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Recovering Servicemembers: DOD and VA Have Made Progress to Jointly Develop Required Policies but Additional Challenges Remain: Testimony Before the Personnel Subcommittee of the Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Senate
Randall B. Williamson (au); Daniel Bertoni (au); Valerie C. Melvin (au)
Statement of Randall B. Williamson, Dir., DOD and VA Health Care, Daniel Bertoni, Dir., Education, Workforce, and Income Security, and Valerie C. Melvin, Dir., Info. Mgt. and Human Capital Issues, GAO. The Nat. Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 (NDAA 2008) requires the Depts. of Defense (DOD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) to jointly develop and implement comprehensive policies on the care, mgt., and transition of recovering servicemembers. The Sr. Oversight Comm. (SOC) -- jointly chaired by DOD and VA leadership -- has assumed responsibility for these policies. The NDAA 2008 also requires GAO to report on the progress DOD and VA make in developing and implementing the policies. This statement provides preliminary info. on (1) the progress DOD and VA have made in jointly developing the comprehensive policies required in the NDAA 2008 and (2) the challenges DOD and VA are encountering in the joint devt. and initial implementation of these policies. GAO determined the current status of policy devt. by assessing the status reported by SOC officials and analyzing supporting documentation. To identify challenges, GAO interviewed the Acting Under Sec. of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, the Exec. Dir. and Chief of Staff of the SOC, the departmental co-leads for most of the SOC work groups, the Acting Dir. of DOD's Office of Transition Policy and Care Coordination, and other knowledgeable officials. Illus.
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