The Integrity Deficit: VA Whistleblowers vs DHS Whistleblowers

DHS Whistleblowers Crossing Over?

DHS Whistleblowers Crossing Over?

What’s the difference in the core dysfunction which they are blowing the whistle on ? Not much:

“In testimony submitted to the committee, Katherine L. Mitchell, an internist at the VA hospital in Phoenix, described an agency suffering from an integrity deficit.

“Ethics have never been made an official VA performance measure, and thus do not appear to be a clear administrative goal,” she said. “There seems to be no perceived financial advantage to pursuing ethical conduct. Administrative repercussions are lacking for unethical behaviors that are so routinely practiced among senior executive service employees.”

Of course, federal employees should not need a financial incentive to engage in ethical conduct. But there were financial incentives, in the form of employee bonuses,  that apparently encouraged workers to falsify records to meet  productivity targets.”

Productivity targets and the detrimental effects it has had on management and employees within the DHS, and especially USCIS and ICE, has been at the core of what whistleblowers from DHS have attempted to bring to the public attention over the years, but there is a marked difference on how Congress and the media has treated the whistleblowers from DHS and those from the VA. In the VA case whistleblowers have been praised and heralded as heroes, in the other cases the whistleblowers have been severely retaliated against and targeted for doing the right thing.

The result? The Washington Post reports “that the number of VA whistleblower cases “is growing almost every day.”” At DHS? Whistleblowers are literally fleeing the country in fear of retaliation by their own government.


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