Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Congress to Hold Hearings on Veterans Agency Security Breach

Congress is planning on holding hearings on the loss of personal information on 26 million veterans. Two hearings, one in the House and one in the Senate, are scheduled for Thursday morning.

Senator Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho), chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said he will would hold an emergency hearing Thursday and call on Secretary Jim Nicholson to testify.

The House Veterans Affairs Committee has scheduled a hearing for 9 a.m. Thursday.

"We just want to make sure sensitive material is handled somewhat similarly to top-secret data," said Jeff Schrade, spokesman for the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

In a written statement, the Veterans Affairs Inspector General, Jon Wooditch, has expressed his opinion that agency did not appear to do enough to prevent the loss of personal information.

The Inspector General has warned Veterans Affairs officials that security control was a "material weakness."

A spokesman for the Disabled American Veterans said "The VA, quite frankly, has fallen down on the job on this one."


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