VA’s inspector general’s office, which is supposed to serve as an independent oversight body within the VA, admitted in a contentious conversation with The Daily Caller that its internal report on the notorious “Candy Land” facility was not published. The office also admitted that it routinely produces reports that it does not publish or send to Congress.
House Committee on Veterans Affairs chairman Rep. Jeff Miller never got a copy of the internal report and did not even know that it existed until the Center for Investigative Reporting article.
“At this time, the Committee is provided electronic copies of all published reports at the time of publication,” Acting VA Inspector General Richard J. Griffin told the committee in a December 30 letter. “These reports can also be found on the Office of Inspector General [OIG] public website. If a report contains information that is protected from disclosure, we provide an unredacted copy for Committee oversight purposes upon the written request of the Chairman.”
But as a VA spokeswoman explained to The Daily Caller, there is a difference between “published reports” and un-published reports.
“We did not hide any reports from Congress,” Catherine Gromek, a congressional relations officer at the inspector general’s office, told TheDC over the phone.
“The [Office of the Inspector General] does many types of reports. Some are administrative,” while “some are published reports.”
“We had some conversations up on the Hill with congressmen about why we did what we did.”
“It’s too long,” Gromek said, explaining that her answer to my question was complicated and that she expected TheDC was “just going to take the blurb” that “we did not hide any reports from Congress.” Gromek said she could type out a statement that would “make it seem like I went to college.”
That collegiate statement eventually came in.
“We have 10 public reports on the underlying issue of the use of opioid including a national report that the House Committee on Veterans Affairs received copies of and in some cases briefings on,” Gromek wrote to TheDC.
But Gromek did not answer our question: why did the House committee not receive a copy of the non-public March 2014 report?