House Committee Subpoenas Todd Park Over HealthCare.Gov Issues

October 29, 2014 in News

On Monday, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee issued a subpoena compelling former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park to testify about HealthCare.gov’s cybersecurity protocols and standards, The Hill reports (Hattem, The Hill, 10/28).

Background on Park, HealthCare.gov Security

Earlier this year, Park stepped down from his position as CTO to begin a new role recruiting top IT talent from Silicon Valley to work for the federal government.

Park assumed the role of federal CTO in 2012, becoming the second person to ever hold the position. During his tenure, Park spearheaded several health IT projects, including:

  • Helping efforts to fix the federal health insurance exchange after its problem-plagued launch; and
  • Overseeing the launch of openFDA, a new platform designed to ease the process for researchers, health IT developers and consumers to access the agency’s trove of public health data (iHealthBeat, 8/25).

Details of Subpoena

The subpoena, issued by Committee Chair Lamar Smith (R-Texas), comes a few weeks after HHS officials announced that a hacker in July breached part of HealthCare.gov and uploaded malicious software (The Hill, 10/28).

Investigators found no evidence that enrollees’ personal data were taken in the attack. Rather, the hacker accessed a server used to test code for the website (iHealthBeat, 9/5).

The subpoena compels Park to testify before an oversight subcommittee on Nov. 19, according to The Hill.

Committee members said that Park had declined previous invitations to testify voluntarily and recently cancelled a planned briefing with House lawmakers after learning that the meeting would be public (The Hill, 10/28).

Report Details Park’s Involvement With HealthCare.gov

In addition, the committee on Tuesday released a report accusing Park of misleading lawmakers when he said he did not have detailed information about the site’s development prior to its launch (Carroll, NextGov, 10/28).

The report claimed that Park “communicated regularly” about the site’s development and was co-chair of a working committee that focused on the site’s pre-launch IT issues (The Hill, 10/28).

The report also includes text of an email exchange in which Park asks for a memo detailing the cybersecurity plan for HealthCare.gov, including the assessment of cyber threats and plans for responding to such threats (NextGov, 10/28).

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