The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General recently issued a report, following a complaint that the VA Palo Alto Health Care System put veterans’ health information at risk when it allowed personnel of a vendor to have access to VA patient information without appropriate background investigations or appropriate privacy and security awareness training. According to the report, “the Chief of Informatics…failed to ensure [vendor’s] personnel met the appropriate background investigation requirements before granting access to VA patient information. The Chief of Informatics also failed to ensure [vendor] personnel completed VA’s security and privacy awareness training.” Finally, the report found that the ISOs failed to develop system security documentation and perform a system risk analysis prior to allowing the vendor to place its software on the VA servers.

Therefore, the OIG concluded that these actions “potentially jeopardized the confidentiality of veterans’ PII, PHI, and other sensitive information