House Subpoenas Top WH Tech Official Over Security

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A House committee voted Wednesday evening to subpoena the Obama administration’s top tech official Todd Park over security and privacy, after documents revealed Park knew more about the website than previously believed.

The House Science, Space and and Technology Committee, which oversees the security of the federal Obamacare exchange, voted to issue a two-part subpoena against Park, who served as the country’s Chief Technology Officer until August. Park led the so-called “tech surge” after’s launch to belatedly repair the website.

Park has refused to testify to Congress about the security of five times, according to committee leaders. The former tech official said that his White House agency, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, wasn’t involved in ensuring the security or privacy of the website.

“I don’t actually have a really detailed knowledge base of what actually happened pre-October 1,” Park told the House Oversight Committee last fall. “I am not even familiar with the development and teseting regimen that happened prior to October 1.”

But the science committee obtained e-mails between Park and Obamacare administrator Marilyn Tavenner that reference meetings between Park, CMS official Henry Chao and others regarding the IT security testing of the website after all.

OSTP had failed to make the e-mails available to the science committee, although House Republicans requested all records on’s security last December.

“The Committee has invited Mr. Park to testify before us on five difference occasions on his knowledge of privacy and security matters relating to the Affordable Care Act website,,” subcommittee chairman Rep. Paul Broun said in a statement. “It is inexcusable for an agency, of which this Committee has complete jurisdiction, to not provide records from a request made nine months ago.

“The other reason for today’s meeting is that it would certainly appear, upon reading the contents of some of the e-mails, that Mr. Park has more knowledge about the website than either he or OSTP has represented to Congress.”

The subpoena will require Park to testify before the science subcommittee on oversight and to provide all documents and e-mails from his time as CTO that relate to

Congress has been increasingly concerned with the Obamacare exchange’s cybersecurity since the administration admitted in late August that’s servers were successfully hacked over the summer. Federal officials didn’t discover the security breach, which used to target other websites, until weeks later. (RELATED: Hacker Hits 

The nonpartisan General Accountability Office reported this week that the Obama administration knew was vulnerable to security attacks and went forward with its launch anyway. Personal consumer information in the website continues to be at risk from cyberattacks. (RELATED: Federal Report: Is Still Not Secure)

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Sarah Hurtubise