Report & Publication
July 08, 2016

VA Report Highlights Findings and Recommendations in Partnership’s Civil Service Reform Report

WASHINGTON – Partnership for Public Service President and CEO Max Stier released the following statement regarding the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) Commission on Care Report. The congressionally-chartered report quotes and aligns with the Partnership’s report, “Building the Enterprise: A New Civil Service Framework.”

“This report is an important reminder that our civil service system is broken,” said Max Stier, Partnership president and CEO. “Addressing systemic barriers to the VHA’s ability to recruit, hire and retain the right talent to serve our nation’s veterans can wait no longer. The current system is doing real harm to the department’s ability to serve the veteran population. The findings of the commission also reinforce the need for a top-to-bottom reform of the entire federal civil service system. While I am gratified that the commission looked to the Partnership’s 2014 civil service reform report to provide guidance and solutions to the human capital challenges at VHA, changing the employment system for VHA employees alone is an incomplete solution. In fact, this could increase the complexity and balkanization of the federal civil service system. VHA and government as a whole require a modern personnel system that attracts new talent, develops strong leaders, recognizes outstanding performance, and holds poor performers accountable. The difficulties faced by VHA are not unique among federal agencies, and absent meaningful reform they are unlikely to abate soon.”

Background on the report “Building the Enterprise: A New Civil Service Framework”:

The Partnership is a persistent voice in Congress supporting constructive and long-term solutions to the problems faced by the Department of Veterans Affairs. In “Building the Enterprise: A New Civil Service Framework,” the Partnership proposed a comprehensive civil service transformation that would turn the federal government into a model, state-of-the-art employer. The new system would be designed to more easily attract, hire, promote, and retain top talent, place greater attention on the development of leaders, compensate employees in line with the broader job market, and streamline the workplace justice system to provide faster resolution to employee disputes. As the Partnership’s President and CEO, Max Stier, stated at the time, “Good government starts with good people, and our nation is fortunate to count some of the brightest, most dedicated professionals among its ranks. But they too often succeed in spite of the current system, not because of it.”

For 15 years, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has been dedicated to making the federal government more effective for the American people. We work across administrations to help transform the way government operates by increasing collaboration, accountability, efficiency and innovation. Visit to learn more.