Veteran Advocacy Groups Launch Whistleblower Website
The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) together launched VAOversight, a secure whistleblower website to report fraud, mismanagement and abuse in the Department of Veterans Affairs following allegations that a Phoenix VA hospital suffered from treatment delays, had hidden wait lists and caused the potentially preventable deaths of up to 40 veterans.
Since those allegations became public a few weeks ago, up to 26 VA facilities across the country are under investigation, including one Colorado facility where an employee admitted to “gaming the system” by manipulating health appointments to conceal the long wait times.
POGO and IAVA launched the website to ensure that whistleblowers have a secure, confidential place to report these and other abuses in the future. POGO and IAVA urge whistleblowers to reduce the risk of retaliation by using the website to retain their anonymity and confidentiality. The groups stated that they “do not recommend coming forward publicly and exposing yourself to the many risks associated with doing so.”
Danielle Brian, executive director of POGO, stated that “[i]t takes a lot of courage to step forward and put one’s career at risk…[w]histleblowers shouldn’t have to go it alone. We can help whistleblowers hold the VA accountable, and keep the focus on solutions rather than attempts to hunt down those who voiced concerns.”