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tv   Hearing on Document Production and Congressional Oversight  CSPAN  January 11, 2016 2:52am-5:58am EST

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our expectations when we talk about cooperation. we are different in the united states of america. we are open and transparent and self-critical. that is why the congress formed this committee under a different name. it has grown, expanded, contracted, and gone through a variety of different names along the way. the function of oversight has been here since the foundation of our nation. a long, long time ago, people felt it wise to look at every expenditure made by the federal government. when the committee sends a request, we expect an honest effort to identify and collect the response. we expect communication. we expect to be informed. we expect that you will work with us in good faith, which means that when you make a commitment, do what you say you will do. republicans and democrats share the goal of a more efficient
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and effective government that serves the people. we have to ensure that every taxpayer dollar is spent responsibly. we do that by conducting oversight of the executive branch and examine government programs and policies that affect every american. mr. cummings and i, and our predecessors here at the committee, didn't invent the concept of this oversight of the executive branch. it comes from the constitution, and comes from the need to be responsive as we represent the people of the united states of america. today, we will hear from a group of senior legislative liasons from five different agencies, all with the troublesome track records when cooperating with request for information. i and sympathetic to the idea that they get bombarded from so many different committees. not only in the house, but in the senate as well.
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it is a large task, agencies so massive and so big, spending billions upon billions of dollars. department of homeland security has been invited to discuss a request related to the secret service and tsa. tsa has ignored basic fundamental requests such as appearing at hearings. we invited the administrator to testify at a hearing scheduled a month later. be did before the hearing -- the day before the hearing the administrator backed out and cited a scheduling problem. we invited the justice department to address a position on withholding the memos that guided investigative personnel when dealing with gps tracking devices. we also hope to get an update on our request for the complete lois lerner files. an official with the state department is here to address specifically the difficulty of obtaining documents in our investigation entering its third year.
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the staff always approaches the production of documents and a halfhearted manner. that is very problematic. today, there is a story about providing inaccurate information as it relates to hillary clinton and her e-mails. we will ask you some questions about that. the office of management and budget is here to address a response to a subpoena i sent to the office of information and regulatory affairs. this is an office created by congress. it's job is to review proposed regulation. to create the impairments that it is cooperating, omb offered a number of pages of documents it has produced. to my fellow members, here is a flashing signal that maybe there is a problem. when they want to talk about the number of documents they have produced, i'm not interested in that. i'm interested in the percentage of documents you have produced.
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it is a little trick to say, we have provided 100,000 of this or 50,000 of that. tell me what percentage of the documents we get. if we want 100% of the truth, we need 100% of the documents. until we get them, it makes us think that you are hiding something. the office of personnel management has been invited to discuss the effort to produce materials with response to the data breached investigation. by theburdened investigators by applying inexplicable reductions. publicly available information has been repeatedly redacted by opm. in some cases, our investigators have found answers more readily by visiting the website. it leaves us with the conclusion that perhaps they have a lot to hide. if something is embarrassing,
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that is not a reason to keep it from the congress. a successful working relationship between the congressional committee and the executive branch agencies require effort, communication, and good faith on both sides. we need transparency and need to work together. we have a lot of good staff, a lot of good people. we are not here to disparage any one person's reputation, but we are here to get answers, and we need to make sure we get those documents. we need your help in doing so. with that, i recognize the ranking member, mr. cummings. rep. cummings: i strongly support the authority of this committee to obtain the necessary documents as part of our investigation. these documents are a critical tool to investigate waste, fraud, or abuse, eliminate duplication.
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and prove the effectiveness and efficiency of government and determine if congress needs to change our laws to improve the lives of the american people. of course, we rely on other sources of information, witness testimony, interviews, briefings, and meetings. documents are unique. they give us the ability to understand what happens over time without having to rely on uneasy memories or the self-serving recollection of those being investigated. committee'se authority because i have been in the chairman's seat. i know firsthand how oversight can be spiteful by slowing documents or withholding information to which congress is entitled. i remember very well the fights we had with the bush
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administration over their refusal to provide documents we needed. i remember how those actions impaired our ability to do our work. i support this chairman in his efforts. unfortunately, i have also seen how investigations can be used as a form of political attack, rather than a search for the facts and a search for the truth. i have seen how massive, repeated, and over wrought document requests have been used as a partisan weapon. i have seen how they can grind down agencies to force them to diverge personnel and waste millions of taxpayer dollars in the process. the hearing today is important to recognize the difference between these two we need to recognize not only
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the significant demands that have been placed on the agencies, but what they have provided to date. for example, the state department has just experienced one of, if not the most, most amending years in terms of congressional inquiries. the state department is currently reporting to nine different committees, including the benghazi select committee. it has been inundated with requests unlike any previous year on record. in 2015, the oversight committee a loan launched nine investigations relating to the state department. in response, the department provided more than 21 gigabytes of information. that as part of our investigation of embassy construction, more than 160,000 pages of documents were produced.
