Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin and his senior staff committed “a number of serious derelictions” in expensing a 10-day, $122,000 trip to Europe with his wife, Merle Bari, last July, improperly accepting tickets to Wimbledon, and filing incomplete or misleading paperwork on the entire incident, according to a blistering VA inspector general report published today.
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kasey Zickmund
In an effort to streamline its claims process, the Department of Veteran Affairs announced the official launch of the Decision Ready Claims program for all regional VA offices on Sept. 8, which promises a decision on claims for upgrading disability compensation within 30 days of filing, and could potentially cut out months of waiting.
For the first time in its history the Department of Veterans Affairs will be headed by a non-veteran. While speaking at a press conference on Jan. 11, President-elect Donald Trump announced that David Shulkin, the current Under Secretary for Health at the VA, will take over as the department’s head if confirmed.
As efforts to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs continue, there’s an ongoing debate about the best way to fix a system mired in bureaucracy and haunted by past scandal. While some argue in favor of VA privatization, either in part or in full, others and most recently, the president, are in favor of continued VA reform.