Text: H.R.1259 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Referred in Senate (03/21/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 1259 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

<DOC>
115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1259


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             March 21, 2017

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
 To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the removal or 
 demotion of employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs based on 
           performance or misconduct, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``VA Accountability 
First Act of 2017''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. References to title 38, United States Code.
Sec. 3. Removal, demotion, and suspension of employees based on 
                            performance or misconduct.
Sec. 4. Reduction of benefits for Department of Veterans Affairs 
                            employees convicted of certain crimes.
Sec. 5. Authority to recoup bonuses or awards paid to employees of 
                            Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 6. Authority to recoup relocation expenses paid to or on behalf of 
                            employees of Department of Veterans 
                            Affairs.
Sec. 7. Time period for response to notice of adverse actions against 
                            supervisory employees who commit prohibited 
                            personnel actions.
Sec. 8. Direct hiring authority for medical center directors and VISN 
                            directors.
Sec. 9. Time periods for review of adverse actions with respect to 
                            certain employees.
Sec. 10. Annual report on performance awards and bonuses awarded to 
                            certain high-level employees of the 
                            Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sec. 11. Accountability of supervisors at Department of Veterans 
                            Affairs for addressing performance of 
                            employees.
Sec. 12. Improvement of training for supervisors.

SEC. 2. REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.

    Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an 
amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal 
of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to 
be made to a section or other provision of title 38, United States 
Code.

