New VA watchdog pledges more transparency

The new inspector general at the Department of Veterans Affairs is hoping to quickly repair the office’s image after nearly two years of criticism for cursory investigations and secrecy.

Michael Missal, who began work last Monday, said he plans to reach out to veterans’ groups, Congress and others to let them know his door is open and he plans to be more transparent.

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Over 500 grievous injuries or deaths at VA hospitals in 2013

Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country reported more than 500 incidents last year where patients were gravely injured or died as a result of the care they received.

Data obtained by the Washington Free Beacon through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) shows 575 “institutional disclosures of adverse events”—the bureaucratic phrase for reporting a serious mistake—at VA hospitals in fiscal year 2013.

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VA Risks Worsening Already-Bad FOIA Performance

COLUMBIA, Mo — The Veterans Administration’s so far unexplained new processing policy for FOIA requests is examined in this report by reporter John Ryan at KUOW radio, the NPR affiliate in Seattle.  

"Here's a new layer of review for an agency that is already doing poorly on response times, and it's probably going to make it worse," said Ken Bunting with the National Freedom of Information Coalition in Columbia, Mo. "Instead of improving the backlog, it's going to add to the backlog."

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