August 14, 2015
Ms. Linda A. Halliday
Deputy Inspector General
Department of Veterans Affairs
Office of the Inspector General (50C)
801 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
Dear Ms. Halliday:
We are writing in response to your letter received by the Project On Government Oversight (“POGO”) on August 11, 2015. We appreciate the fact that you have decided not to enforce the subpoena issued by your predecessor to POGO on May 30, 2014.
We accept your offer to work with OIG staff to exchange information we have received from VA employees and veterans, but due to continuing incidents of whistleblower retaliation by the VA and the VA OIG, POGO is erring on the side of caution to ensure that the identities of our sources are in no way disclosed, in order to prevent putting them at risk to personal attacks, professional retribution, or reduced medical care.
We are reaching out to all of our sources to reassure them that POGO will only be providing information generalized to Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) and that their identities will remain confidential. POGO is currently in the laborious process of compiling and organizing the information that we received by each VISN and categorizing them by complaint topic.
Although your letter states that you are only interested in learning about inappropriate patient medical scheduling practices or data manipulation schemes, we intend to inform your staff about other systemic breakdowns in VA operations and patient care that we have learned of.
I will contact you as soon as we complete these procedures, and please be assured we are moving apace to be able to help address these matters.