SEC. 3. REMOVAL, DEMOTION, AND SUSPENSION OF EMPLOYEES BASED ON 
              PERFORMANCE OR MISCONDUCT.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter I of chapter 7 is amended by adding at 
the end the following new section:
``Sec. 719. Employees: removal, demotion, or suspension based on 
              performance or misconduct
    ``(a) In General.--The Secretary may remove, demote, or suspend an 
individual who is an employee of the Department if the Secretary 
determines the performance or misconduct of the individual warrants 
such removal, demotion, or suspension. If the Secretary so removes, 
demotes, or suspends such an individual, the Secretary may--
            ``(1) remove the individual from the civil service (as 
        defined in section 2101 of title 5);
            ``(2) demote the individual by means of a reduction in 
        grade for which the individual is qualified, that the Secretary 
        determines is appropriate, and that reduces the annual rate of 
        pay of the individual; or
            ``(3) suspend the individual.
    ``(b) Pay of Certain Demoted Individuals.--(1) Notwithstanding any 
other provision of law, any individual subject to a demotion under 
subsection (a)(2) shall, beginning on the date of such demotion, 
receive the annual rate of pay applicable to such grade.
    ``(2) An individual so demoted may not be placed on administrative 
leave during the period during which an appeal (if any) under this 
section is ongoing, and may only receive pay if the individual reports 
for duty or is approved to use accrued unused annual, sick, family 
medical, military, or court leave. If an individual so demoted does not 
report for duty or receive approval to use accrued unused leave, such 
individual shall not receive pay or other benefits pursuant to 
subsection (e)(5).
    ``(c) Notice to Congress.--(1) Not later than 30 days after 
removing, demoting, or suspending an individual employed in a senior 
executive position under subsection (a) or after removing, demoting, or 
suspending an individual under chapter 74 of this title, the Secretary 
shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and 
House of Representatives and to each Member of Congress representing a 
district in the State or territory where the facility where the 
individual was employed immediately before being removed, demoted, or 
suspended is located notice in writing of such removal, demotion, or 
suspension. Such notice shall include the job title of the individual, 
the location where the individual was employed immediately before being 
removed, demoted, or suspended, the proposed action, and the reason for 
such removal, demotion, or suspension.
    ``(2) Not later than 30 days after the last day of a fiscal year, 
the Secretary shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of 
the Senate and House of Representatives a report listing all removals, 
demotions, and suspensions under this section or under chapter 74 of 
this title during such fiscal year. Each such report shall include the 
job title of each individual removed, demoted, or suspended, the 
location where the individual was employed immediately before being so 
removed, demoted or suspended, the proposed action, and the reason for 
such removal, demotion, or suspension.
    ``(3) In this subsection, the term `senior executive position' 
means, with respect to a career appointee (as that term is defined in 
section 3132(a)(4) of title 5), a Senior Executive Service position (as 
such term is defined in section 3132(a)(2) of title 5).
    ``(d) Procedure.--(1) Subsection (b) of section 7513 of title 5 
shall apply with respect to a removal, demotion, or suspension under 
this section, except that the period for notice and response, which 
includes the advance notice period required by paragraph (1) of such 
subsection and the response period required by paragraph (2) of such 
subsection, shall not exceed a total of 10 business days. Subsection 
(c) of such section and section 7121 of such title shall not apply with 
respect to such a removal, demotion, or suspension.
    ``(2) The Secretary shall issue a final decision with respect to a 
removal, demotion, or suspension under this section--
            ``(A) in the case of a proposed removal, demotion, or 
        suspension to which an individual responds under paragraph (1), 
        not later than five business days after receiving the response 
        of the individual; or
            ``(B) in the case of a proposed removal, demotion, or 
        suspension to which an individual does not respond, not later 
        than 15 business days after the Secretary provides notice to 
        the individual under paragraph (1).
    ``(3) The procedures under chapter 43 of title 5 shall not apply to 
a removal, demotion, or suspension under this section.
    ``(4)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B) and subsection (e), any 
removal, demotion, or suspension under subsection (a) may be appealed 
to the Merit Systems Protection Board, which shall refer such appeal to 
an administrative judge pursuant to section 7701(b)(1) of title 5.
    ``(B) An appeal under subparagraph (A) of a removal, demotion, or 
suspension may only be made if such appeal is made not later than 7 
days after the date of such removal, demotion, or suspension.
    ``(e) Expedited Review.--(1) Upon receipt of an appeal under 
subsection (d)(4)(A), the administrative judge shall expedite any such 
appeal under such section and, in any such case, shall issue a final 
and complete decision not later than 45 business days after the date of 
the appeal.
    ``(2) Notwithstanding section 7701(c)(1)(B) of title 5, the 
administrative judge shall uphold the decision of the Secretary to 
remove, demote, or suspend an employee under subsection (a) if the 
decision is supported by substantial evidence. If the decision of the 
Secretary is supported by substantial evidence, the administrative 
judge shall not mitigate the penalty prescribed by the Secretary.
    ``(3)(A) The decision of the administrative judge under paragraph 
(1) may be appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board.
    ``(B) An appeal under subparagraph (A) of a decision of an 
administrative judge may only be made if such appeal is made not later 
than 7 business days after the date of the decision of the 
administrative judge.
