Jordan LaPier
(202) 495-3320

Partnership for Public Service Statement on Passage of H.R. 4031

May 22, 2014

Contact: Sarah Howe
(202) 775-9111

WASHINGTON–Max Stier, president and CEO of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service, released the following statement regarding the passage of H.R. 4031:

“Simply put, this is the wrong response to serious problems at the Veterans Affairs Department. What the House has proposed essentially returns us to a centuries old spoils system, when what is needed is a response that will move our country forward. H.R. 4031 won’t fix the problems at VA, it will only make things worse. It will undermine core principles of our civil service system that protect federal employees from undue politicization and retaliation against whistle-blowing.

To make meaningful change at VA and across government, Congress will need to pass comprehensive legislation that transforms the way our government hires, develops, rewards and holds accountable its employees. We need to incentivize managers to effectively deal with their underperformers, while preserving and streamlining due process. We need to build a culture where problems are surfaced and swiftly addressed.

The problems at VA are illustrative of a broader set of problems that have been sitting on Congress’ doorstep for decades. Many calls for change have gone largely ignored. If members of Congress truly want to do right by veterans, and all Americans, they will take the time to understand the underlying shortcomings of our system and they will pass legislation that modernizes our civil service system.”

The Partnership for Public Service works to revitalize the federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works.