Robert Wilkie, the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs (expected to be sworn-in today), is expected to re-assign several of the recent political appointees who have contributed to the alleged turmoil in VA upper management.

Historically non-partisan, the VA upper echelon had become politicized under Interim Secretary Peter O’Rourke. O’Rourke created a bipartisan Congressional furor when he attempted to purge civil servants and others who were allegedly not carrying out a political agenda. Secretary Wilkie appears to intend to reassign O’Rourke to an operations post and to form a new leadership team, according to inside information provided to the Washington Post newspaper.

O’Rourke drew heavy criticism from lawmakers of both parties in Congress as a result of purging and staffing efforts and a major dispute with the VA’s Inspector General. Former VA Sec. David Shulkin was fired by President Trump in March, after Shulkin, locked in a power struggle with O’Rourke, was found to have allegedly overspent on personal perks.

Wilkie, formerly the head of personnel policy at the Pentagon, faces major challenges, starting with re-assignment and replacement of top staffers, and addressing serious deficiencies at the top management level, mainly due to vacancies. At present, there is no permanent Deputy Secretary, no Deputy Undersecretary for Health, no Undersecretary for Information Technology, and no Undersecretary for the VA Health System, largest in the US.

Secretary Wilkie’s actions to staff the VA positions with a new team will require approval from the White House Personnel Office, and are expected to be announced shortly.

0 Comments

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*


ACSWA is a unit of the not-for-profit Center for Clinical Social Work, Inc., which also operates the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work.

ACSWA Home | Terms of Use | Privacy PolicyUser Guidelines | Code of Ethics | Center for Clinical Social Work | ABE

241 Humphrey Street, Marblehead, MA 01945 USA

©2012-2018 Center for Clinical Social Work  |  Web Development by CAN Connect  |  Web Design by Flat Rock Creative

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?