    ``(4) In any case in which the administrative judge cannot issue a 
decision in accordance with the 45-day requirement under paragraph (1), 
the Merit Systems Protection Board shall, not later than 14 business 
days after the expiration of the 45-day period, submit to the 
Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and House of 
Representatives a report that explains the reasons why a decision was 
not issued in accordance with such requirement.
    ``(5)(A) A decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board under 
paragraph (3) may be appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for 
the Federal Circuit pursuant to section 7703 of title 5.
    ``(B) An appeal under subparagraph (A) of a decision of the Merit 
Systems Protection Board may only be made if such appeal is made not 
later than 7 business days after the date of the decision of the Board.
    ``(C) Any decision by such Court shall be in compliance with 
section 7462(f)(2) of this title.
    ``(6) The Merit Systems Protection Board may not stay any removal, 
demotion, under this section.
    ``(7) During the period beginning on the date on which an 
individual appeals a removal from the civil service under subsection 
(d) and ending on the date that the United States Court of Appeals for 
the Federal Circuit issues a final decision on such appeal, such 
individual may not receive any pay, awards, bonuses, incentives, 
allowances, differentials, student loan repayments, special payments, 
or benefits related to the employment of the individual by the 
Department.
    ``(8) To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall 
provide to the Merit Systems Protection Board such information and 
assistance as may be necessary to ensure an appeal under this 
subsection is expedited.
    ``(9) If an employee prevails on appeal under this section, the 
employee shall be entitled to backpay (as provided in section 5596 of 
title 5).
    ``(10) This subsection shall supercede any collective bargaining 
agreement to the extent that such an agreement conflicts with this 
subsection.
    ``(f) Whistleblower Protection.--(1) In the case of an individual 
seeking corrective action (or on behalf of whom corrective action is 
sought) from the Office of Special Counsel based on an alleged 
prohibited personnel practice described in section 2302(b) of title 5 
or section 733(c) of this title, the Secretary may not remove, demote, 
or suspend such individual under subsection (a) without the approval of 
the Special Counsel under section 1214(f) of title 5.
    ``(2) In the case of an individual who has filed a whistleblower 
complaint, as such term is defined in section 731 of this title, the 
Secretary may not remove, demote, or suspend such individual under 
subsection (a) until a final decision with respect to the whistleblower 
complaint has been made.
    ``(g) Termination of Investigations by Office of Special Counsel.--
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Special Counsel 
(established by section 1211 of title 5) may terminate an investigation 
of a prohibited personnel practice alleged by an employee or former 
employee of the Department after the Special Counsel provides to the 
employee or former employee a written statement of the reasons for the 
termination of the investigation. Such statement may not be admissible 
as evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding without the 
consent of such employee or former employee.
    ``(h) Vacancies.--In the case of an individual who is removed or 
demoted under subsection (a), to the maximum extent feasible, the 
Secretary shall fill the vacancy arising as a result of such removal or 
demotion.
    ``(i) Semi-Annual Report on Transferred Employees.--The Secretary 
shall submit to the Committees on Veterans' Affairs of the Senate and 
House of Representatives semi-annual reports on senior executive 
employees who are transferred within the Department. Each such report 
shall include, for each such senior executive employee transferred 
during the period covered by the report, the reason for the transfer 
and any costs associated with the transfer.
    ``(j) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) The term `individual' means an individual occupying a 
        position at the Department but does not include--
                    ``(A) an individual appointed pursuant to section 
                7306, 7401(1), or 7405 of this title;
                    ``(B) an individual who has not completed a 
                probationary or trial period; or
                    ``(C) a political appointee.
            ``(2) The term `suspend' means the placing of an employee, 
        for disciplinary reasons, in a temporary status without duties 
        and pay for a period in excess of 14 days.
            ``(3) The term `grade' has the meaning given such term in 
        section 7511(a) of title 5.
            ``(4) The term `misconduct' includes neglect of duty, 
        malfeasance, or failure to accept a directed reassignment or to 
        accompany a position in a transfer of function.
            ``(5) The term `political appointee' means an individual 
        who is--
                    ``(A) employed in a position described under 
                sections 5312 through 5316 of title 5 (relating to the 
                Executive Schedule);
                    ``(B) a limited term appointee, limited emergency 
                appointee, or noncareer appointee in the Senior 
                Executive Service, as defined under paragraphs (5), 
                (6), and (7), respectively, of section 3132(a) of title 
                5; or
                    ``(C) employed in a position of a confidential or 
                policy-determining character under schedule C of 
                subpart C of part 213 of title 5 of the Code of Federal 
                Regulations.''.
    (b) Repeal of Superceded Provision of Law.--
            (1) In general.--Section 713 of title 38, United States 
        Code, is hereby repealed.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of chapter 7 is amended by striking the item relating 
        to section 713.
    (c) Clerical and Conforming Amendments.--
            (1) Clerical.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
        chapter 7 is amended by inserting after the item relating to 
        section 717 the following new item:

``719. Employees: removal, demotion, or suspension based on performance 
                            or misconduct.''.
            (2) Conforming.--Section 4303(f) of title 5, United States 
        Code, is amended--
                    (A) by striking ``or'' at the end of paragraph (2);
                    (B) by striking the period at the end of paragraph 
                (3) and inserting ``, or''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(4) any removal or demotion under section 719 of title 
        38.''.
    (d) Temporary Exemption From Certain Limitation on Initiation From 
Removal From Senior Executive Service.--During the 120-day period 
beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, an action to remove an 
individual from the Senior Executive Service at the Department of 
Veterans Affairs pursuant to this section may be initiated, 
notwithstanding section 3592(b) of title 5, United States Code, or any 
other provision of law.

SEC. 4. REDUCTION OF BENEFITS FOR DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 
              EMPLOYEES CONVICTED OF CERTAIN CRIMES.

    (a) Reduction of Benefits.--
            (1) In general.--Subchapter I of chapter 7 is further 
        amended by inserting after section 719, as added by section 3, 
        the following new section:
``Sec. 721. Reduction of benefits of employees convicted of certain 
              crimes
    ``(a) Reduction of Annuity for Removed Employee.--(1) The Secretary 
shall order that the covered service of an employee of the Department 
removed from a position for performance or misconduct under section 719 
or 7461 of this title or any other provision of law shall not be taken 
into account for purposes of calculating an annuity with respect to 
such individual under chapter 83 or chapter 84 of title 5, if--
            ``(A) the Secretary determines that the individual is 
        convicted of a felony that influenced the individual's 
        performance while employed in the position;
            ``(B) before such order is made, the individual is 
        afforded--
                    ``(i) notice of the proposed order; and
                    ``(ii) an opportunity to respond to the proposed 
                order by not later than ten business days following 
                receipt of such notice; and
            ``(C) the Secretary issues the order--
                    ``(i) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
                individual responds under subparagraph (B)(ii), not 
                later than five business days after receiving the 
                response of the individual; or
                    ``(ii) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
                individual does not respond, not later than 15 business 
                days after the Secretary provides notice to the 
                individual under subparagraph (B)(i).
    ``(2) Upon the issuance of an order by the Secretary under 
paragraph (1), the individual shall have an opportunity to appeal the 
order to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management before the 
date that is seven business days after the date of such issuance.
    ``(3) The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall make 
a final decision with respect to an appeal under paragraph (2) within 
30 business days of receiving the appeal.
    ``(b) Reduction of Annuity for Retired Employee.--(1) The Secretary 
may order that the covered service of an individual who is removed for 
performance or misconduct under section 719 or 7461 of this title or 
any other provision of law but who leaves employment at the Department 
prior to the issuance of a final decision with respect to such action 
shall not be taken into account for purposes of calculating an annuity 
with respect to such individual under chapter 83 or chapter 84 of title 
5, if--
            ``(A) the Secretary determines that the individual is 
        convicted of a felony that influenced the individual's 
        performance while employed in the position;
            ``(B) before such order is made, the individual is 
        afforded--
                    ``(i) notice of the proposed order; and
                    ``(ii) opportunity to respond to the proposed order 
                by not later than ten business days following receipt 
                of such notice; and
            ``(C) the Secretary issues the order--
                    ``(i) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
                individual responds under subparagraph (B)(ii), not 
                later than five business days after receiving the 
                response of the individual; or
                    ``(ii) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
                individual does not respond, not later than 15 business 
                days after the Secretary provides notice to the 
                individual under subparagraph (B)(i).
    ``(2) Upon the issuance of an order by the Secretary under 
paragraph (1), the individual shall have an opportunity to appeal the 
order to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management before the 
date that is seven business days after the date of such issuance.
    ``(3) The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall make 
a final decision with respect to an appeal under paragraph (2) within 
30 business days of receiving the appeal.
    ``(c) Administrative Requirements.--Not later than 37 business days 
after the Secretary issues a final order under subsection (a) or (b), 
the Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall recalculate 
the annuity of the individual.
    ``(d) Lump-Sum Annuity Credit.--Any individual with respect to whom 
an annuity is reduced under subsection (a) or (b) shall be entitled to 
be paid so much of such individual's lump-sum credit as is attributable 
to the period of covered service.
    ``(e) Spouse or Children Exception.--The Secretary, in consultation 
with the Office of Personnel Management, shall prescribe regulations 
that may provide for the payment to the spouse or children of any 
individual referred to in subsection (a) or (b) of any amounts which 
(but for this subsection) would otherwise have been nonpayable by 
reason of such subsections. Any such regulations shall be consistent 
with the requirements of sections 8332(o)(5) and 8411(l)(5) of title 5, 
as the case may be.
    ``(f) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) The term `covered service' means, with respect to an 
        individual subject to a removal for performance or misconduct 
        under section 719 or 7461 of this title or any other provision 
        of law, the period of service beginning on the date that the 
        Secretary determines under such applicable provision that the 
        individual engaged in activity that gave rise to such action 
        and ending on the date that the individual is removed from or 
        leaves a position of employment at the Department prior to the 
        issuance of a final decision with respect to such action.
            ``(2) The term `lump-sum credit' has the meaning given such 
        term in section 8331(8) or section 8401(19) of title 5, as the 
        case may be.
            ``(3) The term `service' has the meaning given such term in 
        section 8331(12) or section 8401(26) of title 5, as the case 
        may be.''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of chapter 7 is amended by inserting after the item 
        relating to section 719, as added by section 3, the following 
        new item:

