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Kurt Faulhammer

VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act

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Mr. Faulhammer, for himself, introduced the following;


A bill
 
To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the accountability of 
employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes.
 
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.
    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:
 
Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
 
     TITLE I--OFFICE OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION
 
Sec. 101. Establishment of Office of Accountability and Whistleblower 
          Protection.
Sec. 102. Protection of whistleblowers in Department of Veterans 
          Affairs.
Sec. 103. Report on methods used to investigate employees of Department 
          of Veterans Affairs.
 
 TITLE II--ACCOUNTABILITY OF SENIOR EXECUTIVES, SUPERVISORS, AND OTHER 
                                EMPLOYEES
 
Sec. 201. Improved authorities of Secretary of Veterans Affairs to 
          improve accountability of senior executives.
Sec. 202. Improved authorities of Secretary of Veterans Affairs to 
          improve accountability of employees.
Sec. 203. Reduction of benefits for Department of Veterans Affairs 
          employees convicted of certain crimes.
Sec. 204. Authority to recoup bonuses or awards paid to employees of 
          Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 205. Authority to recoup relocation expenses paid to or on behalf 
          of employees of Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 206. Time period for response to notice of adverse actions against 
          supervisory employees who commit prohibited personnel actions.
Sec. 207. Direct hiring authority for medical center directors and VISN 
          directors.
Sec. 208. Time periods for review of adverse actions with respect to 
          certain employees.
Sec. 209. Improvement of training for supervisors.
Sec. 210. Assessment and report on effect on senior executives at 
          Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 211. Measurement of Department of Veterans Affairs disciplinary 
          process outcomes and effectiveness.
 
     TITLE I--OFFICE OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION
 
    SEC. 101. ESTABLISHMENT OF OFFICE OF ACCOUNTABILITY AND 
      WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTION.
    (a) In General.--Chapter 3 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following new section:
``Sec. 323. Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection
    ``(a) Establishment.--There is established in the Department an 
office to be known as the `Office of Accountability and Whistleblower 
Protection' (in this section referred to as the `Office').
    ``(b) Head of Office.--(1) The head of the Office shall be 
responsible for the functions of the Office and shall be appointed by 
the President pursuant to section 308(a) of this title.
    ``(2) The head of the Office shall be known as the `Assistant 
Secretary for Accountability and Whistleblower Protection'.
    ``(3) The Assistant Secretary shall report directly to the 
Secretary on all matters relating to the Office.
    ``(4) Notwithstanding section 308(b) of this title, the Secretary 
may only assign to the Assistant Secretary responsibilities relating to 
the functions of the Office set forth in subsection (c).
    ``(c) Functions.--(1) The functions of the Office are as follows:
        ``(A) Advising the Secretary on all matters of the Department 
    relating to accountability, including accountability of employees 
    of the Department, retaliation against whistleblowers, and such 
    matters as the Secretary considers similar and affect public trust 
    in the Department.
        ``(B) Issuing reports and providing recommendations related to 
    the duties described in subparagraph (A).
        ``(C) Receiving whistleblower disclosures.
        ``(D) Referring whistleblower disclosures received under 
    subparagraph (C) for investigation to the Office of the Medical 
    Inspector, the Office of Inspector General, or other investigative 
    entity, as appropriate, if the Assistant Secretary has reason to 
    believe the whistleblower disclosure is evidence of a violation of 
    a provision of law, mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of 
    authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or 
    safety.
        ``(E) Receiving and referring disclosures from the Special 
    Counsel for investigation to the Medical Inspector of the 
    Department, the Inspector General of the Department, or such other 
    person with investigatory authority, as the Assistant Secretary 
    considers appropriate.
        ``(F) Recording, tracking, reviewing, and confirming 
    implementation of recommendations from audits and investigations 
    carried out by the Inspector General of the Department, the Medical 
    Inspector of the Department, the Special Counsel, and the 
    Comptroller General of the United States, including the imposition 
    of disciplinary actions and other corrective actions contained in 
    such recommendations.
        ``(G) Analyzing data from the Office and the Office of 
    Inspector General telephone hotlines, other whistleblower 
    disclosures, disaggregated by facility and area of health care if 
    appropriate, and relevant audits and investigations to identify 
    trends and issue reports to the Secretary based on analysis 
    conducted under this subparagraph.
        ``(H) Receiving, reviewing, and investigating allegations of 
    misconduct, retaliation, or poor performance involving--
            ``(i) an individual in a senior executive position (as 
        defined in section 713(d) of this title) in the Department;
            ``(ii) an individual employed in a confidential, policy-
        making, policy-determining, or policy-advocating position in 
        the Department; or
            ``(iii) a supervisory employee, if the allegation involves 
        retaliation against an employee for making a whistleblower 
        disclosure.
        ``(I) Making such recommendations to the Secretary for 
    disciplinary action as the Assistant Secretary considers 
    appropriate after substantiating any allegation of misconduct or 
    poor performance pursuant to an investigation carried out as 
    described in subparagraph (F) or (H).
    ``(2) In carrying out the functions of the Office, the Assistant 
Secretary shall ensure that the Office maintains a toll-free telephone 
number and Internet website to receive anonymous whistleblower 
disclosures.
    ``(3) In any case in which the Assistant Secretary receives a 
whistleblower disclosure from an employee of the Department under 
paragraph (1)(C), the Assistant Secretary may not disclose the identity 
of the employee without the consent of the employee, except in 
accordance with the provisions of section 552a of title 5, or as 
required by any other applicable provision of Federal law.
    ``(d) Staff and Resources.--The Secretary shall ensure that the 
Assistant Secretary has such staff, resources, and access to 
information as may be necessary to carry out the functions of the 
Office.
    ``(e) Relation to Office of General Counsel.--The Office shall not 
be established as an element of the Office of the General Counsel and 
the Assistant Secretary may not report to the General Counsel.
    ``(f) Reports.--(1)(A) Not later than June 30 of each calendar 
year, beginning with June 30, 2017, the Assistant Secretary shall 
submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the 
Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report 
on the activities of the Office during the calendar year in which the 
report is submitted.
    ``(B) Each report submitted under subparagraph (A) shall include, 
for the period covered by the report, the following:
        ``(i) A full and substantive analysis of the activities of the 
    Office, including such statistical information as the Assistant 
    Secretary considers appropriate.
        ``(ii) Identification of any issues reported to the Secretary 
    under subsection (c)(1)(G), including such data as the Assistant 
    Secretary considers relevant to such issues and any trends the 
    Assistant Secretary may have identified with respect to such 
    issues.
        ``(iii) Identification of such concerns as the Assistant 
    Secretary may have regarding the size, staffing, and resources of 
    the Office and such recommendations as the Assistant Secretary may 
    have for legislative or administrative action to address such 
    concerns.
        ``(iv) Such recommendations as the Assistant Secretary may have 
    for legislative or administrative action to improve--
            ``(I) the process by which concerns are reported to the 
        Office; and
            ``(II) the protection of whistleblowers within the 
        Department.
        ``(v) Such other matters as the Assistant Secretary considers 
    appropriate regarding the functions of the Office or other matters 
    relating to the Office.
    ``(2) If the Secretary receives a recommendation for disciplinary 
action under subsection (c)(1)(I) and does not take or initiate the 
recommended disciplinary action before the date that is 60 days after 
the date on which the Secretary received the recommendation, the 
Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the 
Senate and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of 
Representatives a detailed justification for not taking or initiating 
such disciplinary action.
    ``(g) Definitions.--In this section:
        ``(1) The term `supervisory employee' means an employee of the 
    Department who is a supervisor as defined in section 7103(a) of 
    title 5.
        ``(2) The term `whistleblower' means one who makes a 
    whistleblower disclosure.
        ``(3) The term `whistleblower disclosure' means any disclosure 
    of information by an employee of the Department or individual 
    applying to become an employee of the Department which the employee 
    or individual reasonably believes evidences--
            ``(A) a violation of a law, rule, or regulation; or
            ``(B) gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse 
        of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public 
        health or safety.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 308(b) of such title is amended 
by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
        ``(12) The functions set forth in section 323(c) of this 
    title.''.
    (c) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 3 of such title is amended by adding at the end the following 
new item:
 
