Transparency

House panel tries shame strategy on VA

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The House Veterans Affairs Committee is leaning on the agency it oversees to comply with overdue information requests, using a webpage that charts the VA's tardiness.

The Trials in Transparency Page is a bipartisan effort that tracks information requests made by Republican and Democratic members alike. According to the page, there are 95 outstanding information requests dating back more than a year.

The committee has yet to get answers about a series of data breaches, reportedly by foreign actors, into VA systems that may have compromised the personally identifiable information of veterans, which was left unencrypted.

Rep. Jeff Miller, (R-Fla.), chairman of the committee said, "When the department drags its feet in providing information requested by Congress, it inhibits our ability to ensure America's veterans are receiving the care and benefits they have earned."

"VA is committed to appropriate oversight of its activities and the wise use of taxpayer dollars while we continue our work together serving veterans and their families," agency spokesperson Victoria Dillon told the Associated Press.

Separately, Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-Calif.), announced July 9 that he had issued a subpoena to require VA secretary Eric Shinseki to submit documents related to a series of conferences that reportedly included lavish receptions and expensively produced parody videos.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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