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Hearing Tuesday, July 23 Waste, Fraud and Abuse Endangering Veterans’ Lives

WASHINGTON, DC – Whistleblowers of America announced today its founder, Jacqueline Garrick has been called again to testify before the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations in the House Visitors Center, Room 210 on Tuesday, July 23rd at 10AM EST on Learning from Whistleblowers at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The record was held open after the June 24th hearing and this round will include Veterans Affairs (VA), Office of Special Counsel (OSC) and Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) officials.

This second hearing will provide Congress and the American people with additional details on how the systems set up to protect employees reporting fraud, waste, and abuse are failing them and leaving veterans’ lives at risk.

Whistleblowers of America (WoA) Founder, Jacqueline Garrick, an Army Veteran, has years of expertise helping countless other survivors seek justice and navigate the agonizing legal process and retaliation that affects Federal employees who just want to “right the wrongs” that are harming veterans.

Garrick said, “Employees kill their careers to protect veterans while VA officials travel to Europe, attend NASCAR, and favor contractors at taxpayer expense.”

She witnessed waste, fraud and abuse as a Federal worker and still fights for justice while supporting others in crisis. She reported perceived abuses with TAXPAYER money that Congress meant for suicide prevention but was siphoned into non-effective expenditures.

She also notes that other funds earmarked for suicide prevention have gone unspent or been redistributed with ZERO accountability, while outside contractors are in charge of decisions, as the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently highlighted. Garrick worries about the millions of dollars not being disbursed for treatment, or the $6 million left unspent while suicide rates for veterans and the military increased.

Garrick describes VA whistleblowers who come to WoA for peer support as suffering from severe Workplace Traumatic Stress because of the toxic retaliatory tactics they face when reporting substandard care, mismanaged VA claim folders, fabricated homeless veteran numbers, privacy violations and contracting conflicts of interest. Garrick notes that many of these VA employees describe feelings of anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Previous WoA testimony detailed how the Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection (OAWP) created by President Trump in 2017 has made reporting and accountability worse, and the acrimonious relationship it has with the VA Office of Inspector General (OIG). Garrick testified that her own reports to the OIG have remained open since 2016.

Her goal, along with the Government Accountability Project, is to give voice to thousands of VA employees who have been harmed by OAWP and to protect the money Congress sets aside for patient care, transition assistance, GI Bill benefits, or facility upgrades. Garrick wants those who are misusing taxpayer funds for their own gain held responsible! Whistleblowers all across the nation are demanding accountability, justice and protection.

Although we know VA has challenges, Garrick encourages anyone in immediate crisis to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, veterans, press 1.

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Contact: Ami Neiberger-Miller at ami@steppingstonellc.com or by calling 703-404-4312 office
or 703-887-4877 cell

Website: www.whistleblowersofamerica.org

About Whistleblowers of America (WoA)

WoA is a nonprofit organization assisting whistleblowers who have suffered retaliation after having identified harm to individuals or the public. We offer Whistleblower Protection Advocate certification, Workplace Promise training, peer-to-peer support to overcome Workplace Traumatic Stress, mediation services to resolve issues without litigation, and engage media on behalf of whistleblowers and watchdogs. Together, we speak truth to power.

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