|Acting Commissioner Colvin is in a green top at the far end on the near side|
Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), joined by Senator Tim Johnson (D. S.D.), Chairman of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee, today announced the initial results of a roundtable discussion with senior Administration officials, including Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, Social Security Administration Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin, and Internal Revenue Service Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support Beth Tucker, to seek to finally put an end to the claims backlog that has troubled the Department of Veterans Affairs for years.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Defense, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Social Security Administration agreed to work together to break down the barriers between the Departments in order to end the gridlock. Specifically, the participants agreed:
1. Each agency will identify a single high level person whose sole focus is fixing problems, and who reports directly to the Secretary or Administrator.
2. Secretaries Hagel and Shinseki agreed to meet every 60 days as we progress toward ending the claims backlog.
3. A method of accountability to the Chairwoman and to the Committee, including a coordinated progress report to the Committee every 60 days.