Veterans for Common Sense plus 41 VSO’s oppose VA plan to waive federal ethics law for for-profit colleges

 (Washington, DC – June 20, 2018) — Today, 42 veterans and military service and other organizations including Veterans for Common Sense sent a letter (available here) to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) opposing VA’s plan to waive federal ethics law for for-profit colleges.  The letter also urged VA to meet to chart a path forward. 

Background: 

In September 2017, VA proposed to waive Ethics Rules to allow for-profit colleges to give gifts, dividends, profits, ownership interests, salaries, wages to VA employees (Fed. Reg. notice here).    (See, e.g., September 2017 New York Times:  Veterans Agency Seeks to Scrap Ethics Law on For-Profit Colleges)
 
Many organizations including Veterans for Common Sense sent letters to VA in October urging VA not to waive the federal ethics law: 
  • 21 national veterans and military service organizations (Oct. 13, 2017) (click here)
  • Veterans Education Success (providing important historical and legal information) (Oct. 13, 2017) (click here)
  • 21 education, civil rights, and consumer organizations (Oct. 13, 2017) (click here)
  • Walter Shaub, former Director of the Office of Government Ethics, and Campaign Legal Center (Oct. 12, 2017) (letter here)
  • Center for Responsible Ethics in Washington (Oct. 12, 2017) (click here)
  • American Federation of Government Employees (Oct. 12, 2017) (click here)
  • Consumer organizations (Oct. 11, 2017) (press release here; letter here)
  • Service Women’s Action Network (click here)
  • Student Veterans of America (Oct. 9, 2017) (click here)
  • Veterans Student Loan Relief Fund (Oct. 14, 2017) (click here)
  • U.S. Senators Murray, Brown, Durbin and Warren (Oct. 5, 2017) (news release here, letter here)
  • U.S. Senator Carper (Oct. 6 2017) (click here)
  • The Century Foundation (Oct. 5, 2017) (click here)
  • Individual veterans at for-profit colleges share their experiences and object to VA’s proposal (click here)
After receiving this pushback, VA dropped its plan.  (See, e.g., October 2017 AP NewsBreak:  VA Abruptly Drops Plan to Suspend Ethics Law)  
 
New Development:
In May 2018 VA presented to veterans & military service organizations its revised plan to waive the federal ethics law for for-profit colleges to give gratuities, dividends, wages, salary, profits, and ownership interests to most VA employees.  This new letter sent today addresses this issue.
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