``323. Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection.''.
    SEC. 102. PROTECTION OF WHISTLEBLOWERS IN DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
      AFFAIRS.
    (a) In General.--Subchapter II of chapter 7 of title 38, United 
States Code, is amended by--
        (1) striking sections 731, 732, 734, 735, and 736;
        (2) by redesignating section 733 as section 731; and
        (3) by adding at the end the following new sections:
``Sec. 732. Protection of whistleblowers as criteria in evaluation of 
   supervisors
    ``(a) Development and Use of Criteria Required.--The Secretary, in 
consultation with the Assistant Secretary of Accountability and 
Whistleblower Protection, shall develop criteria that--
        ``(1) the Secretary shall use as a critical element in any 
    evaluation of the performance of a supervisory employee; and
        ``(2) promotes the protection of whistleblowers.
    ``(b) Principles for Protection of Whistleblowers.--The criteria 
required by subsection (a) shall include principles for the protection 
of whistleblowers, such as the degree to which supervisory employees 
respond constructively when employees of the Department report 
concerns, take responsible action to resolve such concerns, and foster 
an environment in which employees of the Department feel comfortable 
reporting concerns to supervisory employees or to the appropriate 
authorities.
    ``(c) Supervisory Employee and Whistleblower Defined.--In this 
section, the terms `supervisory employee' and `whistleblower' have the 
meanings given such terms in section 323 of this title.
``Sec. 733. Training regarding whistleblower disclosures
    ``(a) Training.--Not less frequently than once every two years, the 
Secretary, in coordination with the Whistleblower Protection Ombudsman 
designated under section 3(d)(1)(C) of the Inspector General Act of 
1978 (5 U.S.C. App.), shall provide to each employee of the Department 
training regarding whistleblower disclosures, including--
        ``(1) an explanation of each method established by law in which 
    an employee may file a whistleblower disclosure;
        ``(2) the right of the employee to petition Congress regarding 
    a whistleblower disclosure in accordance with section 7211 of title 
    5;
        ``(3) an explanation that the employee may not be prosecuted or 
    reprised against for disclosing information to Congress, the 
    Inspector General, or another investigatory agency in instances 
    where such disclosure is permitted by law, including under sections 
    5701, 5705, and 7732 of this title, under section 552a of title 5 
    (commonly referred to as the Privacy Act), under chapter 93 of 
    title 18, and pursuant to regulations promulgated under section 
    264(c) of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 
    of 1996 (Public Law 104-191);
        ``(4) an explanation of the language that is required to be 
    included in all nondisclosure policies, forms, and agreements 
    pursuant to section 115(a)(1) of the Whistleblower Protection 
    Enhancement Act of 2012 (5 U.S.C. 2302 note); and
        ``(5) the right of contractors to be protected from reprisal 
    for the disclosure of certain information under section 4705 or 
    4712 of title 41.
    ``(b) Manner Training Is Provided.--The Secretary shall ensure, to 
the maximum extent practicable, that training provided under subsection 
(a) is provided in person.
    ``(c) Certification.--Not less frequently than once every two 
years, the Secretary shall provide training on merit system protection 
in a manner that the Special Counsel certifies as being satisfactory.
    ``(d) Publication.--The Secretary shall publish on the Internet 
website of the Department, and display prominently at each facility of 
the Department, the rights of an employee to make a whistleblower 
disclosure, including the information described in paragraphs (1) 
through (5) of subsection (a).
    ``(e) Whistleblower Disclosure Defined.--In this section, the term 
`whistleblower disclosure' has the meaning given such term in section 
323 of this title.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendments.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is amended--
        (1) by striking the items relating to sections 731 through 736; 
    and
        (2) by adding at the end the following new items:
 
``731. Adverse actions against supervisory employees who commit 
          prohibited personnel actions relating to whistleblower 
          complaints.
``732. Protection of whistleblowers as criteria in evaluation of 
          supervisors.
``733. Training regarding whistleblower disclosures.''.
 
