investigation conducted by the VA Office of Medical Inspector (OMI), “do not appear to be reasonable,” and that, “The agency reports received by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) were not fully responsive and were frequently evasive in their reluctance to acknowledge wrongdoing.”