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Department of Veterans? Affairs audit reports lost IT equipment

by on30 July 2007


A lot of IT goods went missing 

In yet another
embarrassing news report about the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, an audit by the U.S. Government Accountability Office of 3 VA medical centers has found that $6.4 million of IT equipment was listed as “missing” or “misplaced” during fiscal years 2005 and 2006.  Also, nearly 2,400 IT devices could not be accounted for during inventory audits of the same period of time. 

This audit was in addition to an earlier GAO audit of 5 other VA facilities where more than 8,600 pieces of IT equipment worth $13.2 million were also unaccounted for.

GAO officials indicated that the VA has very incomplete inventory records, and much of the missing equipment wasn’t reported as missing for months or years after it could not be found. Thus, it will likely be impossible to determine where the missing equipment is, whether it has been stolen or if it is just “lost” somewhere in the VA medical facility network. 

Needless to say, the personal data that was contained on the missing equipment could pose a significant security risk to military veterans if improperly accessed.  And this reported equipment loss covers only statistics on the VA facilities that have been audited so far by the GAO.

Can somebody please step up and help the Department of Veterans’ Affairs find a reliable and secure inventory and data control system?

Last modified on 31 July 2007
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