    (c) Conforming Amendments.--Section 731 of such title, as 
redesignated by subsection (a)(2), is amended--
        (1) in subsection (c)--
            (A) in paragraph (1)--
                (i) by striking subparagraphs (A) and (B) and inserting 
            the following:
            ``(A) making a whistleblower disclosure to the Assistant 
        Secretary for Accountability and Whistleblower Protection, the 
        Inspector General of the Department, the Special Counsel, or 
        Congress;''; and
                (ii) by redesignating subparagraphs (C) through (F) as 
            subparagraphs (B) through (E), respectively; and
                (iii) in subparagraph (B), as redesignated by clause 
            (ii), by striking ``complaint in accordance with section 
            732 or with'' and inserting ``disclosure made to the 
            Assistant Secretary for Accountability and Whistleblower 
            Protection,''; and
            (B) in paragraph (2), by striking ``through (F)'' and 
        inserting ``through (E)''; and
        (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(d) Whistleblower Disclosure Defined.--In this section, the term 
`whistleblower disclosure' has the meaning given such term in section 
323(g) of this title.''.
    SEC. 103. REPORT ON METHODS USED TO INVESTIGATE EMPLOYEES OF 
      DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.
    (a) Report Required.--Not later than 540 days after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Assistant Secretary for Accountability and 
Whistleblower Protection shall submit to the Secretary of Veterans 
Affairs, the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate, and the 
Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report 
on methods used to investigate employees of the Department of Veterans 
Affairs and whether such methods are used to retaliate against 
whistleblowers.
    (b) Contents.--The report required by subsection (a) shall include 
the following:
        (1) An assessment of the use of administrative investigation 
    boards, peer review, searches of medical records, and other methods 
    for investigating employees of the Department.
        (2) A determination of whether and to what degree the methods 
    described in paragraph (1) are being used to retaliate against 
    whistleblowers.
        (3) Recommendations for legislative or administrative action to 
    implement safeguards to prevent the retaliation described in 
    paragraph (2).
    (c) Whistleblower Defined.--In this section, the term 
``whistleblower'' has the meaning given such term in section 323 of 
title 38, United States Code, as added by section 101.
 
 TITLE II--ACCOUNTABILITY OF SENIOR EXECUTIVES, SUPERVISORS, AND OTHER 
                               EMPLOYEES
 
    SEC. 201. IMPROVED AUTHORITIES OF SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO 
      IMPROVE ACCOUNTABILITY OF SENIOR EXECUTIVES.
    (a) In General.--Section 713 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended to read as follows:
``Sec. 713. Senior executives: removal, demotion, or suspension based 
   on performance or misconduct
    ``(a) Authority.--(1) The Secretary may, as provided in this 
section, reprimand or suspend, involuntarily reassign, demote, or 
remove a covered individual from a senior executive position at the 
Department if the Secretary determines that the misconduct or 
performance of the covered individual warrants such action.
    ``(2) If the Secretary so removes such an individual, the Secretary 
may remove the individual from the civil service (as defined in section 
2101 of title 5).
    ``(b) Rights and Procedures.--(1) A covered individual who is the 
subject of an action under subsection (a) is entitled to--
        ``(A) advance notice of the action and a file containing all 
    evidence in support of the proposed action;
        ``(B) be represented by an attorney or other representative of 
    the covered individual's choice; and
        ``(C) grieve the action in accordance with an internal 
    grievance process that the Secretary, in consultation with the 
    Assistant Secretary for Accountability and Whistleblower 
    Protection, shall establish for purposes of this subsection.
    ``(2)(A) The aggregate period for notice, response, and decision on 
an action under subsection (a) may not exceed 15 business days.
    ``(B) The period for the response of a covered individual to a 
notice under paragraph (1)(A) of an action under subsection (a) shall 
be 7 business days.
    ``(C) A decision under this paragraph on an action under subsection 
(a) shall be issued not later than 15 business days after notice of the 
action is provided to the covered individual under paragraph (1)(A). 
The decision shall be in writing, and shall include the specific 
reasons therefor.
    ``(3) The Secretary shall ensure that the grievance process 
established under paragraph (1)(C) takes fewer than 21 days.
    ``(4) A decision under paragraph (2) that is not grieved, and a 
grievance decision under paragraph (3), shall be final and conclusive.
    ``(5) A covered individual adversely affected by a decision under 
paragraph (2) that is not grieved, or by a grievance decision under 
paragraph (3), may obtain judicial review of such decision.
    ``(6) In any case in which judicial review is sought under 
paragraph (5), the court shall review the record and may set aside any 
Department action found to be--
        ``(A) arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or 
    otherwise not in accordance with a provision of law;
        ``(B) obtained without procedures required by a provision of 
    law having been followed; or
        ``(C) unsupported by substantial evidence.
    ``(c) Relation to Other Provisions of Law.--Section 3592(b)(1) of 
title 5 and the procedures under section 7543(b) of such title do not 
apply to an action under subsection (a).
    ``(d) Definitions.--In this section:
        ``(1) The term `covered individual' means--
            ``(A) a career appointee (as that term is defined in 
        section 3132(a)(4) of title 5); or
            ``(B) any individual who occupies an administrative or 
        executive position and who was appointed under section 7306(a), 
        section 7401(1), or section 7401(4) of this title.
        ``(2) The term `misconduct' includes neglect of duty, 
    malfeasance, or failure to accept a directed reassignment or to 
    accompany a position in a transfer of function.
        ``(3) The term `senior executive position' means--
            ``(A) with respect to a career appointee (as that term is 
        defined in section 3132(a) of title 5), a Senior Executive 
        Service position (as such term is defined in such section); and
            ``(B) with respect to a covered individual appointed under 
        section 7306(a) or section 7401(1) of this title, an 
        administrative or executive position.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 7461(c)(1) of such title is 
amended by inserting ``employees in senior executive positions (as 
defined in section 713(d) of this title) and'' before ``interns''.
    (c) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 7 of such title is amended by striking the item relating to 
section 713 and inserting the following new item:
 
