Trials in Transparency
Trials in Transparency is designed to highlight one of the committee’s top oversight challenges: getting timely information from Department of Veterans Affairs officials.
This page will be updated on a weekly basis and will keep a running record of outstanding information requests made to VA by both Democrat and Republican members of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
VA is currently sitting on nearly 100 separate requests for information made by the committee, some dating back more than a year. The leisurely pace with which VA is returning requests – and in some cases not returning them – is a major impediment to the basic oversight responsibilities of the committee.
VA’s unanswered questions have created mounting frustration for committee members, and prompted Chairman Miller to take the unprecedented step of writing weekly letters to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki listing the number of outstanding information requests and asking for “accurate information in satisfaction of these requests.”
Notable Outstanding Info Requests:
- September 20, 2012: Request for info on VA conference spending practices
- February 19, 2013: Request for a list of performance standards VA providers are required to meet when providing mental health care
- June 13, 2013: Request for clarification regarding the breach of VA’s computer network
Quick Facts (As of March 7, 2014):
Number of Outstanding Requests: 123
Three Oldest Outstanding Requests: June 5, 2012; September 20, 2012; December 4, 2012
Requests Pending since 2012: 4
Requests Pending Longer than 60 days: 75