TRIBUTE TO MR. MICHAEL SLACHTA, JR. -- (Extensions of Remarks - February 12, 2004)
HON. CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH
OF NEW JERSEY
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2004
Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Mr. Michael Slachta, Jr., Assistant Inspector General for Auditing, who retired on January 2, 2004, after 36 years of Federal service--32 of which were served at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Mike's distinguished career began with service in the U.S. Navy from May 1966 to February 1970, including a one-year tour as a corpsman with the Third Marines in the Republic of Vietnam. As a result of his outstanding service, Mike was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat V, Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Meritorious Unit Citation, and Vietnam Service Medal with Fleet Marine Force Combat Insignia.
Mike attended the University of Pittsburgh on the Vietnam-era GI Bill and graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology. In 1971, he joined VA as an adjudicator at the Regional Office in Detroit, Michigan. In 1974, Mike moved to Washington, DC and joined the Internal Audit Service to work on the development of the Inspector General Act.
In 1978, Mike transferred to Hyattsville, Maryland to serve as Director of the Eastern Field Office of Audit. In 1980, he returned to the District of Columbia to serve as Acting Assistant Inspector General for Auditing. In 1982, he was appointed Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Regional Audits, and in 1983 he was appointed Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Headquarters Audits. In 1991, Mr. Slachta was named Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Auditing.
On March 12, 2000, Mike was appointed Assistant Inspector General for Auditing, the position he held until his retirement. In this capacity, he directed 166 auditors and support staff located at eight Inspector General offices across the country. In the last decade, under Mike's direction, the Office of Audit recommended actions that had potential cost efficiencies of over $7 billion, which greatly improved VA program effectiveness and quality of services to beneficiaries.
A testament to the significant contributions and commitment of Mike Slachta are his many awards and recognitions. In 1991 and 2000, Mike received the Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive. In 2001, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs appointed him to the VA Claims Processing Task Force, where he served with distinction.
The President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency presented Mike with the June Gibbs Brown Career Achievement Award in 2003 for his extraordinary leadership and a distinguished career at VA in public service.
Mike and his wife Sharron have two sons, David and Douglas. They both share their father's passion and considerable skills in judo and golf.
With Mike's retirement, VA loses an enthusiastic, innovative leader and an exemplary Federal employee.