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Federal Managers Association

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  • Trump VA Nominee Will Push For More Flexibility to Hire and Fire

    By Kellie Lunney, Government Executive

    If confirmed as Veterans Affairs secretary, Dr. David Shulkin said he plans to pursue “far greater accountability” for the department’s workforce at the same time he will seek help from Congress to recruit and retain high performers.

    Shulkin said “a basic function of any chief executive” is to have the right mix of people working in the organization, and “those that do stray from the values that we hold” have to leave. “For those employees that really don’t belong in the organization, the secretary needs the ability to remove them,” he said during his Wednesday Senate confirmation hearing. The current VA undersecretary for health said the department currently doesn’t have the ability to hire or fire properly, noting that the Justice Department last summer decided not to defend the expedited firing authority for VA senior executives included in the 2014 Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act because of constitutional concerns.

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