VA offers new buyouts, early outs

Wednesday - 11/23/2011, 1:30pm EST

By Ruben Gomez
Reporter
Federal News Radio

The Veterans Affairs Department joins the list of agencies offering early retirements and buyouts, but not because of budget pressure.

The Office of Personnel Management has given VA permission to offer buyout payments for 829 positions in 11 regional health care networks, spokesperson Jo Schuda told Federal News Radio. In addition, the networks can offer early retirements for 210 positions.

VA said it hopes to eliminate the positions as part of an effort to reduce the number of regional centers it runs for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Schuda said. The initiative, called the Consolidated Patient Account Center (CPAC), aims to move VHA business office functions into seven regional centers by the end of fiscal 2012.

The buyout and early retirement offers apply to employees working in billing and collection. The department did not say when employees must apply to be considered for the buyouts and early outs, but VA's authority extends through Sept. 30, 2012, Schuda said.

VA's Office of General Counsel tried to trim its workforce by 20 positions in 2011, through early retirements, Schuda said. Only six employees participated.

RELATED STORIES
Buyout Guide - a list of agencies offering buyouts and early outs

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