ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The acting secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs is vowing to crack down on whistleblower retaliation after a private government watchdog released a critical report on the agency's treatment of employees who brought internal problems to light.

Veterans Affairs Acting Secretary Sloan Gibson during a press conference at the local VA facility in El Paso, Texas, Friday, July 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)

Sloan Gibson spoke Tuesday in St. Louis during the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The former bank executive took over the VA in late May following the resignation of Eric Shinseki amid an uproar over treatment delays and falsified records at VA hospitals and clinics nationwide.

Gibson said the agency is "not going to tolerate" an environment in which workers are afraid to speak out about problems.

The Project for Government Oversight says it received complaints from nearly 800 current and former VA workers and veterans about possible wrongdoing.

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