WASHINGTON - Nearly two dozen officials who received hefty performance bonuses last year at the Veterans Affairs Department also sat on the boards charged with recommending the payments.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press raise questions of conflicts of interest or appearances of conflicts in connection with the bonuses, some of which went to senior officials involved in crafting a budget that came up $1.3 billion short and jeopardized veterans' health care.
The documents show that 21 of 32 officials who were members of VA performance review boards received more than half a million dollars in payments themselves.
Among them: nearly a dozen senior officials who devised the flawed 2005 budget. Also rewarded was the deputy undersecretary for benefits, who manages a system with severe backlogs of veterans waiting for disability benefits.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
VA Bonus Winners Sat on Review Boards - RedOrbit: By HOPE YEN