Dear Mr. Chairman:
According to reports, the Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General has uncovered enormous amounts of waste on a $100 million computer security contract awarded in 2002. The contract, awarded to a joint venture, VAST, was apparently mismanaged so badly that $35 million is reportedly unaccounted for. Additionally, the contract exploded from $100 million to $250 million with virtually no oversight or procedures in place to ensure effective implementation.
I am outraged by these revelations. As you know, I was concerned about the massive data breach that occurred last year involving the records of thousands of veterans. I offered legislation to provide financial assistance to any veteran harmed by identity theft. Now, I am stunned to learn that all of this probably could have been avoided had the VA properly managed this data security contract in 2002.
Mr. Chairman, I am angered by the gross waste and mismanagement of taxpayers' funds by the agency that is charged with caring for our nation's veterans. We must demand accountability and provide the necessary oversight that has been lacking by this Administration and previous Congresses. I strongly urge you to take action and begin an investigation of this apparent carelessness.
Thank you for your hard work and guidance as Chairman.
John T. Salazar
Member of Congress