The Veterans Administration said yesterday that some of its employes accepted gifts, speaking fees and other favors from a pharmaceutical company doing business with the agency.
Agency spokeswoman Donna St. John said the VA inspector general's office had determined that favors were accepted by 75 to 100 employes from Smith Kline & French Laboratories of Philadelphia, a division of Smith Kline Beckman Corp.
Smith Kline spokesman Alan Wachter said his company has been cooperating with the VA investigation for more than a year. He said Smith Kline's actions had been "consistent with traditional practices and applicable law."
St. John said the investigation focused on allegations that employes had accepted meals, entertainment, theater tickets and other gifts from the company, and accepted fees for giving speeches without reporting them. She refused to say how much money was involved.
"Some of these amounts are modest. Some are substantial," she said.
The VA inspector general's office began the investigation in the spring of 1984, she said.
She said each case is being reviewed individually and that the VA intends to impose penalties ranging from dismissal to suspension and formal admonitions. In minor cases, she said, the only action may be counseling for the employee.
The VA refused to disclose any employe names or to describe the jobs of those involved. All are employes of the VA's department of medicine and surgery.
The VA, which operates the nation's largest medical system, buys drugs on a regular basis from Smith Kline.