FEDweek

Committee Irked at Agency Non-Responses to Queries

The head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has expressed dissatisfaction with the responses of several agencies to the panel’s queries about several management practices, threatening to issue subpoenas to get further information if it is not readily forthcoming.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., sent follow-up letters regarding queries initiated on a bipartisan basis by his predecessor, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, and the ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. Those separate sets of letters asked agencies to detail their policies regarding employee use of personal email and other accounts for official business and use of non-commercial airlines for official travel.

Regarding the first topic, Gowdy deemed Energy, Interior, VA and NASA to be non-compliant, offered to hold staff-level meetings, and said that if they don’t make a “good faith commitment” to producing the documents, they will be subpoenaed.

He and Cummings sent similar letters to Justice and Agriculture regarding the official travel request. In both cases, about a dozen agencies were deemed to be only partially compliant; the letters to them were not as threatening but reminded them that the committee is still seeking further information.