Rounds, Ossoff Introduce Bill to Reform Veteran Records Backlog
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) introduced the Access for Veterans to Records Act. This legislation would work to eliminate the backlog of veteran records requests at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) within the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
“Our men and women in uniform have sacrificed so much to protect our freedom,” said Rounds. “The current backlog is unacceptable and impedes veterans’ ability to access the services they have earned. This bill would work to reform the National Personnel Records Center so our veterans can acquire their records in a timely manner. I am pleased my colleagues on both sides of the aisle are coming together to introduce this commonsense legislation.”
“Too many Georgia veterans are having to wait too long to access their service records. It can impact their access to health care and veterans’ benefits,” said Ossoff. “That’s why I’m leading this bipartisan bill to address the backlog.”
As of July 2022, NPRC still had a backlog of 499,000 records requests from veterans. The Access for Veterans to Records Act would direct NARA to submit a plan to Congress for eliminating the current backlog. Within the plan, NARA would be required to include timeframes for reducing the backlog, as well as steps to improve customer service and upgrade technology infrastructure to prevent future backlogs.
Rounds and Ossoff were joined by Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives, which passed in July by a vote of 406-21.
Click HERE for full bill text.