(a) There is in the Department an Under Secretary for Benefits, who is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Under Secretary for Benefits shall be appointed without regard to political affiliation or activity and solely on the basis of demonstrated ability in—
(1) fiscal management; and
(2) the administration of programs within the Veterans Benefits Administration or programs of similar content and scope.
(b) The Under Secretary for Benefits is the head of, and is directly responsible to the Secretary for the operations of, the Veterans Benefits Administration.
(1) Whenever a vacancy in the position of Under Secretary for Benefits occurs or is anticipated, the Secretary shall establish a commission to recommend individuals to the President for appointment to the position.
(2) A commission established under this subsection shall be composed of the following members appointed by the Secretary:
(A) Three persons representing education and training, real estate, mortgage finance, and related industries, and survivor benefits activities affected by the Veterans Benefits Administration.
(B) Two persons representing veterans served by the Veterans Benefits Administration.
(C) Two persons who have experience in the management of veterans benefits programs or programs of similar content and scope.
(D) The Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
(E) The chairman of the Veterans' Advisory Committee on Education formed under section 3692 of this title.
(F) One person who has held the position of Under Secretary for Benefits (including service as Chief Benefits Director of the Veterans' Administration), if the Secretary determines that it is desirable for such person to be a member of the commission.
(3) A commission established under this subsection shall recommend at least three individuals for appointment to the position of Under Secretary for Benefits. The commission shall submit all recommendations to the Secretary. The Secretary shall forward the recommendations to the President with any comments the Secretary considers appropriate. Thereafter, the President may request the commission to recommend additional individuals for appointment.
(4) The Assistant Secretary or Deputy Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs who performs personnel management and labor relations functions shall serve as the executive secretary of a commission established under this subsection.
Provisions similar to those in this section were contained in section 3(c) of Pub. L. 100–527, known as the Department of Veterans Affairs Act, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 102–83, §3(3).
2006—Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 109–461 redesignated subsec. (d) as (c) and struck out former subsec. (c) which read as follows: "The Under Secretary for Benefits shall be appointed for a period of four years, with reappointment permissible for successive like periods. If the President removes the Under Secretary for Benefits before the completion of the term for which the Under Secretary for Benefits was appointed, the President shall communicate the reasons for the removal to Congress."
1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–446, §1201(c)(2)(A), substituted "an Under Secretary" for "a Under Secretary".
Subsec. (d)(2)(F). Pub. L. 103–446, §1201(c)(2)(B), (e)(2), substituted "Chief Benefits Director of the Veterans' Administration)" for "Under Secretary for Benefits of the Department)" and "commission" for "Commission".
1992—Pub. L. 102–405 substituted "Under Secretary for Benefits" for "Chief Benefits Director" wherever appearing.
1991—Subsec. (d)(2)(F). Pub. L. 102–83, §4(a)(3), (4), substituted "Department" for "Veterans' Administration".
Change of Name
Pub. L. 102–405, title III, §302(b), Oct. 9, 1992, 106 Stat. 1984, provided that: "The position of Chief Benefits Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs is hereby redesignated as Under Secretary for Benefits of the Department of Veterans Affairs."