Missing IT Data and Computer story of the week belongs to the VA...where's HIPAA when you need them....BD

WASHINGTON -- An audit of three medical centers operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and of the VA's headquarters found that a total of $6.4 million worth of IT equipment went missing from those facilities or was misplaced during the federal government's past two fiscal years.

About 2,400 IT devices couldn't be accounted for during inventory counts done by officials at the four facilities in fiscal 2005 and 2006, according to a report released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office. Among the missing items were dozens of computers that could have stored personal data about VA clients, the GAO said in its report.

The GAO also found that computer hard drives scheduled for disposal at some of the facilities contained unsanitized data, including the names, Social Security numbers or medical histories of hundreds of U.S. military veterans. In some cases, the drives had sat around for several years without being wiped clean, "creating an unnecessary risk that sensitive personal and medical information could be compromised," Williams said.

The four-site audit was a follow-up to an earlier one at five other VA facilities. Based on updated information obtained from those facilities earlier this year, they couldn't account for more than 8,600 pieces of IT equipment with a combined original cost of $13.2 million, the GAO said. Across the nine audited facilities, the total value of the missing equipment was $19.6 million

Government audit slaps VA over missing IT equipment


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