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the committee wants additional documents. i have signed on to some of those document requests myself. it is inaccurate to suggest that the state department has intentionally withheld the document's we need. with that said, the state department is notorious for an extreme report record management system. this problem dates back several administrations. i've been incredibly frustrated in the past with the state department's inability to run the most basic document searches and produce documents in a timely manner. in my opinion, the solution to this problem is not to shame the heads of the legislative affairs offices. many officials worked in congress previously. they fully understand our needs and our rights to the information. they are among some of our most effective advocates within the
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agency. instead, if we really want to address this problem, we can take to key steps. first, congress can conduct a detailed review of agency information management practices, including document preservation, collection, and redaction. we can support long-term efforts to upgrade and improve their systems so they take less agency time to implement and provide congress what it needs more quickly. i'm talking about efficiency and effectiveness. this work will pay dividends to congress, the press, and the american public. the second thing congress can do is to take a closer look at itself. put a mirror up to our faces. we can in end the politically-motivated headlines. we can end duplicate requests. we can ask for only what we really need, rather than everything under the sun.
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we can work with agencies to understand the legitimate interests in protecting certain classes of information, well giving accommodations for what we need to do our job. that is the balance that we should seek. that is the balance we should work towards. so, in closing, mr. chairman, i hope we can explore some of these issues here today, and i look forward to the testimony of our witnesses. i yield back. rep. chaffetz: i hold the record open for five legislative days for any written statements. i recognize our panel of witnesses. assistant secretary of the bureau of legislative affairs at the united states department of state.
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assistant attorney general for legislative affairs at the department of justice. the honorable assistant secretary of the office of legislative affairs of homeland security. associate director for legislative affairs at the office of management and budget. director of office of the congressional affairs for the office of personnel management. thank you for being here. all witnesses are sworn before they testify. if you will please stand and raise your right hand. thank you. do you solemnly swear or affirm the testimony you are about to give will be the whole truth, nothing but the truth? thank you. let the record reflect that all witnesses answered in the affirmative. you know the drill here.
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we are trying to keep it to five minutes. we will give you a little latitude. we will obviously insert your entire written statement into the record. >> mr. chairman, ranking member cummings, and members of the committee, i appreciate this opportunity to testify. the state department is committed to working with congress. secretary kerry spent 30 years and congress and believes strongly in the importance of congressional oversight. since he arrived at the state department, his instructions to the department have been to be responsive. i share his commitment. i spent my entire career as a capitol hill staffer. i have great respect for the
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role in oversight. i will address the request for documents at length. it is important to underscore that our willingness to work with congress is not limited to documents. the state department legislative affairs office provided 2500 briefings to the hill on foreign-policy issues. we worked with consular affairs. everything from loss reports to missing constituents overseas. we arranged over 500 congressional member and staff delegation trips abroad and have appeared at 168 congressional hearings and responded to 1700 congressional letters. with crises around the world and congress focused on foreign-policy, we are working hard to meet all responsibilities and recognize that cooperating with investigations is one of them. we at the state department have struggled to keep pace with the increasing demands of requests, which have expanded the number and complexity.
