Despite more problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the agency handed out more than $177 million in bonuses in fiscal 2015 to nearly 189,000 employees.
More than 300 senior executives of the troubled agency received $3.3 million in bonuses, for an average payment of about $10,000 each, USA Today reported Monday. Bonuses for non-executives averaged about $900.
The report comes in the wake of an aborted attempt by the Pentagon to recoup enlistment bonuses paid to National Guardsmen who served in Iraq. Critics said the VA bonuses raise fresh questions about the agency’s system for evaluating employees.
“On Wall Street, these bonuses would be laughable,” the advocacy group DisabledVets.org said on its web site. “But VA is not Wall Street. Instead, it is a beleaguered agency with persistent criminal actors harming veterans on a regular basis.”
Among the managers receiving bonuses, the newspaper reported, was the former top VA official in Ohio who retired the same day he received a termination notice. Another bonus went to the chief of staff at the scandal-ridden Phoenix VA Medical Center, who got the cash award four months before he was fired.