[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/22/veterans.affairs.bonuses/art.vasign.gi.jpg caption=" Lawmakers want to know why some IT workers in the VA Department have received millions in bonuses."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - While hundreds of thousands of disability claims lay backlogged at the Department of Veterans Affairs, thousands of technology employees at the department received $24 million in bonuses, a new report says.
A report issued by the VA's Office of Inspector General said the department issued millions of dollars in awards over a two-year period in 2007 and 2008.
"The frequent and large dollar amount awards given to employees were unusual and often absurd," the report stated.
The reports also called the payments "not fiscally responsible."
Four high-level employees received about $60,000, $73,000, $58,000, and $59,000, respectively, according to the report, without sufficient justification. Another employee received a $4,500 performance award within the first 90 days of her employment from a manager who said that she did not even remember her.
The annual average award per employee was about $2,500 for both years, according to the report. About 4,700 awards and bonuses were issued in 2007, and about 5,000 in 2008.