Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) yesterday issued a subpoena to former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, a top Assistant to President Obama during the launch of Healthcare.gov last November. The subpoena compels Mr. Park's appearance before the Subcommittee on Oversight to answer questions regarding his role in developing and evaluating the operations and security of Healthcare.gov.
After refusing to testify on five different occasions, Mr. Park scheduled a briefing for members of the Oversight Subcommittee on Wednesday September 10, 2014, regarding his management and oversight of the HealthCare.gov website, including security protocols. However, less than 24 hours in advance, the White House cancelled the briefing because it did not want any official transcript of the discussion.
Chairman Smith: "The Obama administration has failed to provide this Committee with information about the security of the Obamacare website. What is the White House trying to hide? News reports in July revealed that a hacker successfully breached the Obamacare website. And we don't know how many other security breaches have gone unreported. The American people deserve to know their personal information on HealthCare.gov is absolutely secure. That is why I issued a subpoena to compel Mr. Park to testify under oath about his role in the website's development."
Emails obtained by the Committee show that Mr. Park may have misled Congress and had more knowledge of the website's development than he represented in testimony last November before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR). Mr. Park testified that he didn't have "detailed knowledge" of the website before it was launched, and said that he was "not even familiar with the development and testing regimen that happened prior to October 1."
Released today, the interim Majority Staff Report includes a timeline of events and emails obtained by the Committee that raise further questions about Mr. Park's role and knowledge of security issues prior to October 1, 2013. Mr. Park, who recently stepped down as Chief Technology Officer, was the co-chair of the White House's Affordable Care Act Information Technology Exchanges Steering Committee, a body responsible for overseeing security protocols during development of the Healthcare.gov website.
Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Paul Broun (R-Ga.): "Despite the Obama Administration's attempts to stonewall this Committee from obtaining information on the security failures of healthcare.gov - we will not stop working until we get answers that the American people deserve. Reports of a recent successful hack of the website provide us with further reason of the need to obtain this important information so that we can protect the American people from future cyber security attacks. It is my hope that with this subpoena - we can get to the bottom of the abject failures of HealthCare.gov and ensure these security breaches do not occur again."
The subpoena requires Mr. Park to appear before the Oversight Subcommittee to provide testimony under oath on Wednesday, November 19. A previous subpoena for documents was issued that required the White House to provide documents and emails pertaining to Mr. Park's role in development of the website.
The Science Committee held two hearings since the website's botched launch and heard from leading security experts, including David Kennedy, a "white hat hacker," who warned that Americans' personal and financial information remains vulnerable to hackers and cyber criminals.