SEA Disappointed By Congressional Action to Ban Performance Awards at VA

Washington, D.C. – The Senior Executives Association (SEA) strongly disagrees with actions taken yesterday by Congress to pass yet again legislation to ban SES performance awards for Senior Executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

As members of the House Appropriations committee noted in the report on HR 4486, the VA has a performance system in place that has strengthened the link between organizational performance and awards and the Secretary has already taken steps to reduce or freeze performance awards.

The action by the House today was unnecessary and does nothing to address the critical issues of claims backlog and access to patient care. A blanket ban on performance awards only serves to punish those Senior Executives who are high performing and those who may not have a direct line of responsibility for the issues being raised in Congress.

Veterans deserve nothing less than world class service by the VA and Senior Executives at the VA, many of whom are themselves veterans, share this goal. SEA urges Congress to move away from the distracting rhetoric about Senior Executives and to instead focus on the drivers of the backlog and access to care.

The Senior Executives Association (SEA) is a professional association representing Senior Executive Service members and other career federal executives. Founded in 1980, SEA's goals are: to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of the federal government; to advance the professionalism and advocate the interests of career federal executives; and to enhance public recognition of their contributions. The SEA Professional Development League (PDL) is a nonprofit educational organization committed to advancing the professionalism of career federal executives through the sponsorship of training, recognition, and research activities.