A Pennsylvania congressman has called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to investigate and hold accountable Philadelphia VA officials who he says lied to him.
In a letter sent Monday to new VA Secretary Robert McDonald, Rep. Patrick Meehan (R., Pa.) said the agency seems to embrace a "culture of cover-ups."
The charge comes after a VA audit released last week showed that 31 percent of schedulers interviewed at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center said they had been told to not enter the appointment dates veterans requested, a method that masked delays. At the VA clinic in Horsham, staff were told to falsify dates to "game" the system, the audit said.
Meehan said Philadelphia VA director Daniel Hendee had assured him date manipulation had not occurred at either facility.
In the letter, Meehan asked if officials were required to be truthful to legislators conducting oversight.
"If so, what are the consequences of violations of this policy?" he asked.
A spokeswoman from the VA hospital said the office last week contacted Meehan to arrange a call between him and Hendee, which has yet to take place. A spokeswoman from the VA in Washington declined to comment.