``713. Senior executives: removal, demotion, or suspension based on 
          performance or misconduct.''.
    SEC. 202. IMPROVED AUTHORITIES OF SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS TO 
      IMPROVE ACCOUNTABILITY OF EMPLOYEES.
    (a) In General.--Subchapter I of chapter 7 of title 38, United 
States Code, is amended by inserting after section 713 the following 
new section:
``Sec. 714. Employees: removal, demotion, or suspension based on 
   performance or misconduct
    ``(a) In General.--(1) The Secretary may remove, demote, or suspend 
a covered individual who is an employee of the Department if the 
Secretary determines the performance or misconduct of the covered 
individual warrants such removal, demotion, or suspension.
    ``(2) If the Secretary so removes, demotes, or suspends such a 
covered individual, the Secretary may--
        ``(A) remove the covered individual from the civil service (as 
    defined in section 2101 of title 5);
        ``(B) demote the covered individual by means of a reduction in 
    grade for which the covered individual is qualified, that the 
    Secretary determines is appropriate, and that reduces the annual 
    rate of pay of the covered individual; or
        ``(C) suspend the covered individual.
    ``(b) Pay of Certain Demoted Individuals.--(1) Notwithstanding any 
other provision of law, any covered individual subject to a demotion 
under subsection (a)(2) shall, beginning on the date of such demotion, 
receive the annual rate of pay applicable to such grade.
    ``(2)(A) A covered individual so demoted may not be placed on 
administrative leave during the period during which an appeal (if any) 
under this section is ongoing, and may only receive pay if the covered 
individual reports for duty or is approved to use accrued unused 
annual, sick, family medical, military, or court leave.
    ``(B) If a covered individual so demoted does not report for duty 
or receive approval to use accrued unused leave, such covered 
individual shall not receive pay or other benefits pursuant to 
subsection (d)(5).
    ``(c) Procedure.--(1)(A) The aggregate period for notice, response, 
and final decision in a removal, demotion, or suspension under this 
section may not exceed 15 business days.
    ``(B) The period for the response of a covered individual to a 
notice of a proposed removal, demotion, or suspension under this 
section shall be 7 business days.
    ``(C) Paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of section 7513 of title 5 
shall apply with respect to a removal, demotion, or suspension under 
this section.
    ``(D) The procedures in this subsection shall supersede any 
collective bargaining agreement to the extent that such agreement is 
inconsistent with such procedures.
    ``(2) The Secretary shall issue a final decision with respect to a 
removal, demotion, or suspension under this section not later than 15 
business days after the Secretary provides notice, including a file 
containing all the evidence in support of the proposed action, to the 
covered individual of the removal, demotion, or suspension. The 
decision shall be in writing and shall include the specific reasons 
therefor.
    ``(3) The procedures under chapter 43 of title 5 shall not apply to 
a removal, demotion, or suspension under this section.
    ``(4)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B) and subsection (d), any 
removal or demotion under this section, and any suspension of more than 
14 days under this section, may be appealed to the Merit Systems 
Protection Board, which shall refer such appeal to an administrative 
judge pursuant to section 7701(b)(1) of title 5.
    ``(B) An appeal under subparagraph (A) of a removal, demotion, or 
suspension may only be made if such appeal is made not later than 10 
business days after the date of such removal, demotion, or suspension.
    ``(d) Expedited Review.--(1) Upon receipt of an appeal under 
subsection (c)(4)(A), the administrative judge shall expedite any such 
appeal under section 7701(b)(1) of title 5 and, in any such case, shall 
issue a final and complete decision not later than 180 days after the 
date of the appeal.
    ``(2)(A) Notwithstanding section 7701(c)(1)(B) of title 5, the 
administrative judge shall uphold the decision of the Secretary to 
remove, demote, or suspend an employee under subsection (a) if the 
decision is supported by substantial evidence.
    ``(B) Notwithstanding title 5 or any other provision of law, if the 
decision of the Secretary is supported by substantial evidence, the 
administrative judge shall not mitigate the penalty prescribed by the 
Secretary.
    ``(3)(A) The decision of the administrative judge under paragraph 
(1) may be appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board.
    ``(B) Notwithstanding section 7701(c)(1)(B) of title 5, the Merit 
Systems Protection Board shall uphold the decision of the Secretary to 
remove, demote, or suspend an employee under subsection (a) if the 
decision is supported by substantial evidence.
    ``(C) Notwithstanding title 5 or any other provision of law, if the 
decision of the Secretary is supported by substantial evidence, the 
Merit Systems Protection Board shall not mitigate the penalty 
prescribed by the Secretary.
    ``(4) In any case in which the administrative judge cannot issue a 
decision in accordance with the 180-day requirement under paragraph 
(1), the Merit Systems Protection Board shall, not later than 14 
business days after the expiration of the 180-day period, submit to the 
Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on 
Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives a report that 
explains the reasons why a decision was not issued in accordance with 
such requirement.
    ``(5)(A) A decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board under 
paragraph (3) may be appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for 
the Federal Circuit pursuant to section 7703 of title 5 or to any court 
of appeals of competent jurisdiction pursuant to subsection (b)(1)(B) 
of such section.
    ``(B) Any decision by such Court shall be in compliance with 
section 7462(f)(2) of this title.
    ``(6) The Merit Systems Protection Board may not stay any removal 
or demotion under this section, except as provided in section 1214(b) 
of title 5.
    ``(7) During the period beginning on the date on which a covered 
individual appeals a removal from the civil service under subsection 
(c) and ending on the date that the United States Court of Appeals for 
the Federal Circuit issues a final decision on such appeal, such 
covered individual may not receive any pay, awards, bonuses, 
incentives, allowances, differentials, student loan repayments, special 
payments, or benefits related to the employment of the individual by 
the Department.
    ``(8) To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall 
provide to the Merit Systems Protection Board such information and 
assistance as may be necessary to ensure an appeal under this 
subsection is expedited.
    ``(9) If an employee prevails on appeal under this section, the 
employee shall be entitled to backpay (as provided in section 5596 of 
title 5).
    ``(10) If an employee who is subject to a collective bargaining 
agreement chooses to grieve an action taken under this section through 
a grievance procedure provided under the collective bargaining 
agreement, the timelines and procedures set forth in subsection (c) and 
this subsection shall apply.
    ``(e) Whistleblower Protection.--(1) In the case of a covered 
individual seeking corrective action (or on behalf of whom corrective 
action is sought) from the Office of Special Counsel based on an 
alleged prohibited personnel practice described in section 2302(b) of 
title 5, the Secretary may not remove, demote, or suspend such covered 
individual under subsection (a) without the approval of the Special 
Counsel under section 1214(f) of title 5.
    ``(2) In the case of a covered individual who has made a 
whistleblower disclosure to the Assistant Secretary for Accountability 
and Whistleblower Protection, the Secretary may not remove, demote, or 
suspend such covered individual under subsection (a) until--
        ``(A) in the case in which the Assistant Secretary determines 
    to refer the whistleblower disclosure under section 323(c)(1)(D) of 
    this title to an office or other investigative entity, a final 
    decision with respect to the whistleblower disclosure has been made 
    by such office or other investigative entity; or
        ``(B) in the case in which the Assistant Secretary determines 
    not to the refer the whistleblower disclosure under such section, 
    the Assistant Secretary makes such determination.
    ``(f) Termination of Investigations by Office of Special Counsel.--
(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Special Counsel 
(established by section 1211 of title 5) may terminate an investigation 
of a prohibited personnel practice alleged by an employee or former 
employee of the Department after the Special Counsel provides to the 
employee or former employee a written statement of the reasons for the 
termination of the investigation.
    ``(2) Such statement may not be admissible as evidence in any 
judicial or administrative proceeding without the consent of such 
employee or former employee.
    ``(g) Vacancies.--In the case of a covered individual who is 
removed or demoted under subsection (a), to the maximum extent 
feasible, the Secretary shall fill the vacancy arising as a result of 
such removal or demotion.
    ``(h) Definitions.--In this section:
        ``(1) The term `covered individual' means an individual 
    occupying a position at the Department, but does not include--
            ``(A) an individual occupying a senior executive position 
        (as defined in section 713(d) of this title);
            ``(B) an individual appointed pursuant to sections 7306, 
        7401(1), 7401(4), or 7405 of this title;
            ``(C) an individual who has not completed a probationary or 
        trial period; or
            ``(D) a political appointee.
        ``(2) The term `suspend' means the placing of an employee, for 
    disciplinary reasons, in a temporary status without duties and pay 
    for a period in excess of 14 days.
        ``(3) The term `grade' has the meaning given such term in 
    section 7511(a) of title 5.
        ``(4) The term `misconduct' includes neglect of duty, 
    malfeasance, or failure to accept a directed reassignment or to 
    accompany a position in a transfer of function.
        ``(5) The term `political appointee' means an individual who 
    is--
            ``(A) employed in a position described under sections 5312 
        through 5316 of title 5 (relating to the Executive Schedule);
            ``(B) a limited term appointee, limited emergency 
        appointee, or noncareer appointee in the Senior Executive 
        Service, as defined under paragraphs (5), (6), and (7), 
        respectively, of section 3132(a) of title 5; or
            ``(C) employed in a position of a confidential or policy-
        determining character under schedule C of subpart C of part 213 
        of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, or successor 
        regulation.
        ``(6) The term `whistleblower disclosure' has the meaning given 
    such term in section 323(g) of this title.''.
    (b) Clerical and Conforming Amendments.--
        (1) Clerical.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
    chapter 7 of such title is amended by inserting after the item 
    relating to section 713 the following new item:
 
