August 8, 2006

With more missing data, Reid seeks VA chief’s ouster

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate's top Democrat on
Tuesday called on Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson to
resign after the department disclosed that another batch of
personal information on veterans was missing.

"Enough is enough," Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada said. "Less
than a month after promising to make the VA the 'gold standard'
in data security, Secretary Nicholson has again presided over
loss of personal information of thousands of veterans."

The VA on Monday announced that a subcontractor reported
personal information on up to 38,000 veterans was missing from
the company's offices.

That comes on top of the theft in May of a VA laptop
containing sensitive information on more than 26 million
veterans and service members. That laptop was recovered in June
and officials said they did not believe information was taken.

Nicholson said Monday the department's inspector general,
the FBI and local law enforcement "are conducting a thorough
investigation" of the latest incident.

The subcontractor, the Unisys Corp., said a desktop
computer was missing from its offices in Reston, Virginia
outside Washington. Unisys was hired to assist in insurance
collections for VA medical centers in Pittsburgh and

The VA said it believes the computer records were limited
to people who were treated at the two Pennsylvania centers in
the last four years. It said the computer may have contained
patients' names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of
birth and other information that could be used in identity
theft and other crimes.