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Key Votes

S 1094 - Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 - Key Vote

National Key Votes

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Stage Details

Legislation - Signed (Yea) (Executive) - (Key vote)

Title: Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017

Vote Result
Yea Votes
Nay Votes
Legislation - Bill Passed (House) (368-55) - (Key vote)

Title: Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017

Vote Result
Yea Votes
Nay Votes
Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill authorizing the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to quickly discipline or dismiss VA employees.

Highlights:
  •  Establishes the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection within the Department of Veterans Affairs (Sec. 101).
  • Authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to demote, suspend, or fire a VA employee from any position, including a senior executive position, based on performance or misconduct (Secs. 201 & 202).  

  • Requires the Secretary to provide advance notice of the proposed action, as well as all evidence supporting such action, to the affected employee (Secs. 201 & 202).

  • Authorizes the employee to respond to such notice within 7 days, and requires a final decision to be reached no later than 15 days after notice of the action is initially issued (Secs . 201 & 202).

  • Requires the Office of the Special Counsel to grant approval before the Secretary is authorized to demote, suspend, or fire any covered individual who reports an alleged prohibited personnel practice (Sec. 202).

  • Defines “covered individuals” as individuals occupying positions with the VA, but does not include senior executives, political appointees, or certain other individuals (Sec. 202).

  • Authorizes the Office of the Special Counsel to terminate an investigation of a whistleblower complaint only after providing the employee or former employee who reported the alleged infraction with a written statement of the reasons for such termination (Sec. 202).

  • Authorizes the Secretary to order an employee to pay back awards or bonuses, in whole or in part,  if (Sec 204):

    • The Secretary determines that the employee engaged in misconduct or poor performance prior to the payment, and that such award or bonus would not have been paid if such behavior had been known prior to the payment;

    • Before the final order is issued, the employee is given notice of the proposed order and the opportunity to respond within 10 days; and

    • The Secretary issues the final order no later than 5 days after the employee responds, or no later than 15 days after the initial notice if the employee does not respond.

  • Authorizes the Secretary to order an employee to pay back any relocation expenses, in whole or in part, if (Sec. 205):

    • The Secretary determines that relocation expenses were paid following an act of fraud or malfeasance that influenced the authorization of such expenses;

    • Before the final order is issued, the employee is given notice of the proposed order and the opportunity to respond within 10 days; and

    • The Secretary issues the final order no later than 5 days after the employee responds, or no later than 15 days after the initial notice if the employee does not respond.

  • Requires the Secretary to order that the covered service of an employee dismissed based on performance or misconduct will not be taken into account when calculating an annuity if (Sec. 203):

    • The Secretary determines that the employee is convicted of a felony that influenced their performance;

    • Before the order is made, the employee is given notice of the proposed order and an opportunity to respond within 10 days; and

    • The Secretary issues the final order no later than 5 days after the employee responds, or no later than 15 days after the initial notice if the employee does not respond.

Legislation - Bill Passed (Senate) (-) -

Title: Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017

Note:

NOTE: THIS VOTE PASSED BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT, MEANING NO MEMBER OBJECTED TO THE PASSAGE OF THE VOTE. THIS DOES NOT NECESSARILY INDICATE THAT ALL MEMBERS FAVORED THE VOTE'S OUTCOME.

Legislation - Introduced (Senate) -

Title: Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017

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