``714. Employees: removal, demotion, or suspension based on performance 
          or misconduct.''.
 
        (2) Conforming.--Section 4303(f) of title 5, United States 
    Code, is amended--
            (A) in paragraph (2), by striking ``or'' at the end;
            (B) in paragraph (3), by striking the period at the end and 
        inserting ``, or''; and
            (C) by adding at the end the following:
        ``(4) any removal or demotion under section 714 of title 38.''.
    SEC. 203. REDUCTION OF BENEFITS FOR DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 
      EMPLOYEES CONVICTED OF CERTAIN CRIMES.
    (a) Reduction of Benefits.--
        (1) In general.--Subchapter I of chapter 7 of title 38, United 
    States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new 
    section:
``Sec. 719. Reduction of benefits of employees convicted of certain 
   crimes
    ``(a) Reduction of Annuity for Removed Employee.--(1) The Secretary 
shall order that the covered service of an employee of the Department 
removed from a position for performance or misconduct under section 
713, 714, or 7461 of this title or any other provision of law shall not 
be taken into account for purposes of calculating an annuity with 
respect to such individual under chapter 83 or chapter 84 of title 5, 
if--
        ``(A) the Secretary determines that the individual is convicted 
    of a felony (and the conviction is final) that influenced the 
    individual's performance while employed in the position; and
        ``(B) before such order is made, the individual is afforded--
            ``(i) notice of the proposed order; and
            ``(ii) an opportunity to respond to the proposed order by 
        not later than ten business days following receipt of such 
        notice; and
        ``(C) the Secretary issues the order--
            ``(i) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
        individual responds under subparagraph (B)(ii), not later than 
        five business days after receiving the response of the 
        individual; or
            ``(ii) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
        individual does not respond, not later than 15 business days 
        after the Secretary provides notice to the individual under 
        subparagraph (B)(i).
    ``(2) Any individual with respect to whom an annuity is reduced 
under this subsection may appeal the reduction to the Director of the 
Office of Personnel Management pursuant to such regulations as the 
Director may prescribe for purposes of this subsection.
    ``(b) Reduction of Annuity for Retired Employee.--(1) The Secretary 
may order that the covered service of an individual who the Secretary 
proposes to remove for performance or misconduct under section 713, 
714, or 7461 of this title or any other provision of law but who leaves 
employment at the Department prior to the issuance of a final decision 
with respect to such action shall not be taken into account for 
purposes of calculating an annuity with respect to such individual 
under chapter 83 or chapter 84 of title 5, if--
        ``(A) the Secretary determines that individual is convicted of 
    a felony (and the conviction is final) that influenced the 
    individual's performance while employed in the position; and
        ``(B) before such order is made, the individual is afforded--
            ``(i) notice of the proposed order;
            ``(ii) opportunity to respond to the proposed order by not 
        later than ten business days following receipt of such notice; 
        and
        ``(C) the Secretary issues the order--
            ``(i) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
        individual responds under subparagraph (B)(ii), not later than 
        five business days after receiving the response of the 
        individual; or
            ``(ii) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
        individual does not respond, not later than 15 business days 
        after the Secretary provides notice to the individual under 
        subparagraph (B)(i).
    ``(2) Upon the issuance of an order by the Secretary under 
paragraph (1), the individual shall have an opportunity to appeal the 
order to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management before the 
date that is seven business days after the date of such issuance.
    ``(3) The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall make 
a final decision with respect to an appeal under paragraph (2) within 
30 business days of receiving the appeal.
    ``(c) Administrative Requirements.--Not later than 37 business days 
after the Secretary issues a final order under subsection (a) or (b) 
with respect to an individual, the Director of the Office of Personnel 
Management shall recalculate the annuity of the individual.
    ``(d) Lump-Sum Annuity Credit.--Any individual with respect to whom 
an annuity is reduced under subsection (a) or (b) shall be entitled to 
be paid so much of such individual's lump-sum credit as is attributable 
to the period of covered service.
    ``(e) Spouse or Children Exception.--(1) The Secretary, in 
consultation with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, 
shall prescribe regulations that may provide for the payment to the 
spouse or children of any individual referred to in subsection (a) or 
(b) of any amounts which (but for this subsection) would otherwise have 
been nonpayable by reason of such subsections.
    ``(2) Regulations prescribed under paragraph (1) shall be 
consistent with the requirements of section 8332(o)(5) and 8411(l)(5) 
of title 5, as the case may be.
    ``(f) Definitions.--In this section:
        ``(1) The term `covered service' means, with respect to an 
    individual subject to a removal for performance or misconduct under 
    section 719 or 7461 of this title or any other provision of law, 
    the period of service beginning on the date that the Secretary 
    determines under such applicable provision that the individual 
    engaged in activity that gave rise to such action and ending on the 
    date that the individual is removed from or leaves a position of 
    employment at the Department prior to the issuance of a final 
    decision with respect to such action.
        ``(2) The term `lump-sum credit' has the meaning given such 
    term in section 8331(8) or section 8401(19) of title 5, as the case 
    may be.
        ``(3) The term `service' has the meaning given such term in 
    section 8331(12) or section 8401(26) of title 5, as the case may 
    be.''.
        (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning 
    of chapter 7 of such title is amended by inserting after the item 
    relating to section 717 the following new item:
 