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we are responding to dozens of investigations by nine different committees, involving hundreds of requests for hundreds of thousands of pages of documents. this is twice as many as last year. while some of the investigations are our focus, others are broad and complex. let me be clear, we know it is our responsibility to answer these questions, and we are working to improve the way respond, making it more useful for congress and the pace of our response. historically in responding to congressional requests, we follow a process similar to other requests, relying on the same infrastructure and technology. as requests increase him a we found both were competing for the same resources. to compensate, we pulled together ad hoc teams from functional and regional bureaus
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to respond. we pulled people from the work of diplomacy to respond to congress. this system is not sustainable. we needed to institutionalize the way we process documents to speed up the pace of delivery. we knew we had upgrade our technology. this year we have been transforming the way we respond. i worked with my colleagues at state to create a congressional document production branch in which involves personnel and new software to facilitate reviews and production. we are grateful that congress enabled us to establish this new entity to provide additional personnel and technology. we've been able to process more quickly requests from this committee, select committee on benghazi, and other committees. our new unit is enabling us to respond to more committees simultaneously than ever before. because the production branch is only a few months old, its impact is not apparent yet. this committee should see the results as we work on your
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request. additionally, we have made tangible improvements to the way we produce documents to congress. we heard from staff, including yours, who had concerns that we were providing documents in a way that was not user-friendly. we used to provide documents on paper, without coding, that enabled you to find and organize them. we would hand of her boxes of documents. after meeting with staff, who told us how hard it was to use documents in this format, we change the way we give you documents and now provide them electronically with easily searchable base numbers. we can now provide documents organized by date or custodian. the ability to review is vastly expanded. the move towards electronic document processing has improved our ability to provide documents quickly and enjoy them and
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easier to review. i would like to summarize where we are and where we hope to go. we are working on nine investigations for your committee. we have provided over 160,000 pages to the committee for embassy construction and have participated in for hearings and many meetings and briefings. i do note that i did here with the chairman said, and i understand. we have been collecting documents for the five requests outlined in your december 18 letter, and are committed to producing thousands of pages, along with providing briefings on the matters described in the letter. in closing, while we have implemented significant improvements, we are striving to do better. the obstacles to responding is not one. it is a question of balancing resources in response to multiple, large-scale request from a number of different committees. we are trying to find innovative ways to respond better and faster. i look for to working with you and your staff to ensure the state department and congress
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work together to provide transparency that should be the hallmark of our government. rep. chaffetz: thank you. you are now recognized for five minutes. >> good morning. rep. chaffetz: if you could -- >> is that better? rep. chaffetz: thank you. >> i appreciate the opportunity to respond to the committee's information requests, including those related to policy and geolocation and other surveillance technology in the wake of the supreme court 2012 decision. i assure the committee that we value the important role of congressional oversight, and as the attorney general has stated repeatedly, the department is committed to accommodating information needs consistent with law enforcement come national security, and prosecutorial responsibilities. the department appreciates oversight is a critical underpinning of the legislative process. consistent with the bite we play some congressional oversight,
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since the beginning of the 114 congress, the department has testified and 60 congressional hearings and provided extensive information and more than 1800 letters responding to increase from committees and members. in every instance, we strive to provide as much information as possible without compromising our law enforcement and national security efforts, or our prosecutorial responsibilities. in addition to these sensitivities, the department also has an obligation to protect certain executive branch institutional interests, including confidentiality of client communication, attorney work product, and internal deliberation. we are committed to working in good faith to accommodate the committee's legitimate oversight interest and hope the committee
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will likewise continue to engage in good faith with the department in a manner that recognizes the important law enforcement and confidentiality interests presented in some cases. in particular, we trust the committee recognizes the importance of ensuring the department's investigative and prosecutorial decisions are made without regard to political considerations or a perception of political influence or pressure. such political influence and the mere public perception of such influence can undermine significantly our law enforcement efforts and in criminal matters shake public confidence in the justice process. we recognize it is difficult when interest come into potential conflict. that is why the constitution envisioned that the branches would engage in a process of accommodation. this long-standing and well-accepted approach has been up lloyd by administrations for decades and supported by top department officials, democrats and republicans alike. consistent with this approach,
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the department has made efforts to respond to the committee's information requests regarding policies on geolocation and other surveillance technology. as the committee is aware, these requests represent significant confidentiality interests. they include sensitive law enforcement-related confidential work product prepared in anticipation of litigation, specifically internal deliberations of department prosecutors about the legal come investigative, and strategic issues we face in our law enforcement efforts in light of the jones decision. our disclosure of this product would show analyses that are essential to law enforcement matters and prosecution. in addition, exposure could jeopardize ongoing and future investigations of prosecutions by prematurely revealing the rnmegoves strategy. such disclosure would afford criminal targets an opportunity to preempt those tools, evade
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law enforcement detection, and attain knowledge of how our agents operate. the department has undertaken efforts to working good faith to accommodate the committee's interests. we were pleased to brief committee staff less september on the processes we use for obtaining geolocation information. we hope our breathing was helpful to the committee, and as we have offered previously, we would be happy to offer additional briefings and answer any remaining questions to accommodate request. in conclusion, i emphasized that the department recognizes the importance of congressional oversight. at the same time, as it
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implicates law-enforcement efforts and investigative techniques, sensitive attorney work product, internal decorations, presenting unique confidentiality concerns. despite these concerns, we remain optimistic, and by working to gather cooperatively, we will satisfy interests and safeguard the independence, integrity, and effectiveness of the departments of the department's vital law enforcement efforts and prosecutorial responsibility. the department stands ready to continue this effort and accommodate information needs and hope you will work with us towards that goal. thank you again for the opportunity to testify. i will be happy to answer any questions. rep. chaffetz: thank you. mr. johnson, we look forward to hearing your testimony. committee roles require that you submit testimony 24 hours prior. perhaps as you give your opening statement, you can explain why you failed to provide this committee with your testimony. you are now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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ranking member cummings and distinguished members of the committee, i appreciate the opportunity to discuss efforts, time, resources, and money that dhs dedicates to providing information. secretary johnson pledged transparency and candor and is committed to respond to congressional inquiries in a timely fashion. since his arrival, the department's responsiveness to oversight requests has greatly improved. indeed, last year, the department examined its responses to congressional inquiries and found that it cut its response time in half. we therefore appreciate chairman chaffetz, and we are determined to continue to improve on our record. prior to coming to dhs, i served as an officer in the u.s.
