Your agency’s personnel record has become so toxic that even Congress could agree on a bill allowing you to fire people more easily. For years, your incompetence has led to wait times and red tape that would embarrass a local department of motor vehicles.

So what does the Veterans Affairs Department do? Allow all-but-unregulated telework.

A Government Accountability Office report recently found that the VA was not really tracking whether employees who were working remotely from home were actually working. It turns out that staffers at the Veterans Benefits Administration itself weren’t aware of new agency polices on monitoring telework to make sure it was not adversely impacting productivity.

There are reasons aplenty to allow remote work for eligible VA staffers. As anyone who has been in rush-hour traffic can attest, one surefire way to improve your employees’ morale is to permit them, at least on occasion, to skip rush-hour traffic. And flexible schedules can help retain good employees.

All that said, an agency with such a spotlight on its personnel practices simply can’t afford such disregard for tracking employee productivity.

Commute or no, veterans deserve a VA that knows what its employees are doing, and where.

Medals & Misfires is a new opinion feature from the Military Times editorial staff. Read more here.

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