VA tech official hands out questionable bonuses, awards

A new report from the Office of the Inspector General of the Veterans Affairs Department has concluded that a senior technology official has doled out $24 million in questionable bonuses to thousands of employees, including some of her friends and relatives.

According to the OIG, recently retired Jennifer S. Duncan acted "as if she was given a blank checkbook," handing out bonuses, college tuition payments and other awards to employees of the Office of Information and Technology in 2007 and 2008. These included $60,000 in bonuses for Duncan herself. OIG investigators concluded that there was little justification for some of these bonuses and awards.

As nepotism and a bonus culture has apparently accelerated within the VA, it seems the Office of Information and Technology hasn't been doing such a spectacular job. While the number of claims it needs to process for veterans has grown, and the need to scale its network has increased, veterans have faced growing waits for disability payments. Definitely not a pretty picture.

To learn more about the OIG investigation:
- read this piece from The New York Times