Trump creates VA accountability office with new executive order

President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order titled "Improving Accountability and Whistle-Blower Protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs," which will create the VA Office of Accountability and Whistle-blower Protection.

"This executive order makes it clear that we will never, ever tolerate substandard care for our great veterans," President Trump said. "With the creation of this office we are sending a strong message: Those who fail our veterans will be held, for the first time, accountable. At the same time, we will reward and retain the many VA employees that do a fantastic job, of which we have many."

The executive order will also create the position of special assistant to the secretary, who will report directly to David Shulkin, MD, the secretary of the VA, and be the executive director of the office.

The new executive director and the newly created office will work to "identify barriers that are preventing us from removing employees and people that we have identified that should no longer be working at VA," Dr. Shulkin said. "We're moving quickly to remove bad employees," Mr. Shulkin said. "We simply will not tolerate those who act counter to our core values or put our veterans at risk."

Whistle-blowers who expose wrongdoing in the VA will also be protected from retaliation under the executive order.

This executive order is one of many VA-focused initiatives that have occurred recently during the Trump administration. For instance, the VA launched a new website earlier this month that makes wait times transparent and allows veterans to compare VA facilities' care quality with other, non-VA facilities. Additionally, President Trump's signed the Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act, which allows some veterans to see physicians in their communities, into law last week.

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