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officer for almost 30 years. as a senior colonel, i was assigned to the office of the assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs. we were still involved in combat operations in iraq and afghanistan. these two operations, as well as the detainee mission, generated a significant amount of congressional oversight. i was involved in that oversight process, which i thought was considerable at the time. however, upon my arrival at dhs, i was surprised to learn of the depth, breadth, and quantity of congressional oversight this department faces. in 2004, the 9/11 commission strongly recommended that congress form a congressional oversight structure of dhs. as one expert witness told the commission, the number of congressional bodies that exercise oversight over dhs is
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perhaps the single largest obstacle impeding the department's successful development. with jurisdiction over both oversight and government reform, your committee is uniquely positioned to help foster efforts to implement this crucial 9/11 commission recommendation. in the 12 years since the commission issue that recommendation, the oversight structure of the department has grown only more complex and extensive. the department answers to 92 congressional committees and subcommittees, 27 caucuses, commissions, and groups. as the 9/11 commission chairman said, think of having 100 people you're reporting to. it makes no sense. you cannot do your job under
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those circumstances. despite these challenges, we are doing our job. during calendar year 2015, dhs responded to 700 oversight letters and more requests. of those, 70 letters came from members of this committee. we have responded to oversight inquiries on a broad array of topics ranging from secret service protective mission to dhs assistance of victims of cyber breaches. in 2015, dhs devoted more than 100,000 hours to responding to congressional oversight. today's hearing is to address the department's response to oversight requests and demands regarding the united states secret service. during calendar year 2015, dhs and the secret service received 12 letters, over 100 requests for information, testimony, or documents in one subpoena from this committee. by our count, we have completed addressing over 90 of those requests. secret service has provided 13 briefings to committee staff, eight employees of the secret service participated in day-long transcribed interviews conducted by the committee staff. as secret service leadership has specified a to committee hearings, and at the chairman's request, we facilitated a visit
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to secret service headquarters from embers of the committee. in total, the department has produced over 10,000 pages of documents in response to the committee's request in addition to thousands of pages of classified documents. these efforts have submitted hard work to respond to the inquiries of the secret service from the independent panel, various investigations by the inspector general, and the oversight requirements of 10 other congressional committees. secretary johnson has made responsiveness a priority.
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as his assistant secretary of legislative affairs, i am determined to continue to improve on our past record. mr. chairman and ranking members, i apologize the statement was not forwarded. i will be pleased to answer any questions. thank you. >> thank you, you are now recognized for comment. >> thank you. chairman jason chaffetz, ranking members, the office of management and budget is committed to working with congress and with this committee. we believe strongly in the value that congress provides and ensuring that omb is working in the most effective way possible on behalf of the american people. we regulate receive request for documents, information, and we strive to provide responses in a timely manner. in addition to producing documents, omb works everyday to provide information and analysis and unforeseen circumstances. given our broad jurisdiction, we
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coordinate and respond to requests from over a dozen committees, despite being a small agency of only approximately 550 employees. in addition, given our extensive role in the bipartisan budget act of 2015, enacted in november, and our consolidated appropriations act, enacted does a few weeks ago, we received and responded to nearly 1600 budget requests over the last year. with more than 600 coming in the last six months. our mission is to execute the budget, management, and legislative agenda -- to ensure the federal government works best. we work with and across federal agencies to improve management, and create a government that is more effective, efficient, and supports continued economic growth. the office is responsible for
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coordination and review of all significant regulations by executive agencies. they ensure that regulations are based on sound analysis and serve the statutes that offer them. they also seek to ensure that the benefits of the rule justify the cost. we work under long-established principles enacted over several and ministrations in both parties. the committee asked me to testify today on the clean water role, conducted in 2013 and 2014. the initial request is in good faith to address the role and to accommodate the request, and response, we have provided five sets of documents during the period it was under review.
