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CBO: VA Accountability & Whistleblower Protection Act Would Increase Costs by $3M Through 2022

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the implementation of the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 would increase costs by $3 million over the next five years.

A CBO report published Friday stated that the legislation would impact direct spending over the 2017-2027 period but the effects would not be significant and the bill would not affect revenues.

Enacting bill would not raise net direct spending or on-budget deficits in the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028, according to the report.

CBO also found that the legislation does not include intergovernmental or private-sector mandates and would not affect state, local or tribal government budgets.

A section of the bill seeks to shorten all stages of the appeals process for actions against VA medical practitioners, which would cost $2 million over the 2018 to 2022 period to cover additional administrative staff, training for medical professionals and medical care for VA patients.

VA would also be required to review and assess the impact of the bill on the department’s senior executive service personnel within two years of enactment — a move that would cost approximately $1 million over five years, CBO reported.

Sections of the bill would authorize VA to retrieve awards, bonuses and relocation expenses paid to employees if determined appropriate, which would reduce personnel costs by less than $500,000 through the 2018-2022 period.

CBO also estimated that it would cost less than $500,000 over a five-year period for VA to conduct various studies as required by the legislation.

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