6:20 am, May 26, 2015

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  • They do seem to be picking on the VA as an easy target.
    Congress whines about the waste in the government. Well some of the worst waste is the groups every agency forms for the sole purpose of answering often stupid and random data calls from Congress. I have met several people that have rotated through such offices at one time or another. These are not the groups that provide the regular information that Congress asks for every day. This is about the groups that get a vague email Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday asking for some sort of random information by Friday noon. It is obviously based on something that happened the previous weekend. There is no standard report to be had from some regularly updated database. It is always a drop everything you are doing and get this information from whomever or where ever it may be hidden. When Congress is in session it is a very high stress office with long hours and regular random fire drills. When Congress is out they use saved up leave or telework from the local bar. They usually get burned out in a couple years and run to any other position they can get. The VA is pulling everyone they can to work on their backlog and Congress wants them to drop everything to dig through the files to find how bad the backlog is this week vs last week and make another fresh projection on how bad it will be next year this time. Then they want to know what is going on with some issue in the field from 2 years ago when half the staff has been replaced in that time. Then they want to know what is going on with all the other aspects of the agency and how catching up on the backlog is impacting them, and then next week it all starts all over again. If Congress weren't going on another extended break, they would be wasting even more resources that could be used to deal with the backlog. The joke is really on Congress, because most agencies don't check the data for these short timeframe datacalls. They do what they can and slap together some PowerPoint slides and put some half guess numbers in them and pass them on, because the deadline is much more important than the accuracy of the data. Besides, someone else will be asking for similar information in a different way next week anyway.
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