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we submit no reactions, with exceptions of e-mail addresses and phone numbers. omb continues to review records, and we remain committed to working with your staff to discuss how we can best produce materials to the best interests of the committee. thank you again for the opportunity to testify. i look forward to answering any questions you might have. >> thank you. you are now recognized, mr. levine. mr. levine: i am pleased to be here this morning to testify on the half of the office of personnel management and the acting director, regarding the request for documents related to the cyber security incident. under extraordinary circumstances, we have worked to provide information and services
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to those impacted and to respond to numerous congressional inquiries regarding the incidents, classified and unclassified briefings, and town halls. during this time, employees have worked hard to improve on the services we provide everyday to the entire federal workforce, from resume to retirement. since i arrived in august, it has been my distinct privilege every day to serve with these individuals. opm is a small agency to serve the american people. to preserve that mission, we have made the highest priority to respond to the cyber security incident and bolstering the i.t. infrastructure and security capabilities. we are committed to working with congress, as well as partners, including dhs, dod, fbi, among others, to protect the federal government and the people we serve.
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it is critical to opm that all of our stakeholders, particularly those directly impacted, received information in a timely, transparent, and accurate manner. we undertook two separate processes regarding identity theft protection and monitoring services that are being provided. we are conducting outreach on our website and by communicating directly with stakeholders. further, to provide congress with necessary information, my office has provided multiple sets of faqs regarding related services. we established a phone hotline exclusively for congressional offices to contact us with questions on behalf of your constituents. opm has also attended town halls and conducted meetings with staffers on the issue. simultaneously, we have made every effort to work in good faith to respond to oversight requests, including document production. since june 2015, opm has
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received six separate document production request, resulting in 19 productions -- including tens of thousands of reports. we have testified before congressional hearings, made hundreds of calls to staffers relating to the cyber security incident. we have received over 170 letters from members of congress. we have made officials available for interviews, conducted 13 classified and unclassified briefings, and extended thousands of staff hours to be responsive. we have worked as quickly as if the structure and resources allow, to be responsive to congressional requests. we have taken numerous steps to increase previously limited capacities to respond to the large volume and since debate. this includes hiring additional staff, other agencies, and obtaining document management tools that allow us to respond
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more promptly and efficiently to congress. as capacity was increased, we worked to prioritize interests. as a result of the extreme and ongoing sensitivities related to the i.t. networks, servers, and systems, redaction of sensitive system was made so as not to provide a roadmap for more abilities for malicious actors. these are consistent with those employed by other federal agencies, based on recommendations for opm, i.t. professionals, and in consultation with interagency experts. additional reductions were also made -- read actions were also made in the interest of accommodating the oversight. a number of sensitive documents were also made available for unredacted form here in the rayburn office building, to provide ease of access for staff.
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we look forward to continuing to work with the committee and to respond to requests for information in a timely manner as possible. thank you for the opportunity today. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. i want to follow-up directly on that point that you just talked about. when we had our hearing about the data breach, the chief information officer, when we asked about the stolen materials, this is what she said. "some were outdated security documents about our system. and some measurements about our system." she went on to testify that the adversaries "did not get the specific configuration diagrams of our entire environment." adding that "our documents about platforms, homeland security went on to testify that they did
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not include proprietary information or specific information around the architecture of the opm environment." so, we are mystified as to what is true. is it as she testified? or is it what you are telling us now, that they did get very sensitive documents? we are not able to have them. they were stolen, we know the adversaries have them. but you will not allow congress to look at them and have them in our possession. you are offering the camera review still with redactions. why aren't you sharing this information with us? >> thank you for the question. there were five separate requests from the committee on the specific topics to which you are referring. all of the documents that miss seymour was testifying about
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were produced as part of our production. i don't know the exact date, but the response that was the august 18 -- all of the documents in that incident have been produced. you are right. they were produced originally because of the categories of information that i described previously, sensitive information. >> she testified that they were outdated documents that did not give specific configuration diagrams. and they were commercially available. is that true or not? >> to be clear mr. chairman, we looked at all of the separate requests that have been made. which include information both about that incident and others. our i.t. professionals recommended that we treat all of the following categories of information the same way.
