Senators want details on government hiring practices
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Two senators are asking the Obama administration for details on how it prevents federal employees from manipulating the hiring process.

Sens. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonCongress sends bill renewing anti-terrorism program to Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress Hillicon Valley: Republicans demand answers from mobile carriers on data practices | Top carriers to stop selling location data | DOJ probing Huawei | T-Mobile execs stayed at Trump hotel as merger awaited approval MORE (R-Wis.) and Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperIRS shutdown plan fails to quell worries Dems blast EPA nominee at confirmation hearing Last-minute deal extends program to protect chemical plants MORE (D-Del.) sent letters Friday to Beth Cobert, acting director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and Denise Turner Roth, the administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), over allegations that Department of Veterans Affairs employees used their positions for personal gain.

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“These are serious allegations, which led to the VA OIG [Office of Inspector General] making criminal referrals to the U.S. Attorney’s Office regarding the actions of two VA officials," the senators wrote. "We ask your assistance in understanding what procedures are in place to prevent the abuse of taxpayer dollars in relocation expenses."

The senators, the top two members of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, want Cobert to detail what steps the OPM takes to prevent manipulation by federal employees, including any additional steps the agency could take and if it has a policy on recouping misspent federal money.

They separately asked Roth about who is responsible for monitoring employee relocation expenses to make sure they fall within guidelines.

Friday's letters are the latest sign of concern from lawmakers over a VA inspector general report released last month.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called for a Department of Justice investigation earlier this month and the House Veterans' Affairs Committee has subpoenaed the two VA officials accused of wrongdoing.

As part of its report in September, the VA inspector general made 12 recommendations for the department, which agreed with all of the suggestions and "will take action by the end of the year to address the recommendations," according to the report.

The VA also said it would undergo a review of "all incentive and relocation procedures."