Robert McDonald, the new Secretary of Veterans Affairs, talked to Scott Pelley about cleaning up the agency on this Sunday's broadcast of 60 Minutes on CBS.
Scott Pelley, CBS News: How many employees do you think should be fired based on what you know?
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald: The report we've passed up to the Senate Committee and House Committee, has about 35 names on it. I've got another report that has over 1,000.
Scott Pelley: If 1,000 people need to go, give me a sense of what are some of the things that they did?
Secretary McDonald: We're simplistically talking about people who violated our values.
Scott Pelley: And those values are what?
Secretary McDonald: It's integrity, it's advocacy, it's respect, it's excellence. These are the things that we try to do for our veterans.
Scott Pelly: But Bob McDonald can't punish or fire a thousand people right now. He's discovering how different the Capitol is from capitalism. To fire a government manager he has to put together a case and prove it to an administrative judge.
Secretary McDonald: Scott, the reason this is, reason this is okay in some respects is that...
Scott Pelley: A lot of people think it's not okay...
Secretary McDonald: Well...
Scott Pelley: ...that if people lied and put veterans second...
Secretary McDonald: That's different.
Scott Pelley: ...and their self first, they should be cleared out.
Secretary McDonald: Absolutely. Absolutely. But we've got to make it stick.
Scott Pelley: How do you mean?
Secretary McDonald: So we propose the action, the judge rules and the individual has a time to appeal that's why we have a lot of people on administrative leave. We've moved them out because we don't want any harm to our veterans.