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things such as ip addresses, sensitive architecture, capabilities, tools -- things to be treated carefully. >> she testified this is all commercially available and outdated information. she is leading congress to believe -- i know they came in and break the system. i know they stole this. but it is all commercially outdated system information. >> again, what we have decided to do -- >> why are you giving us this information? we know the adversary has agreed but you won't let us see it. >> with all the respect, you do have it. >> we do not. >> we have all of the i.t. information. only thing that remains is unresponsive names, just a list of every username on the system with the last four of their socials. that said, we're happy to make that information and continue to make it available, if your staff
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lets us know. we are happy to work with you on that on that set of responses. >> let me pull this out. we go in-camera to look at. this is what it looks like. that is the list. why are you redacting? we can go page after page, i don't know what is under this. >> that is simply a list of every username. >> ok, you are fine. we're happy? don't tell us you are happy. as a member of congress, you will not let us look at these materials. >> to be there, we thought that was nonresponsive. it wasn't about being secure. >> what do you mean? we are asking to see this information. this is what you give us the in-camera. then we finally have to negotiate over months to get to this point where i can even hold it up. >> i will go back and work with you. i think what we have tried to do
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-- >> seymour testified it was probably available. you won't even -- in-camera -- you still read that it. we are not happy. >> i appreciate that. the usernames on the systems, that is the last four social security numbers. >> that is what the adversary has. we are concerned about that. the answer is yes. and that is what we need, candor. the answer is yes. that is totally dramatically and completely different than what seymour testified. she tried to get us to go away by telling us it is all publicly available, outdated anyway. that was a lie. she misled congress. she will pay that price. i now recognize mrs. orton for five minutes. >> just to clarify all the names
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of the employees publicly available -- are they publicly available? >> to the extent they are federal employees, all the names are available. but it would not necessarily be -- >> the ones i am talking about, i could go on and find out if i am, i don't know, a creditor. can i find your name? >> to be clear, we are talking about two separate incidents. the chairman is referring to the systems internally. i believe you are referring to the system that is the later personnel records and background breaches. that information is not publicly available. what i think we are referring to is, yes, every current federal employee at a given moment --
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>> i just want to make sure of the privacy rights. that the names are not publicly available. >> sure. to be clear, i think the list was from 2014 that we are talking about. those are separate things. >> look, congress of course is centered on legislative business. i don't know which of you should get this question, but most important legislative business you have done in recent months is the production of a bipartisan budget. as i understand it, your office played perhaps the central role in all of the agencies. and i know that every number of congress, i was one of four leaders of the transportation bill, we were constantly talking
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to your legislative people about legislation. i know that you facilitated, and i appreciate what you did, for the district of columbia. i cannot imagine there is not a member of congress on the phone telling you what their constituents did. i understand you responded to 650 -- 1650 budget requests. that 600 of them came in those last few months. would you describe your substantive role in that legislation? that's important bill, perhaps the most important bill. the only bill that the congress of the u.s. had to put out every single year. >> yes, thank you so much for the question congresswoman. we at omb server wide mission. one of our central function certainly is to make sure that the government is funded. and so our primary focus over
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the last couple of months, which has really been an agency-wide effort, has been ensuring the bipartisan budget agreement, as well as the consolidated appropriations act, that they got through. it was a massive effort that involves coordination with republican and democrat agencies. we're really proud of the work we did there. >> first of all, i want to congratulate you for that work. thank you for the work that you did on really rescuing congress from the last several congress' reputation. maybe it was busy legislating inquiries. but the most important one from our constituents was the annual budget. i appreciate that. mr. levine, this breach of course -- if you were to name them -- perhaps the primary business of this committee this year.
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and of course, you were called to the carpet. the legislative business that you would have then been i suppose most taken to task for was how you responded to the constituents services, coming up of the legislative business. i wish you would describe, pursuant to what this committee wanted you to do, how you responded? what services were effected? the notion of a hotline, i understand, for congressional offices to contact on the half of their constituents and other services. that, in fact, responded to congress's concern about the opm breach. >> sure, i assume my time is about to expire.
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>> please complete the question. >> what we have tried to do is to i can fold. working to provide services to all of those that were impacted by the separate incidents, what we call the personal records and the background records incidents. we went out and acquired identity theft protection for those in those breaches. so what our effort has been is to provide all members of congress a mechanism for having information, when your constituents call. whether they be retired, current, or does anyone whose information might have been swept up in that. we received letters, so what we
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did is put together a hotline for offices to give to their caseworkers and sent information. we had one-page sheets of faqs. please get in touch with our office, we can better provide information on those efforts. whether it be about wait times, how the service is provided, the language they use, we want to make sure people get the services that they need. that is the highest priority of the acting director and our office. >> we now recognize the gentleman from florida. >> good morning. thank you. a simple yes or no question. is dhs considering airport in
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aviation security a top priority? >> yes we do. >> ok. and in regard to tsa, do you have adequate personnel? i think we just approved 50,795 for tsa. is that about right? >> i would have to take a look at the numbers. >> that is one you should be aware of as the record. we just passed the budget. we will say 51,000, and we have a cap of about 40,000 screeners. i think that is about right. last time we checked, we had over 4000 tsa employees in washington, d.c.
