Sunday, May 27, 2012

Truest statement of the week II

So we're all in agreement that we're just south of 400 days in the cycle of an applicant being processed?  395, I think, 394.  In May 2011, the Secretary of the Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs committed to revising the IDES so that it could be completed in 150 days and went further and agreed to explore options for it to be 75 days.  Now I-I -- I've had too many of these hearings.  We have them every year.  And we hear the same thing: "Oh, gosh, look at what we're doing."  Now I've heard the most glowing progress report from both of you and then I get the realities of the days haven't changed.  You have met some improvements in certain areas.  I commend you on that.  The timeliness goals in areas have been better.  But the reality is that we've got a broken system and we're five years into it and I hear testimony where 'we're starting to begin to review our business processes.'  Well, you know, why did it take five years to get to this?  What -- What can you convey to me today that's concrete, that tells me a year from now, we're not going to be at 393 days.  When you [Dr. Jo Ann Rooney] said earlier, "We're instituting IT changes this summer that will improve our times by thirty or forty," I thought you were going to say "percent."  And you said "days."   So now my expectations are that if we implement what you just said, we're going to be down to 360 days which exceeds the DES [Disability Evaluating System] and Secretary of the VA by the 110 days over what their goal was for today.

-- Ranking Member Richard Burr at last Wednesday's Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, covered by Kat in "Senator Burr: I've had too many of these hearings."
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