``721. Reduction of benefits of employees convicted of certain 
                            crimes.''.
    (b) Application.--Section 721 of title 38, United States Code, as 
added by subsection (a)(1), shall apply to any action of removal of an 
employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs under section 719 or 
7461 of this title or any other provision of law, commencing on or 
after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 5. AUTHORITY TO RECOUP BONUSES OR AWARDS PAID TO EMPLOYEES OF 
              DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter I of chapter 7 is further amended by 
inserting after section 721, as added by section 4, the following new 
section:
``Sec. 723. Recoupment of bonuses or awards paid to employees of 
              Department
    ``(a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the 
Secretary may issue an order directing an employee of the Department to 
repay the amount, or a portion of the amount, of any award or bonus 
paid to the employee under title 5, including under chapter 45 or 53 of 
such title, or this title if--
            ``(1) the Secretary determines that the individual engaged 
        in misconduct or poor performance prior to payment of the award 
        or bonus, and that such award or bonus would not have been 
        paid, in whole or in part, had the misconduct or poor 
        performance been known prior to payment;
            ``(2) before such repayment, the employee is afforded--
                    ``(A) notice of the proposed order; and
                    ``(B) an opportunity to respond to the proposed 
                order by not later than ten business days after the 
                receipt of such notice; and
            ``(3) the Secretary issues the order--
                    ``(A) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
                individual responds under paragraph (2)(B), not later 
                than five business days after receiving the response of 
                the individual; or
                    ``(B) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
                individual does not respond, not later than 15 business 
                days after the Secretary provides notice to the 
                individual under paragraph (2)(A).
    ``(b) Appeals.--Upon the issuance of an order by the Secretary 
under subsection (a), the individual shall have an opportunity to 
appeal the order to another department or agency of the Federal 
Government before the date that is seven business days after the date 
of such issuance.
    ``(c) Final Decisions.--The head of the applicable department or 
agency of the Federal Government shall make a final decision with 
respect to an appeal under subsection (b) within 30 business days after 
receiving such appeal.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter, as amended by section 4, is amended by inserting after 
the item relating to section 721, as added by section 4(a)(2), the 
following new item:

``723. Recoupment of bonuses or awards paid to employees of 
                            Department.''.
    (c) Effective Date.--Section 723 of title 38, United States Code, 
as added by subsection (a), shall apply with respect to an award or 
bonus paid by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to an employee of the 
Department of Veterans Affairs on or after the date of the enactment of 
this Act.
    (d) Construction.--Nothing in this Act or the amendments made by 
this Act may be construed to modify the certification issued by the 
Office of Personnel Management and the Office of Management and Budget 
regarding the performance appraisal system of the Senior Executive 
Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

SEC. 6. AUTHORITY TO RECOUP RELOCATION EXPENSES PAID TO OR ON BEHALF OF 
              EMPLOYEES OF DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter I of chapter 7 is further amended by 
adding at the end the following new section:
``Sec. 725. Recoupment of relocation expenses paid to or on behalf of 
              employees of Department
    ``(a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the 
Secretary may issue an order directing an employee of the Department to 
repay the amount, or a portion of the amount, paid to or on behalf of 
the employee under title 5 for relocation expenses, including any 
expenses under section 5724 or 5724a of such title, or this title if--
            ``(1) the Secretary determines that relocation expenses 
        were not lawfully authorized or that the employee committed an 
        act of fraud, waste, or malfeasance that influenced the 
        authorization of the relocation expenses;
            ``(2) before such repayment, the employee is afforded--
                    ``(A) notice of the proposed order; and
                    ``(B) an opportunity to respond to the proposed 
                order not later than ten business days following the 
                receipt of such notice; and
            ``(3) the Secretary issues the order--
                    ``(A) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
                individual responds under paragraph (2)(B), not later 
                than five business days after receiving the response of 
                the individual; or
                    ``(B) in the case of a proposed order to which an 
                individual does not respond, not later than 15 business 
                days after the Secretary provides notice to the 
                individual under paragraph (2)(A).
    ``(b) Appeals.--Upon the issuance of an order by the Secretary 
under subsection (a), the individual shall have an opportunity to 
appeal the order to another department or agency of the Federal 
Government before the date that is seven business days after the date 
of such issuance.
    ``(c) Final Decisions.--The head of the applicable department or 
agency of the Federal Government shall make a final decision with 
respect to an appeal under subsection (b) within 30 days after 
receiving such appeal.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is further amended by inserting after the item relating to 
section 723, as added by section 5(b), the following new item:

``725. Recoupment of relocation expenses paid to or on behalf of 
                            employees of Department.''.
    (c) Effective Date.--Section 725 of title 38, United States Code, 
as added by subsection (a), shall apply with respect to an amount paid 
by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to or on behalf of an employee of 
the Department of Veterans Affairs for relocation expenses on or after 
the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 7. TIME PERIOD FOR RESPONSE TO NOTICE OF ADVERSE ACTIONS AGAINST 
              SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES WHO COMMIT PROHIBITED PERSONNEL 
              ACTIONS.

    Section 733(a)(2)(B) is amended--
            (1) in clause (i), by striking ``14 days'' and inserting 
        ``10 days''; and
            (2) in clause (ii), by striking ``14-day period'' and 
        inserting ``10-day period''.

SEC. 8. DIRECT HIRING AUTHORITY FOR MEDICAL CENTER DIRECTORS AND VISN 
              DIRECTORS.

    (a) In General.--Section 7401 is amended by adding at the end the 
following new paragraph:
            ``(4) Medical center directors and directors of Veterans 
        Integrated Service Networks with demonstrated ability in the 
        medical profession, in health care administration, or in health 
        care fiscal management.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 7404(a)(1) is amended by 
inserting ``and 7401(4)'' after ``7306''.

SEC. 9. TIME PERIODS FOR REVIEW OF ADVERSE ACTIONS WITH RESPECT TO 
              CERTAIN EMPLOYEES.

    (a) Physicians, Dentists, Podiatrists, Chiropractors, Optometrists, 
Registered Nurses, Physician Assistants, and Expanded-Function Dental 
Auxiliaries.--Section 7461(b)(2) is amended to read as follows:
    ``(2) In any case other than a case described in paragraph (1) that 
involves or includes a question of professional conduct or competence 
in which a major adverse action was not taken, such an appeal shall be 
made through Department grievance procedures under section 7463 of this 
title.''.
    (b) Major Adverse Actions Involving Professional Conduct or 
Competence.--Section 7462 is amended--
            (1) in subsection (b)--
                    (A) in paragraph (1)--
                            (i) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``At 
                        least 30'' and inserting ``Ten business''; and
                            (ii) in subparagraph (B)--
                                    (I) by striking ``A reasonable 
                                time, but not less than seven days'' 
                                and inserting ``The opportunity, within 
                                the ten-day notice period''; and
                                    (II) by striking ``orally and'';
                    (B) in paragraph (3)--
                            (i) by striking ``(A) If a proposed adverse 
                        action covered by this section is not 
                        withdrawn'' and inserting ``After considering 
                        the employee's answer, if any'';
                            (ii) by striking ``21 days'' and inserting 
                        ``5 business days'';
                            (iii) by striking ``answer. The decision 
                        shall include a statement of'' and inserting 
                        ``answer stating''; and
                            (iv) by striking subparagraph (B); and
                    (C) in paragraph (4)--
                            (i) by striking ``(A) The Secretary'' and 
                        all that follows through ``(B) The Secretary'' 
                        and inserting ``The Secretary''; and
                            (ii) by striking ``30 days'' and inserting 
                        ``7 business days'';
            (2) in subsection (c)--
                    (A) in paragraph (3), by inserting ``the hearing 
                must be concluded not later than 30 business days after 
                the date on which the appeal is filed, and'' after ``If 
                such a hearing is held,''; and
                    (B) in paragraph (4)--
                            (i) by striking ``45 days'' and inserting 
                        ``15 business days''; and
                            (ii) by striking ``120 days'' and inserting 
                        ``45 business days''; and
            (3) in subsection (d)(1), by striking ``90 days'' and 
        inserting ``15 business days''.
    (c) Other Adverse Actions.--Section 7463 is amended--
            (1) by striking subsection (b) and redesignating 
        subsections (c) through (e) as subsections (b) through (d), 
        respectively; and
            (2) in subsection (b)(2), as so redesignated--
                    (A) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``an advance'' 
                and inserting ``ten business days''; and
                    (B) in subparagraph (B)--
                            (i) by striking ``a reasonable time'' and 
                        inserting ``the opportunity, within the ten 
                        business day notice period,''; and
                            (ii) by striking ``orally and''.

