Tom Philpott had an interesting article about our claims plight in this morning’s paper. I attach the link but have no faith in VA to honor this commitment;
VA told us in 2009 that they would be cranking these things out in 125 days or less from date of claim. Then the excuses started. The large influx of AO Vets with IHD and hairy cell leukemia, etc. followed. They saw this coming and did little or nothing. They hired about 11K FNGs and started the laborious process of training them for several years. When do they come on line? Look at Mr. Philpott’s numbers as quoted by the VA mouthpiece. 585K are a little outside the normal timeline of the 125 days by about six months or more.
The clear implication of this dog and pony show was to “acknowledge” once again that things are a little delayed and VA is unhappy with their performance statistics. Donning sackcloth and ashes does not camouflage the Rolex, the Armani suit and the Gucci loafers. Life is good down at the Puzzle Palace- make no mistake about it. The boys are working hard with the Neanderthal tools they were handed and this infernal paper system that was foisted off on them centuries ago after that nasty War of Northern Aggression.
Vets should look at this from our standpoint. We know they have computers. Witness the plethora of terms the Dial a Smile “technician” rattles off. “Yes sir. Well, all we have to look at here is the VACOLS computer. It’s not connected to VISTA or the WARMS computers.” Does that sound like a paper system? The M-21-A1 is now so complicated a rater cannot even read it. It, too, has become computerized to spit out a decision after all the incorrect info is uploaded.
With all this, these guys should have a dart board in the break room and be sipping IPAs by 1500 hrs. I make light of this, but even the Supreme Court of the United States knows these bubbleheads are wrong 60% of the time and go to extraordinary lengths to defend their errors. The old adage that you just need to throw more money at it to make it work may pay off here if it gets rid of the paper filing system. On the other hand, being the last agency of major proportions in D.C. to relinquish this antiquated system might have been planned. Do you realize how many more people they’ll need to hire and how many compatibility studies they’ll have to do in order to integrate this spider web?
Smart money says to invest in computer stocks because this one is going to be a whopper. As for accomplishing this by 2015, I think someone has been concentrating aromatic aromas and sniffing them to get high. It took VA this long to get comfortable with the CAVC as an overseer. It has only been a blink of the eye since they broke the BVA of the habit of playing Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare.
The paper system will proliferate at the far corners of the RO empire for at least another decade. Sioux Falls and the office in Guam will be the last to switch over. Nevertheless, we welcome this long overdue touch of modernization. Perhaps we can turn the shredder rooms into ratings offices. In fact, with the elimination of all those acres of filing cabinets, scads of room will be available for even more personnel to keep up with the new tidal wave of injured vets from the latest Olympic games in SWA. This is simply a win-win for us. I wish I could live long enough to see it.