``719. Reduction of benefits of employees convicted of certain 
          crimes.''.
 
    (b) Application.--Section 719 of title 38, United States Code, as 
added by subsection (a)(1), shall apply to any action of removal of an 
employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs under section 719 or 
7461 of such title or any other provision of law, commencing on or 
after the date of the enactment of this Act.
    SEC. 204. AUTHORITY TO RECOUP BONUSES OR AWARDS PAID TO EMPLOYEES 
      OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.
    (a) In General.--Subchapter I of chapter 7 of title 38, United 
States Code, as amended by section 203, is further amended by adding at 
the end the following new section:
``Sec. 721. Recoupment of bonuses or awards paid to employees of 
   Department
    ``(a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the 
Secretary may issue an order directing an employee of the Department to 
repay the amount, or a portion of the amount, of any award or bonus 
paid to the employee under title 5, including under chapters 45 or 53 
of such title, or this title if--
        ``(1) the Secretary determines that the individual engaged in 
    misconduct or poor performance prior to payment of the award or 
    bonus, and that such award or bonus would not have been paid, in 
    whole or in part, had the misconduct or poor performance been known 
    prior to payment; and
        ``(2) before such repayment, the employee is afforded--
            ``(A) notice of the proposed order; and
            ``(B) an opportunity to respond to the proposed order by 
        not later than 10 business days after the receipt of such 
        notice; and
        ``(3) the Secretary issues the order--
            ``(A) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
        individual responds under paragraph (2)(B), not later than five 
        business days after receiving the response of the individual; 
        or
            ``(B) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
        individual does not respond, not later than 15 business days 
        after the Secretary provides notice to the individual under 
        paragraph (2)(A).
    ``(b) Appeal of Order of Secretary.--(1) Upon the issuance of an 
order by the Secretary under subsection (a) with respect to an 
individual, the individual shall have an opportunity to appeal the 
order to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management before the 
date that is seven business days after the date of such issuance.
    ``(2) The Director shall make a final decision with respect to an 
appeal under paragraph (1) within 30 business days after receiving such 
appeal.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter, as amended by section 203(a)(2), is further amended by 
inserting after the item relating to section 719 the following new 
item:
 
``721. Recoupment of bonuses or awards paid to employees of 
          Department.''.
 
    (c) Effective Date.--Section 721 of title 38, United States Code, 
as added by subsection (a), shall apply with respect to an award or 
bonus paid by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to an employee of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs on or after the date of the enactment of 
this Act.
    (d) Construction.--Nothing in this Act or the amendments made by 
this Act may be construed to modify the certification issued by the 
Office of Personnel Management and the Office of Management and Budget 
regarding the performance appraisal system of the Senior Executive 
Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
    SEC. 205. AUTHORITY TO RECOUP RELOCATION EXPENSES PAID TO OR ON 
      BEHALF OF EMPLOYEES OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.
    (a) In General.--Subchapter I of chapter 7 of title 38, United 
States Code, as amended by section 204, is further amended by adding at 
the end the following new section:
``Sec. 723. Recoupment of relocation expenses paid on behalf of 
   employees of Department
    ``(a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the 
Secretary may issue an order directing an employee of the Department to 
repay the amount, or a portion of the amount, paid to or on behalf of 
the employee under title 5 for relocation expenses, including any 
expenses under section 5724 or 5724a of such title, or this title if--
        ``(1) the Secretary determines that relocation expenses were 
    paid following an act of fraud or malfeasance that influenced the 
    authorization of the relocation expenses;
        ``(2) before such repayment, the employee is afforded--
            ``(A) notice of the proposed order; and
            ``(B) an opportunity to respond to the proposed order not 
        later than ten business days following the receipt of such 
        notice; and
        ``(3) the Secretary issues the order--
            ``(A) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
        individual responds under paragraph (2)(B), not later than five 
        business days after receiving the response of the individual; 
        or
            ``(B) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
        individual does not respond, not later than 15 business days 
        after the Secretary provides notice to the individual under 
        paragraph (2)(A).
    ``(b) Appeal of Order of Secretary.--(1) Upon the issuance of an 
order by the Secretary under subsection (a) with respect to an 
individual, the individual shall have an opportunity to appeal the 
order to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management before the 
date that is seven business days after the date of such issuance.
    ``(2) The Director shall make a final decision with respect to an 
appeal under paragraph (1) within 30 days after receiving such 
appeal.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is further amended by inserting after the item relating to 
section 721, as added by section 204(b), the following new item:
 
``723. Recoupment of relocation expenses paid on behalf of employees of 
          Department.''.
 
