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Re: [owcp] Letter from the Office of the Inspector General of the Peace Corps

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  • Heidi Fassnacht
    Kevin, I got the exact same letter. Personally, I found the letter somewhat intimidating. It is bad enough to get the letters from DOL that feel threatening,
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 8, 2005
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      Kevin,

      I got the exact same letter. Personally, I found the
      letter somewhat intimidating. It is bad enough to get
      the letters from DOL that feel threatening, but to get
      one like this from Peace Corps made me mad. Isn't
      anyone looking out for *our* interests? I think what
      the OIG is looking to do is reasonable, but given how
      one sided this whole struggle seems, I feel very
      frustrated that this 'investigation' seems to be
      equally one sided. I find it insulting given how many
      of us have had to deal with all of DOL's nonsense that
      they didn't say they were looking into if the system
      were working well for us, like you mentioned.

      Heidi




      "In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but also by what we refuse to destroy." John Sawhill



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    • Kevin
      Heidi (and Nancy and all), Maybe I m a slow learner but it wasn t until I received the OIG s letter that it dawned on me why no one in Peace Corps seems to be
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 9, 2005
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        Heidi (and Nancy and all),

        Maybe I'm a slow learner but it wasn't until I received the OIG's
        letter that it dawned on me why no one in Peace Corps seems to be
        willing to help RPCVs with their OWCP claims: It isn't in the
        agency's best interest, at least from a fiscal point of view. In
        fact, Peace Corps may have more of a financial incentive than OWCP
        does to have RPCVs' claims denied. That is probably one reason why
        Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez opposed the legislation that
        would have created the Ombusdman position that Nancy told us about
        several months ago.

        Some other thoughts:

        I agree that the investigation is very one-sided. However, the OIG
        of Peace Corps probably lacks the jurisdiction to investigate waste,
        abuse, fraud, etc. within OWCP. We, individually or as a group,
        however, have the right to ask Congress to order a GAO investigation
        of OWCP. I'm beginning to think that my petition idea might be
        morphing in that direction. The House Committee that oversees the
        Department of Labor seems sympathetic to federal workers'
        compensations claimants, so I think a request for a such an
        investigation would be well received by the Committee. If we could
        get RPCVs from 10 different states to sign a letter to that House
        Committee and we cc'd the letter to the corresponding Senate
        Committee and each of the RPCVs' Senators and Congressmen, then the
        letter would be in the hands of a sizeable number of our elected
        representatives. Whether or not that would reach the critical mass
        needed for action remains to be seen. I'd be willing to take a stab
        at a draft letter if people think it's a good idea.

        Personally I have no major problem with the OIG's investigation as
        long as it doesn't become unduly burdensome for RPCVs. If, in fact,
        there are people who are abusing the system, then they should be
        stopped. However, I do have some concerns as well: I don't like
        people feeling intimidated by the OIG. I don't want the
        investigation to result in our having to provide additional and/or
        repetitive medical documentation. (I feel that my OWCP file
        contains current and adequate documentation to support my claim.) I
        hope the OIG did a cost benefit analysis beforehand to demonstrate
        that the investigation is likely to be cost effective (i.e., the
        amounts recovered will exceed the cost of the investigation). It is
        too bad that the OIG feels that it has to conduct the
        investigation. If OWCP were doing its job, it would be able to stop
        the scofflaws without Peace Corps intervention.

        Kevin


        --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, Heidi Fassnacht <riverock5@y...> wrote:
        > Kevin,
        >
        > I got the exact same letter. Personally, I found the
        > letter somewhat intimidating. It is bad enough to get
        > the letters from DOL that feel threatening, but to get
        > one like this from Peace Corps made me mad. Isn't
        > anyone looking out for *our* interests? I think what
        > the OIG is looking to do is reasonable, but given how
        > one sided this whole struggle seems, I feel very
        > frustrated that this 'investigation' seems to be
        > equally one sided. I find it insulting given how many
        > of us have had to deal with all of DOL's nonsense that
        > they didn't say they were looking into if the system
        > were working well for us, like you mentioned.
        >
        > Heidi
      • Janice Williams
        Kevin Why don t youi send the president copies of your e-mail? Seems he needs a good dose of reality. Why doesn t Peace Corps support us? I m still unable
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 15, 2005
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          Kevin
          Why don't youi send the president copies of your e-mail? Seems he needs a
          good dose of reality. Why doesn't Peace Corps support us? I'm still unable
          to be ccepted by PC as blind in my left eye due to Peace Corps service.
          Personally I would prefer to see you contact Oprah or 60 Minutes. I
          don't think working through channels will be effective in the end. There is
          always more red tape.

