Today, the VA unveiled their new GI Bill complaint system, which is designed to give veterans the opportunity to report fraud, waste, and abuse. The following is a response to this new system offered by the Veterans of Foreign Wars:
VFW CALLS GI BILL COMPLAINT SYSTEM A ‘GAME-CHANGER’
WASHINGTON (January 30, 2014) — The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is applauding today’s roll out of a new consolidated complaint system to help the Department of Veterans Affairs and its partner agencies weed out fraud, waste and abuse among those organizations and educational institutions that serve student veterans. The new complaint system was a cornerstone of the VFW’s education reform priorities over the past two years, and is a joint effort between VA and the departments of Defense, Education and Justice, as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission.
“For years the VFW was concerned that some in higher education were out to exploit our veterans and their lucrative benefits programs like the Post-9/11 GI Bill,” said VFW National Commander William A. Thien. “This new complaint process will be a game-changer for student veterans, who in the past didn’t have a standardized or secure system for reporting alleged abuses.”
The centralized complaint system allows veterans, service members and eligible dependents — who use GI Bill benefits, military tuition assistance or other federal aid programs — to report fraud, waste and abuse in a secure, online mode. Once a complaint is filed, VA and its partner agencies, to include law enforcement, can gather the information needed to identify and directly address unfair or misleading practices in higher education, as well as help ensure schools deliver quality academic, trade, and associated support services to student veterans. Veterans who file complaints may remain anonymous, but those who wish to leave contact information can be confident that the system adheres to strict federal privacy guidelines to prevent against retaliation.
The new complaint process was one of two major consumer resources set into motion by a 2012 presidential executive order and codified through the Improving Transparency in Education for Veterans Act of 2012. Along with its partners from Student Veterans of America and the American Legion, the VFW worked closely with the White House and legislators to craft and implement both the executive order and the Transparency Act. In the coming weeks, the VFW anticipates that VA will launch a second major consumer resource, a GI Bill Comparison Tool to help veterans compare GI Bill-eligible education programs before choosing to enroll.
Student veterans who wish to file a complaint through the new complaint system can click here.