The Senate and House’s Veterans and Military Affairs Committees heard Tuesday what the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs has done and hopes to do to address staffing and related issues, particularly at it seven veterans centers.
“There is no easy answer here,” Secretary of Veterans Affairs retired Maj. Gen. Rita Aragon said at the conclusion of the meeting.
ODVA staff testified that they have embarked on a plan to convert patient care staff from classified to unclassified positions, are working on ways to address salary and training issues.
Many of the issues discussed were those raised in a performance audit released in April that found “inconsistencies, inefficiencies, and inadequacies” throughout the department.
“That is the prime focus of our daily efforts,” ODVA Deputy Director Danny Stewart told the committee members.
The testimony came during the committees’ joint consideration of Interim Study 2013S-051, regarding the department’s veterans centers, and Interim Study 2013H-002, concerning ODVA workers.