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within 10 miles of this hearing. earning on average $103,000. i point this out because, somehow, when we request for information about airport security, that there is an unresponsiveness. it appears you have adequate personnel -- 4000 making over $103,000 on average. it is almost in your shot of where we are -- in earshot of where we are. let me give you some examples. march 16, almost year ago, a letter was sent on airport credentialing. we have almost no response. this one, in april, we followed
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up. in may, we followed up. the committee invited then acting administrator caraway, we can i get documents. and it summoned to testify, on the evening of the 14th, dhs informed us care away was traveling -- caraway was traveling. it seems that we have a problem with getting responses. and we asked for additional documents, same subject, no later than june 5 they failed on that. we sent bipartisan support on airport vulnerabilities. our report showed that tsa screeners detected a high percentage of prohibited items. you missed production of any
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information on that. on july 2, another bipartisan letter from the committee about fires and information on internal, covert testing. you failed on that. it goes on and on. and i have requests here from november 23. we know there are vulnerabilities. we have had people coming up with false credentials and information. we have in trying since last march to get responses and information. and you have failed to produce this. this is the latest. when can i respect the response from this letter? we are sending it to jeh johnson, still working on it. i saw him in the hall yesterday here. maybe that is why could not respond. is that a problem? we have some 40,000 people, we cannot get responses to this?
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we have seen the system has dangers and pitfalls. all we are trying to do is a simple oversight responsibility. maybe our latest requests -- could you bring this down to her? we still have pending requests from march. you see our frustration? we are doing our job. we're trying to get you to do yours. when can we expect a response? >> in regards to november 23, production on that one is imminent. i believe that should be out in, you know, a fairly short period of time. and the last one, i think you are talking january 4 we just got that. and we are using our usual testing mechanisms. it has been passed out to tsa,
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and they are beginning that. >> thank you. i now recognize the gentleman from massachusetts. >> thank you, mr. chairman. at the outset, i want to say i share most of the frustration that is bipartisan up here, in terms of trying to get information from your agency. you need to do better. you really do. we had a hearing a couple weeks ago before the break regarding these waiver programs. and we have been waiting a long time from dhs to get a list of how many people. millions of people come in under the visa waiver program. we want to know how many overstay. i'm sure you can give us the information, so we're not getting political, but we need that information. plain and simple. there seems to be an unneeded adversarial relationship. it has been the same way in previous administrations, as well. but it is our constitutional
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mandate to conduct oversight. we need this information. i do want to say that sometimes we on this side are responsible for promoting that adversarial relationship. i want to point out one example that highlights that. as the chairman has mentioned, we will talk about hillary clinton's e-mail today. i want to point out that this committee, we conducted nine separate investigations, we had direct evidence that secretary colin powell got frustrated with his e-mail -- his government e-mail -- and discarded it. he went out and acquired his own private e-mail and private server. and he went to work. he used a private server during the bulk of his service. which was -- and he is a great
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american, no question about it -- we have the situation where secretary clinton has been pummeled with subpoenas and hearings. and nine hours -- 11 hours of hearings. you have secretary powell testifying that iraq had weapons of mass instruction. but we don't want to ask anything about the e-mails. we give him a complete pass. that is problematic. that makes us look tremendously biased, when, ok, i understand we have to look at secretary clinton's investigation. four brave americans died. and yet, secretary powell did the same thing -- bought his own private server. it says so in his book. we have direct, stipulated evidence that he did this. he gives testimony that iraq had weapons of mass instruction. 4000 americans died, and we don't want to know anything about that.
