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Posted: Saturday, 21 June 2014 12:20PM

Veterans Affairs' Management Received Good Ratings, Bonuses, Despite Problems

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A Congressional committee grilled top Veterans Affairs officials Friday over procedures and standards involving the recent VA patient scandal.

In spite of the long wait times for health care for thousands of veterans, members of the agency's senior management received good ratings in their last performance review. The top 470 employees received either a "satisfactory" rating or above, according to officials in the hearing.

Citing documentation provided by the department, committee chair Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), dropped the revelation on the positive reviews.

Still, six members of management were fired for poor performance or misconduct during the fiscal year in 2013. Assistant Sec. Gina Farrisee of VA human resources told the committee that the agency does not count the reviews of former employees in their tallies.

Farrisee added that by law, there was no method for her agency to retroactively degrade a performance review after it has been issued. She told Miller she would support amending the code, provided that the changes were universal and not targeted solely to the VA.

In addition to the ratings, officials said about 78 percent of the 470 executives received performance-based bonuses in the last year, even at "problem" hospitals.