SEC. 10. ANNUAL REPORT ON PERFORMANCE AWARDS AND BONUSES AWARDED TO 
              CERTAIN HIGH-LEVEL EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF 
              VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 7 of title 38, United States Code, is 
further amended by inserting after section 723, as added by section 5, 
the following new section:
``Sec. 724. Annual report on performance awards and bonuses awarded to 
              certain high-level employees
    ``(a) In General.--Not later than 30 days after the end of each 
fiscal year, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees 
of Congress a report that contains, for the most recent fiscal year 
ending before the submittal of the report, a description of the 
performance awards and bonuses awarded to Regional Office Directors of 
the Department, Directors of Medical Centers of the Department, 
Directors of Veterans Integrated Service Networks, and any other 
individual employed in a senior executive position.
    ``(b) Elements.--Each report submitted under subsection (a) shall 
include the following with respect to each performance award or bonus 
awarded to an individual described in such subsection:
            ``(1) The amount of each award or bonus.
            ``(2) The job title of the individual awarded the award or 
        bonus.
            ``(3) The location where the individual awarded the award 
        or bonus works.
    ``(c) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) The term `appropriate committees of Congress' means--
                    ``(A) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the 
                Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and
                    ``(B) the Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the 
                Committee on Appropriations of the House of 
                Representatives.
            ``(2) The term `individual' means--
                    ``(A) a career appointee (as that term is defined 
                in section 3132(a)(4) of title 5); or
                    ``(B) any individual who occupies an administrative 
                or executive position and who was appointed under 
                section 7306(a) or section 7401(1) of this title.
            ``(3) The term `senior executive position' means--
                    ``(A) with respect to a career appointee (as that 
                term is defined in section 3132(a)(4) of title 5), a 
                Senior Executive Service position (as such term is 
                defined in section 3132(a)(2) of title 5); and
                    ``(B) with respect to an individual appointed under 
                section 7306(a) or section 7401(1) of this title, an 
                administrative or executive position.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
chapter 7 of such title is amended by inserting after the item relating 
to section 723, as added by section 5, the following new item:

``724. Annual report on performance awards and bonuses awarded to 
                            certain high-level employees.''.

SEC. 11. ACCOUNTABILITY OF SUPERVISORS AT DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS 
              AFFAIRS FOR ADDRESSING PERFORMANCE OF EMPLOYEES.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall ensure 
that, as a part of the annual performance plan of a supervisor in the 
Department, the supervisor is evaluated on the following:
            (1) Taking action to address poor performance and 
        misconduct among the employees that report to the supervisor.
            (2) Taking steps to improve or sustain high levels of 
        employee engagement.
            (3) Promoting a positive culture of service that--
                    (A) reflects the mission of the Department and the 
                values of integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect, and 
                excellence; and
                    (B) emphasizes the greatest degree of performance 
                and conduct.
    (b) Supervisor Defined.--In this section, the term ``supervisor'' 
has the meaning given such term in section 7103(a) of title 5, United 
States Code.

SEC. 12. IMPROVEMENT OF TRAINING FOR SUPERVISORS.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Veterans Affairs shall provide to 
each employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs who is employed as 
a supervisor periodic training on the following:
            (1) The rights of whistleblowers and how to address a 
        report by an employee of a hostile work environment, reprisal, 
        or harassment.
            (2) How to effectively motivate, manage, and reward the 
        employees who report to the supervisor.
            (3) How to effectively manage employees who are performing 
        at an unacceptable level and access assistance from the human 
        resources office of the Department and the Office of the 
        General Counsel of the Department with respect to those 
        employees.
    (b) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) Supervisor.--The term ``supervisor'' has the meaning 
        given such term in section 7103(a) of title 5, United States 
        Code.
            (2) Whistleblower.--The term ``whistleblower'' has the 
        meaning given such term in section 323(g) of title 38, United 
        States Code, as added by section 101.

            Passed the House of Representatives March 16, 2017.

            Attest:

                                                 KAREN L. HAAS,

                                                                 Clerk.