For positions in the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the VHA has discretionary authority to appoint health care personnel under 38 U.S.C. § 7401(1) without regard to Title 5 civil service requirements, including veterans’ preference.
The practice of the VHA has been to “give preference to qualified disabled veterans and preference eligibles when qualifications of candidates are approximately equal.”
In other words, veterans’ preference serves as a tie-breaker.
Scarnati v. Department of Veterans Affairs, 344 F.3d 1246, 1248-49 (Fed. Cir. 2003)