The Department of Veterans Affairs has terminated more than 500 employees since President Donald Trump assumed the office, Fox News reports.
The VA's recent scandals have prompted public criticism over their methods of dealing with problematic employees. On July 3, the department released a list of recently fired or disciplined employees in an attempt to increase transparency. As of July 10, more than 500 have been fired.
"Veterans and taxpayers have a right to know what we're doing to hold our employees accountable and make our personnel actions transparent," Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin told Fox News.
"In the past, the VA was not straightforward on who they were disciplining and who they let retire," Dan Caldwell, policy director for the advocacy group Concerned Veterans for America, told the network.
"Often the VA would say someone was fired, and we'd find out later that employee was not fired, they were actually just suspended, demoted or had been allowed to retire before they could be fired."
He added, "Very few employees were terminated for the 'wait list' scandal — less than a dozen that we know of — even though hundreds or even thousands of people were involved."
Despite the uptake in firings after the inauguration, the Whistleblower Law Firm's Natalie Khawam said Trump can't take full credit.
"Claims that all these terminations at the VA occurred because of the new accountability program or under the new [VA] secretary's watch is misleading," Khawam told Fox News.
"Any terminations prior to just a couple months ago were initiated under the Obama administration, and any other termination actions that are still being processed may have rolled over from the past administration, too."
It typically takes six months to one year for the VA to fire employees, but a bill signed by the president in the past few weeks aims to change that.
"One of our frustrations is it took incredible amounts of time to fire people at the higher echelons of the VA," Caldwell said. "It could take hundreds of days to terminate someone, even though they were a senior manager."
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.