Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Customer Is Always Right

Robert McDonald, the news Veterans Affairs Secretary and former head of Procter and Gamble, is taking a hard-nosed, business-like approach to restructuring the Department of Veterans Affairs.  McDonald announced that the "VA" is firing employees flagged for disciplinary action in light of the secret waiting lists that caused delays for veterans' health care.  A new law cuts by half the appeal time of VA employees slated for termination, and McDonald is ready to use it to root out the bad apples that spoil the barrel.
McDonald is also reorganizing the VA's "customer service" apparatus by streamlining and integrating opportunities for veterans who apply for services through the telephone, the Internet, or arriving to VA facilities.  By treating the agency like a business, and its clients as customers, McDonald may appear to be cheapening a public service. But given how incompetent and inept the VA has been run since virtually the day it began operations in 1930 (as the Veterans' Administration, hence the old initials still in use), this can only help to restore a sense of responsibility . . . and properly honor our veterans.  They deserve nothing less.      
Happy Veterans Day. 

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