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Congressman Ryan Costello

Representing the 6th District of Pennsylvania


January 3, 2017
Press Release

Rep. Costello Speaks On His Legislation

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06), a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, announced today his legislation, the Ensuring VA Employee Accountability Act, unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Costello’s bill was the first legislative vote in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 115th Congress and his bill was the first to pass the new Congress.

“The reason I introduced this legislation is simple – it allows the Department of Veterans Affairs to maintain accurate records of disciplinary actions against employees,” said Rep. Costello. “The file can then be taken into consideration when an employee is up for a bonus or promotion. My bill is intended to bring more transparency and accountability to the way we serve our veterans.”

Disciplinary actions at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are carried out through a tiered system. However, the VA uses lower tiered disciplinary actions more frequently and because they are not permanently part of an employee’s file. Currently, the VA keeps disciplinary actions in an employee’s file for only three years before they are deleted, preventing poor performers within the VA from being tracked or held accountable over the long-term.

Rep. Costello’s legislation requires the VA to maintain current files of employee disciplinary actions throughout each employee’s tenure at the VA. These files would be reviewed when an employee is under consideration for a bonus, promotion, or other advancement.

It is important that the many employees at the VA doing good work are not overlooked or penalized. The Ensuring VA Employee Accountability Act does not impose new penalties or affect the existing due process rights for a VA employee to appeal disciplinary action.

To hear Rep. Costello’s floor speech on this bill, please click here.