          Jan Williams

          > Heidi (and Nancy and all),
          >
          > Maybe I'm a slow learner but it wasn't until I received the OIG's
          > letter that it dawned on me why no one in Peace Corps seems to be
          > willing to help RPCVs with their OWCP claims: It isn't in the
          > agency's best interest, at least from a fiscal point of view. In
          > fact, Peace Corps may have more of a financial incentive than OWCP
          > does to have RPCVs' claims denied. That is probably one reason why
          > Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez opposed the legislation that
          > would have created the Ombusdman position that Nancy told us about
          > several months ago.
          >
          > Some other thoughts:
          >
          > I agree that the investigation is very one-sided. However, the OIG
          > of Peace Corps probably lacks the jurisdiction to investigate waste,
          > abuse, fraud, etc. within OWCP. We, individually or as a group,
          > however, have the right to ask Congress to order a GAO investigation
          > of OWCP. I'm beginning to think that my petition idea might be
          > morphing in that direction. The House Committee that oversees the
          > Department of Labor seems sympathetic to federal workers'
          > compensations claimants, so I think a request for a such an
          > investigation would be well received by the Committee. If we could
          > get RPCVs from 10 different states to sign a letter to that House
          > Committee and we cc'd the letter to the corresponding Senate
          > Committee and each of the RPCVs' Senators and Congressmen, then the
          > letter would be in the hands of a sizeable number of our elected
          > representatives. Whether or not that would reach the critical mass
          > needed for action remains to be seen. I'd be willing to take a stab
          > at a draft letter if people think it's a good idea.
          >
          > Personally I have no major problem with the OIG's investigation as
          > long as it doesn't become unduly burdensome for RPCVs. If, in fact,
          > there are people who are abusing the system, then they should be
          > stopped. However, I do have some concerns as well: I don't like
          > people feeling intimidated by the OIG. I don't want the
          > investigation to result in our having to provide additional and/or
          > repetitive medical documentation. (I feel that my OWCP file
          > contains current and adequate documentation to support my claim.) I
          > hope the OIG did a cost benefit analysis beforehand to demonstrate
          > that the investigation is likely to be cost effective (i.e., the
          > amounts recovered will exceed the cost of the investigation). It is
          > too bad that the OIG feels that it has to conduct the
          > investigation. If OWCP were doing its job, it would be able to stop
          > the scofflaws without Peace Corps intervention.
          >
          > Kevin
          >
          >
          > --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, Heidi Fassnacht <riverock5@y...> wrote:
          >> Kevin,
          >>
          >> I got the exact same letter. Personally, I found the
          >> letter somewhat intimidating. It is bad enough to get
          >> the letters from DOL that feel threatening, but to get
          >> one like this from Peace Corps made me mad. Isn't
          >> anyone looking out for *our* interests? I think what
          >> the OIG is looking to do is reasonable, but given how
          >> one sided this whole struggle seems, I feel very
          >> frustrated that this 'investigation' seems to be
          >> equally one sided. I find it insulting given how many
          >> of us have had to deal with all of DOL's nonsense that
          >> they didn't say they were looking into if the system
          >> were working well for us, like you mentioned.
          >>
          >> Heidi
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          Dear Janice,



          I am writing because we need your support.



          Peace Corps service profoundly affects people's lives, especially the lives
          of those of us who have had the privilege to do it.



          The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) was set up to promote Peace
          Corps service and the values of fostering peace and service that it
          embodies.



          Although we have a long way to go to fully realize the potential inherent in
          our remarkable community, with your help we have made some real progress:



          * Advocacy. We have significantly expanded our ability to advocate on
          behalf of Peace Corps values and to keep our members abreast of issues,
          including the army's recruiting plans involving an option of Peace Corps
          service.



          * Global Education. Through a growing network, we keep young Americans
          informed about the dynamic and complex world we live in by enabling
          educators to bring accurate and meaningful resources to the classroom.



          * Publications. To provide you more timely information, we shifted to a
          monthly electronic newsletter. WorldView magazine has begun special issues
          on key human development issues, such as AIDS.



          * Recognition. We are working to enhance the profile of our Sargent Shriver
          and Loret Miller Ruppe awards to better recognize exemplars of members who
          embody the values of fostering peace and promoting service.



          To do this and the many more things we aspire to do leading up to the
          upcoming 50th anniversary of Peace Corps requires resources. Our membership
          dues only provide 16 percent of our needs. Please give what you can. You
          can contribute at https://www.npcaonline.org/npcassa/ssaauthmain.login_page.
          Log in using your personal login provided below and click on "contribute".
          We will put your donation to good use.



          Gratefully,







          Kevin F. F. Quigley

          President
        • Kevin
          Jan, Thanks for speaking up. I don t think there is one right way to approach the problem. Going public, which you and Nancy seem to favor, is one way.
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 15, 2005
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            Jan,

            Thanks for speaking up. I don't think there is one right way to
            approach the problem. Going public, which you and Nancy seem to
            favor, is one way. Working through the channels, as you put it, is
            another. It should be noted, however, that I'm looking at channels
            outside the executive branch, which is why I haven't contacted the PC
            Director or the President. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think if we can
            get our legislators, and particularly their auditing arm (i.e., the
            GAO), to put some pressure on the Department of Labor and Peace
            Corps, I believe we can get some action. Nothing I've said should
            discourage anyone from contacting Oprah, 60 minutes, or NBC news.
            Action on multiple fronts can be very effective.

            Kevin

            P.S. If someone wants to take the lead in inviting members of the
            media to visit this forum, I'm all for it. There are stories here,
            but whether they're newsworthy or would have broad public appeal is
            for the media to decide.

            --- In owcp@yahoogroups.com, Janice Williams <therifi@m...> wrote:
            > Kevin
            > Why don't youi send the president copies of your e-mail? Seems he
            needs a
            > good dose of reality. Why doesn't Peace Corps support us? I'm
            still unable
            > to be ccepted by PC as blind in my left eye due to Peace Corps
            service.
            > Personally I would prefer to see you contact Oprah or 60
            Minutes. I
            > don't think working through channels will be effective in the end.
            There is
            > always more red tape.
            >
            > Jan Williams
            t
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