Holy ICARE, Batman. (ICARE= VA’s Core Values: Integrity, Commitment, Advocacy, Respect, Excellence).
I wish to thank my sister site Vet’s Network (not to be confused with Friends of Peggy) and a Vet self-described as “Disabled”for finding this one. What it points out is twofold. First, it is an addendum as in “Oops. We screwed up and need to amend it because it is no longer operational in its original iteration”. Second, because it was issued in August 2012 and tries to go back and explain 2011’s screwups and shortcomings by re-characterizing them, it’s an apology. Perhaps calling it a Strategic Plan to Deflect Criticism would be more appropriate. What could be simpler? The Russians used to call this Revisionist History. Every several years they’d airbrush out all the undesirables from historical photographs and reinvent how it all transpired. They can do that. VA cannot. Re-characterizing the snot on your nose as hair gel rarely works.
The next issue that is becoming even more apparent and more complicated by the minute is this insane desire to assign acronyms to everything. The ICARE above is just the tip of the iceberg. Go to the VAMC and you are now greeted with PACT (Patient Accountability and Compassionate Treatment or some such hooey)-as in we have made a pact with you to deliver service and pretend we care about you. The use of the abbreviations grow faster than Pinocchio’s nose. Soon we’ll need a VA cast of characters to comprehend what used to be ordinary things like Doctor or Nurse. They will morph into MDPs or Medical Delivery Personnel. Flu shots will be SMIAC (Strategic Medical Injections (to) Avoid Contagion. You can get my drift. Weekend warriors of the latest fray in Iraqistan may soon be FNGs (Former National Guardsmen).
This rush to acronyms is nothing more than a bald attempt to make it appear VA is doing something-anything- to fix their problems. STAR reviews by VAOIG. APGs (Agency Priority Goals) to prove they are aware and on it. In fact, the Strategic Plan even has a list of all these at the end of the program to keep us abreast of their obfuscation efforts.
VA has a plan for everything. If they don’t and discover as much, they assign twenty gomers to analyze and write it up. They cut down X number of trees and publish it. Soon everyone is aware of the repair order and it will be classified WGA (Won’t Happen Again). And yes, the inevitable acronym as well. I compare it to firemen in a forest fire rushing from tree to tree putting each one out without regard to the larger conflagration engulfing them. In their minds, the important job is identifying that there actually is a tree on fire and that they have orchestrated the fix. That the raging inferno has not been extinguished is immaterial. The important consideration we and Congress overlook is that there is a plan to fix it that is soon to be implemented. Relax. All in good time. We are simply too impatient and judgmental.
The mantra is “All in good time” (2015) and mo’ acronyms, baby. You may address your concerns and any really catchy acronyms you have to :
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of Official Policy Services(OOPS)
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, Dc 20420
I’m sure they just can’t wait to hear from you. OOPS is pronounced exactly as it appears (as in loops). That is an oversight and will be changed as soon as they come up with another catchy new acronym and the money to print their new stationary.