    (c) Effective Date.--Section 723 of title 38, United States Code, 
as added by subsection (a), shall apply with respect to an amount paid 
by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to or on behalf of an employee of 
the Department of Veterans Affairs for relocation expenses on or after 
the date of the enactment of this Act.
    SEC. 206. TIME PERIOD FOR RESPONSE TO NOTICE OF ADVERSE ACTIONS 
      AGAINST SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES WHO COMMIT PROHIBITED PERSONNEL 
      ACTIONS.
    Section 731(a)(2)(B) of title 38, United States Code, as 
redesignated by section 102(a)(2), is amended--
        (1) in clause (i), by striking ``14 days'' and inserting ``10 
    days''; and
        (2) in clause (ii), by striking ``14-day period'' and inserting 
    ``10-day period''.
    SEC. 207. DIRECT HIRING AUTHORITY FOR MEDICAL CENTER DIRECTORS AND 
      VISN DIRECTORS.
    (a) In General.--Section 7401 of title 38, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
        ``(4) Directors of medical centers and directors of Veterans 
    Integrated Service Networks with demonstrated ability in the 
    medical profession, in health care administration, or in health 
    care fiscal management.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendments.--Section 7404(a)(1) of such title is 
amended--
        (1) by inserting ``(A)'' before ``The annual''; and
        (2) in subparagraph (A), as designated by paragraph (1)--
            (A) by inserting ``and 7401(4)'' after ``7306''; and
            (B) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
    ``(B) Section 5377 of title 5 shall apply to a position under 
section 7401(4) of this title as if such position were included in the 
definition of `position' in section 5377(a) of title 5.''.
    SEC. 208. TIME PERIODS FOR REVIEW OF ADVERSE ACTIONS WITH RESPECT 
      TO CERTAIN EMPLOYEES.
    (a) Physicians, Dentists, Podiatrists, Chiropractors, Optometrists, 
Registered Nurses, Physician Assistants, and Expanded-function Dental 
Auxiliaries.--Paragraph (2) of section 7461(b) of title 38, United 
States Code, is amended to read as follows:
    ``(2) In any case other than a case described in paragraph (1) that 
involves or includes a question of professional conduct or competence 
in which a major adverse action was not taken, such an appeal shall be 
made through Department grievance procedures under section 7463 of this 
title.''.
    (b) Major Adverse Actions Involving Professional Conduct or 
Competence.--Section 7462(b) of such title is amended--
        (1) in paragraph (1)--
            (A) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by inserting 
        ``, within the aggregate time period specified in paragraph 
        (5)(A),'' after ``is entitled'';
            (B) in subparagraph (A)--
                (i) by striking ``At least 30 days advance written 
            notice'' and inserting ``Advance written notice'';
                (ii) by striking ``and a statement'' and inserting ``a 
            statement''; and
                (iii) by inserting ``and a file containing all the 
            evidence in support of each charge,'' after ``with respect 
            to each charge,''; and
            (C) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``A reasonable time, 
        but not less than seven days'' and inserting ``The opportunity, 
        within the time period provided for in paragraph (4)(A)'';
        (2) by striking paragraph (3) and inserting the following new 
    paragraph (3):
    ``(3) After considering the employee's answer, if any, and within 
the time period provided for in paragraph (5)(B), the deciding official 
shall render a decision on the charges. The decision shall be in 
writing and shall include the specific reasons therefor.'';
        (3) in paragraph (4)--
            (A) by striking subparagraph (A) and inserting the 
        following new subparagraph (A):
    ``(A) The period for the response of an employee under paragraph 
(1)(B) to advance written under paragraph (1)(A) shall be seven 
business days.''; and
            (B) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``30 days'' and 
        inserting ``seven business days''; and
        (4) by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:
    ``(5)(A) The aggregate period for the resolution of charges against 
an employee under this subsection may not exceed 15 business days.
    ``(B) The deciding official shall render a decision under paragraph 
(3) on charges under this subsection not later than 15 business days 
after the Under Secretary provides notice on the charges for purposes 
of paragraph (1)(A).
    ``(6) The procedures in this subsection shall supersede any 
collective bargaining agreement to the extent that such agreement is 
inconsistent with such procedures.''.
    (c) Other Adverse Actions.--Section 7463(c) of such title is 
amended--
        (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``the same notice and 
    opportunity to answer with respect to those charges as provided in 
    subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 7462(b)(1) of this title'' and 
    inserting ``notice and an opportunity to answer with respect to 
    those charges in accordance with subparagraphs (A) and (B) of 
    section 7462(b)(1) of this title, but within the time periods 
    specified in paragraph (3)'';
        (2) in paragraph (2)--
            (A) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by inserting 
        ``, within the aggregate time period specified in paragraph 
        (3)(A),'' after ``is entitled'';
            (B) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``an advance written 
        notice'' and inserting ``written notice''; and
            (C) in subparagraph (B), by striking ``a reasonable time'' 
        and inserting ``time to answer''; and
        (3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph (3):
    ``(3)(A) The aggregate period for the resolution of charges against 
an employee under paragraph (1) or (2) may not exceed 15 business days.
    ``(B) The period for the response of an employee under paragraph 
(1) or (2)(B) to written notice of charges under paragraph (1) or 
(2)(A), as applicable, shall be seven business days.
    ``(C) The deciding official shall render a decision on charges 
under paragraph (1) or (2) not later than 15 business days after notice 
is provided on the charges for purposes of paragraph (1) or (2)(A), as 
applicable.''.
    SEC. 209. IMPROVEMENT OF TRAINING FOR SUPERVISORS.
    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall provide to 
each employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs who is employed as 
a supervisor periodic training on the following:
        (1) The rights of whistleblowers and how to address a report by 
    an employee of a hostile work environment, reprisal, or harassment.
        (2) How to effectively motivate, manage, and reward the 
    employees who report to the supervisor.
        (3) How to effectively manage employees who are performing at 
    an unacceptable level and access assistance from the human 
    resources office of the Department and the Office of the General 
    Counsel of the Department with respect to those employees.
    (b) Definitions.--In this section:
        (1) Supervisor.--The term ``supervisor'' has the meaning given 
    such term in section 7103(a) of title 5, United States Code.
        (2) Whistleblower.--The term ``whistleblower'' has the meaning 
    given such term in section 323(g) of title 38, United States Code, 
    as added by section 101.
    SEC. 210. ASSESSMENT AND REPORT ON EFFECT ON SENIOR EXECUTIVES AT 
      DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.
    (a) In General.--Not later than two years after the date of the 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall--
        (1) measure and assess the effect of the enactment of this 
    title on the morale, engagement, hiring, promotion, retention, 
    discipline, and productivity of individuals in senior executive 
    positions at the Department of Veterans Affairs; and
        (2) submit to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate 
    and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs of the House of 
    Representatives a report on the findings of the Secretary with 
    respect to the measurement and assessment carried out under 
    paragraph (1).
