Last year the Veterans Affairs Department paid out more than $3.4 million dollars to Senior Executive Service employees, with the average SES Performance Bonus exceeding $14,000, Carl Blake, national legislative director at Paralyzed Veterans of America, told a House VA Committee hearing yesterday.
That bonus pool distributed $417,152 to 30 SES employees in the Veterans Benefits Administration, while veterans continued to wait interminably long periods to receive their benefits, Blake said. The backlog of claims pending more than 125 day rose from just under 180,000 in 2009 to more than 290,000 in 2010, Blake added.
Considering these less than stellar achievements, Blake wondered why the VA was so free with cash rewards and suggested the bonus pool be shifted to directly aid veterans, not SESers.
Bob Brewin joined Government Executive in April 2007, bringing with him more than 20 years of experience as a journalist focusing on defense issues and technology. Bob covers the world of defense and information technology for Nextgov, and is the author of the “What’s Brewin” blog.