Shinseki has a long history of honorable service to our country, and I believe him to be sincere in his desire to clean up the system.
However, he has had five years to work on the myriad problems associated with this bureaucracy, yet we have our veterans still suffering from waiting to get into the system.
Possibly, Shinseki had not attuned himself to the ways of the federal government’s system. In the military, a general officer simply calls a staff meeting, writes a memo to his subordinates or otherwise indicates that he wants something done in a particular way, and it becomes standing operating procedure. Essentially, it becomes law for everyone under his command! Not so for civilians in any federal bureaucracy! The “general” first must get their attention. He has to consider that they are protected by a union! It is very difficult to fire them and/or relieve them of their positions as opposed to the military.
A proposal that has passed the House would have allowed Shinseki the ability to hire and fire civilian employees. It’s now in the Senate. Perhaps that is something that can be done to clean up the VA’s act!