    (b) Elements.--The assessment required by subsection (a)(1) shall 
include the following:
        (1) With respect to engagement, trends in morale of individuals 
    in senior executive positions and individuals aspiring to senior 
    executive positions.
        (2) With respect to promotions--
            (A) whether the Department is experiencing an increase or 
        decrease in the number of employees participating in leadership 
        development and candidate development programs with the 
        intention of becoming candidates for senior executive 
        positions; and
            (B) trends in applications to senior executive positions 
        within the Department.
        (3) With respect to retention--
            (A) trends in retirement rates of individuals in senior 
        executive positions at the Department;
            (B) trends in quit rates of individuals in senior executive 
        positions at the Department;
            (C) rates of transfer of--
                (i) individuals from other Federal agencies into senior 
            executive positions at the Department; and
                (ii) individuals from senior executive positions at the 
            Department to other Federal agencies; and
            (D) trends in total loss rates by job function.
        (4) With respect to disciplinary processes--
            (A) regarding individuals in senior executive positions at 
        the Department who are the subject of disciplinary action--
                (i) the length of the disciplinary process in days for 
            such individuals both before the date of the enactment of 
            this Act and under the provisions of this Act described in 
            subsection (a)(1); and
                (ii) the extent to which appeals by such individuals 
            are upheld under such provisions as compared to before the 
            date of the enactment of this Act;
            (B) the components or offices of the Department which 
        experience the greatest number of proposed adverse actions 
        against individuals in senior executive positions and 
        components and offices which experience the least relative to 
        the size of the components or offices' total number of senior 
        executive positions;
            (C) the tenure of individuals in senior executive positions 
        who are the subject of disciplinary action;
            (D) whether the individuals in senior executive positions 
        who are the subject of disciplinary action have previously been 
        disciplined; and
            (E) the number of instances of disciplinary action taken by 
        the Secretary against individuals in senior executive positions 
        at the Department as compared to governmentwide discipline 
        against individuals in Senior Executive Service positions (as 
        defined in section 3132(a) of title 5, United States Code) as a 
        percentage of the total number of individuals in senior 
        executive positions at the Department and Senior Executive 
        Service positions (as so defined).
        (5) With respect to hiring--
            (A) the degree to which the skills of newly hired 
        individuals in senior executive positions at the Department are 
        appropriate with respect to the needs of the Department;
            (B) the types of senior executive positions at the 
        Department most commonly filled under the authorities in the 
        provisions described in subsection (a)(1);
            (C) the number of senior executive positions at the 
        Department filled by hires outside of the Department compared 
        to hires from within the Department;
            (D) the length of time to fill a senior executive position 
        at the Department and for a new hire to begin working in a new 
        senior executive position;
            (E) the mission-critical deficiencies filled by newly hired 
        individuals in senior executive positions and the connection 
        between mission-critical deficiencies filled under the 
        provisions described in subsection (a) and annual performance 
        of the Department;
            (F) the satisfaction of applicants for senior executive 
        positions at the Department with the hiring process, including 
        the clarity of job announcements, reasons for withdrawal of 
        applications, communication regarding status of applications, 
        and timeliness of hiring decision; and
            (G) the satisfaction of newly hired individuals in senior 
        executive positions at the Department with the hiring process 
        and the process of joining and becoming oriented with the 
        Department.
    (c) Senior Executive Position Defined.--In this section, the term 
``senior executive position'' has the meaning given such term in 
section 713 of title 38, United States Code.
    SEC. 211. MEASUREMENT OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 
      DISCIPLINARY PROCESS OUTCOMES AND EFFECTIVENESS.
    (a) Measuring and Collecting.--
        (1) In general.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall 
    measure and collect information on the outcomes of disciplinary 
    actions carried out by the Department of Veterans Affairs during 
    the three-year period ending on the date of the enactment of this 
    Act and the effectiveness of such actions.
        (2) Elements.--In measuring and collecting pursuant to 
    paragraph (1), the Secretary shall measure and collect information 
    regarding the following:
            (A) The average time from the initiation of an adverse 
        action against an employee at the Department to the final 
        resolution of that action.
            (B) The number of distinct steps and levels of review 
        within the Department involved in the disciplinary process and 
        the average length of time required to complete these steps.
            (C) The rate of use of alternate disciplinary procedures 
        compared to traditional disciplinary procedures and the 
        frequency with which employees who are subject to alternative 
        disciplinary procedures commit additional offenses.
            (D) The number of appeals from adverse actions filed 
        against employees of the Department, the number of appeals 
        upheld, and the reasons for which the appeals were upheld.
            (E) The use of paid administrative leave during the 
        disciplinary process and the length of such leave.
    (b) Report.--
        (1) In general.--Not later than December 31, 2017, the 
    Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a 
    report on the disciplinary procedures and actions of the 
    Department.
        (2) Contents.--The report submitted under paragraph (1) shall 
    include the following:
            (A) The information collected under subsection (a).
            (B) The findings of the Secretary with respect to the 
        measurement and collection carried out under subsection (a).
            (C) An analysis of the disciplinary procedures and actions 
        of the Department.
            (D) Suggestions for improving the disciplinary procedures 
        and actions of the Department.
            (E) Such other matters as the Secretary considers 
        appropriate.
        (3) Appropriate committees of congress.--In this subsection, 
    the term ``appropriate committees of Congress'' means--
            (A) the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on 
        Veterans' Affairs of the Senate; and
            (B) the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on 
        Veterans' Affairs of the House of Representatives.

 

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NAT EV BUS MR ML SJW  PRO GLO
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Edited by Jonathan
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BENNET: Mr. President, I move for unanimous consent.

HATCH: The motion for unanimous consent has been recognized.

...

HATCH: Hearing no objections to the motion, the bill passes by unanimous consent.

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HATCH: Mr. President, the following bill has passed by unanimous consent in both the House and Senate and awaits your signature or veto. Should you choose to do neither within the next 10 days, the bill will become law, since Congress is in session.

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