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The VA OIG Strikes Again

 

Last updated 9/13/2022 at 3:30pm | View PDF

I have the utmost respect for the VA Office of Inspector General and even more respect now. It appears they'll go after anyone breaking the law, bending the rules, doing wrong ... even one of their own.

In this case it came to their attention that a senior OIG employee was still carrying an OIG-issued firearm and credentials after no longer being eligible to do so. Having been transferred out of one position into another one where carrying the firearm was not authorized, the individual should have turned the firearm in when he switched jobs. Didn't happen. Further, others knew of this and didn't speak up ... for six months.

Enter the OIG investigators.

They unearthed a tangle of job classification language that revealed that nobody was reading the fine print nor filling out the correct forms, even the ones who should have done so. And nobody stepped forward to take the firearm away from the employee, even the ones who knew he wasn't authorized to have it.

Eventually word reached two people in the organization who knew instantly that the employee was not authorized to carry an OIG-issued firearm and credentials, and acted pronto to retrieve both the firearm and the credentials.

The end result is a thing of beauty. The employee in question retired. Two senior executives are no longer employed by the OIG, having resigned during the investigation. Another employee received a letter of reprimand. And the two employees who were in charge of the firearms program are no longer in charge of the firearms program.

If you suspect something is wrong in either the VA programs or operation, contact the VA OIG hotline at 800-488-8244. You also can go online to http://www.va.gov/oig/hotline. If you need to submit a complaint about violations, abuse, fraud, mismanagement or other problems, that's where you do it. They don't take regular email submissions. To see the OIG's reports, go to http://www.va.gov/oig.

(c) 2022 King Features Synd., Inc.

 

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