VA: 65 percent of senior executives got bonuses

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki speaks at a meeting of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Friday, May 30, 2014, in Washington. President Barack Obama says he plans to have a "serious conversation" with Shinseki about whether he can stay in his job.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki speaks at a meeting of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, Friday, May 30, 2014, in Washington. President Barack Obama says he plans to have a "serious conversation" with Shinseki about whether he can stay in his job. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON (AP) — About 65 percent of senior executives at the Veterans Affairs Department got performance bonuses last year despite widespread treatment delays and preventable deaths at VA hospitals and clinics.

More than 300 VA executives were paid a total of $2.7 million in bonuses last year, according to Gina Farrisee, assistant VA secretary for human resources and administration. That amount is down from about $3.4 million in bonuses paid in 2012.

The totals do not include tens of millions of dollars in bonuses awarded to doctors, dentists and other medical providers throughout the VA’s nearly 900 hospitals and clinics.

There was confusion Friday about the number of senior executives who received bonuses. During a hearing Friday of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, both lawmakers and Farrisee had indicated that nearly 80 percent of senior executives had received bonuses. Later, however, the committee provided documents showing that 304 of 470 senior executives, or 64.7 percent, had received bonuses. The committee and a VA spokesman said the 80 percent figure referred to the number of senior executives who received very high ratings, not those who received bonuses.

 

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