U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 23, 2014) — Sen. Claire McCaskill, chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight, today issued the following statement after the Office of Special Counsel’s (OSC) announcement of whistleblower reports of abuses of patient care at 10 Veterans Affairs facilities that were allegedly covered up by VA officials.
“These disturbing reports demonstrate an unacceptable level of neglect for too many veterans. Whistleblowers are critical to our efforts to guard against waste and misconduct in government—and in this case, against the severe compromise of patient care. I’m outraged, not only by what these whistleblowers found, but by indications that those findings were ignored or minimized by VA management, perpetuating systemic problems while veterans suffered. I’ll continue working with the Office of Special Counsel to ensure whistleblowers are protected and that anyone involved in this cover-up is fired.”
McCaskill on Friday called for swift action and requested additional information from the Office of Special Counsel on its investigation of whistleblower retaliation by Veterans Affairs employees. OSC is currently investigating nearly 60 cases of whistleblower retaliation at the VA. McCaskill requested the information from OSC to determine the scope of the retaliation problem and protect future whistleblowers.
Last week, McCaskill used a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing to call for expanded whistleblower protections for intelligence contractors—to better protect those who blow the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse in the intelligence community. She also recently introduced bipartisan legislation to bolster the independence of the National Security Agency’s Inspector General—in part by requiring the office to conduct annual reviews of whistleblower protections for agency employees and contractors, and provide recommendations to improve those mechanisms.
Click HERE to read highlights of McCaskill’s fight for stronger accountability in Washington.
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