Document Production Status Update

Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Hearing Date: January 7, 2016 10:00 am 2154 Rayburn House Office Building

PURPOSE:

• To examine how and why certain agencies withhold, or otherwise fail to produce, documents and information that will assist the Committee’s oversight and investigative initiatives.

BACKGROUND:

• Congress’ right of access to executive branch information is constitutionally based and is critical to the concept of co-equal branches of government.
• Since the first congressional request for information from the executive branch in 1792, House committees have used documents requests to gather information about how statutes are applied and funds are spent, among other things.
• Consistent with the constitutional and statutory obligations of the executive branch, the agencies are expected to cooperate and work in good faith to identify and produce the records that are responsive to the Committee’s requests

TAKEAWAYS:

  • OPM either refuses to turn over 11,000 files and directories from the CyFir appliance or has destroyed the information. A portion of those documents were received by the Committee from private sector firm CyTech.
  • The truthfulness of OPM’s CIO’s testimony before Congress, which stated that the exfiltrated files were all “commercially available, outdated information,” was called into question. Of the statement, Chairman Chaffetz said, “It was a lie. She misled Congress.”
  • DOJ refuses to provide case files related to their Lois Lerner investigation to Congress. Instead of providing documents, a DOJ official responded “we are actively preparing for the briefing (to Congress) next week.”
  • OMB refuses to commit to a certain date on when it will provide the Committee with all documents pertaining to the WOTUS rulemaking process.
  • DOJ will not trust Congress with documents known as the Jones memos. Yet, this memo was disseminated far and wide to federal prosecutors and others across the country.
  • Agencies wrongly focus on number of pages provided to Congress instead of the percentage toward 100 percent fulfillment of requested materials.

 

Committee Document Requests
(*Note – this is not a complete list of all documents requested by the Committee in 2015. These requests are related to today’s hearing.)
State
Document Requests:
July 21, 2015 – Jakarta New Embassy Compound (NEC)
August 6, 2015 – NEC in Maputo, Harare, and Riyadh; new consulate in Jeddah and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
Oct. 7, 2015 – Art in Embassies program
October 16, 2015 – Danger pay
November 9, 2015 – State’s use of cell-site simulation technology
November 20, 2015 – Embassy costs reported to Congress

 DHS
Document Requests:
February 18, 2015 – Various issues related to United States Secret Service
July 9, 2015 – Subpoena for outstanding document requests
March 16, 2015 – Airport credentialing
May 27, 2015 – Follow-up letter, TSA failing to respond to Committee’s request
June 4, 2015 – Airport vulnerabilities, OIG report on TSA screening failures
July 2, 2015 – Sole-source contracts and all internal covert test reports
August 14, 2015 – Follow-up to July 2 letter
November 23, 2015 – Airport access control vulnerabilities

 OPM
Document Requests:
July 21, 2015 – Identity theft services
July 24, 2015 – HSPD12, CyTech, IG audits on IT infrastructure contract
Aug. 18, 2015 – Lost operating manuals
August 21, 2015 – Preservation order
Sept. 9, 2015 – CyTech deleted drive

 DOJ
Document Requests:
July 29, 2015 – Requested Jones memos
October 26, 2015 – Bipartisan, bicameral letter asking again for the Jones memos

 OMB
Document Requests:
March 3, 2015 – Members requested documents relating to OIRA review of WOTUS
May 12, 2015 – Letter reiterating March 3rd request
July 14, 2015 – Subpoena issued
Oct. 28, 2015 – Asked OMB for compliance with subpoena and requesting transcribed interviews

 

Witnesses and testimonies

Name Title Organization Panel Document
The Honorable Julia Frifield Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Legislative Affairs U.S. Department of State Document
Mr. Jason Levine Director, Office of Congressional, Legislative, and Intergovernmental Affairs U.S. Office of Personnel Management Document
The Honorable Peter J. Kadzik Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs U.S. Department of Justice Document
Ms. Tamara Fucile Associate Director for Legislative Affairs Office of Management and Budget Document
The Honorable Tia Johnson Assistant Secretary, Office of Legislative Affairs U.S. Department of Homeland Security