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move along, nothing to see here. that sets up this adversarial relationship. that is why some people think that this is political. some of this stuff is political. and the evidence will certainly lead us to believe that. a select committee, we call it a select committee because of the way the members are chosen. not based on how the evidence is chosen. and looked at. and i think that, up on this side of the aisle, we do have, you know, 80% of what we are doing here is, you know, just straight up. we're trying to do the right thing for the people we represent. but every once in a while on an issue, we go sideways. and it becomes a political hunt. and we depart from i think our constitutional mandate to get at the truth. instead, we go after what is
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politically expedient. so, i just want to say, ms. johnson, we need to have that information on the visa overstays. we really do. i am not looking that we are not looking to embarrass anybody. i've that it is embarrassing. we have received repeated assurances that it is ok. that is a pattern. everything is signed. secret service is fine. we found out it is not fine. the visa waiver program, we are told we have a robust system. then we find out there are dozens and dozens of people on the terrorist watch list that are actually working in secure areas of our airports. and have invented and cleared by dh -- have been vetted and cleared by tsa.
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we are after the truth here, most of the time. but i do want to highlight that aspect of this. that we have to be fairer in conducting oversight, as well. i yield back. >> now recognize the did when ohio, mr. turner. >> thank you. i serve on the intelligence and oversight committees. i have been following the role of technology in the role of the breach. the chairman has undertaken leadership of this committee to review this issue. and in joining the chairman's lead, we wrote requesting documents pertaining to the breach and the device that was supplied and furnished by opm. your response on october 20 8, 2015, you said the device was sanitized. "in accordance with best
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practices from the technology and opm policy." file names, titles, there are 15-16 per page. it is an and or miss the sanitizing. the preservation order, you wrote on september 1, 2015, that "opm continues to preserve records in a manner consistent with the national archives and records administration guidance." first off, how far back are you saving records? and do they cover the breach is that occurred in 2014, as well as 2015? >> thank you for the question. as i understand it, we are preserving records not disassociated with the breach, but all government records -- in
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accordance with other appropriate government record-keeping authorities. as you can imagine, we also have litigation that is ongoing. >> with respect to this breach, the standard is higher. you are preserving a wider breadth. what specific steps are you taking to preserve the records? >> i would need to get back to you on that. the device was returned you on august 20. did opm preserve records by making a copy of the information on the device before returning it? >> i would also need to get back you on that. i do want to go to your question about the way the device was returned. it is my understanding, and i am not an i.t. or cyber expert, but i understand it is standard
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practice when returning this sort of device in the circumstances, to treated the way it was treated. to wipe it before it was returned, if there was sensitive information. >> i think that you probably understand that my question is not necessarily the status of the device, but the status of the information on the device that is supposed to be turned over. we requested that information. this, again, is a list of filenames of what would have been deleted -- 15-16 titles per page, an enormous amount of information. any information on the device would, even for forensics to understand, it would be important to preserve. this committee has requested a copy. there are two aspects. that opm has it, and the second one is that you would turn it over to the committee.
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>> and certainly to the extent that we have not, we need to have that conversation. i would ask that the 15-16 filenames -- >> on these pages. >> is that information we provided, or to the company? >> it was provided by -- >> my understanding was that there -- i don't want to miss it. we will have to get back to you, with regard to how the device -- >> just to make certain, the expectation would be that the preservation order, not your processes, are a result of the cyber attack, that they would require you preserve this information. and so, we are looking for an affirmative response from you. thank you, i yield back.
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>> before the gentleman yields back, and you go to me for a moment? >> absolutely. >> mr. turner and i sent you a letter. what percentage of the requests have you given back to us? we made a request. i thought i heard you say you gave us a full response. what percentage? >> i cannot put it in terms of a percentage. i know we have made every effort to provide responses to every question that has been asked. and we have worked with your staff, who is been extraordinarily accommodating to help us prioritize. where they had follow-up questions, we provided -- >> my question with mr. turner here is, you say full. to me, that is 100%. is it 70% in your mind? >> i did not use the word. mr. chairman. we try to respond to every --
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>> all the documents we have requested, we've been asking for months, when we will get 100% of those requests? >> we believe we have answered every question that has been asked. that the staff or of course the members feel that we need to provide more -- >> i don't know when you are done. this is the problem with all of you. >> all the documents we have six separate document protection requests. >> we believe we have. >> i need to know if it is complete. you have given us an answer. >> i am sorry. with respect to -- keep in mind that those also incorporate other committees. with respect to the five requests from this committee, we have provided -- we looked at four of those as close.
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the differences between the contracts for the credit monitoring and the id theft, the first and second contract we have provided answers to each question. we do expect another set of documents coming this month. if not the next couple of weeks. that remains the interagency process. but i hear your question, mr. congressman. we will get back to you with regards if there's something outstanding. >> you better start explain to us why they are providing documents that you are not providing to us. that you wrote, that you engaged in. and there is no excuse for withholding the information from congress. you have it. it is in your system. and we know it because we are looking at hardcopies, checking to see if you will give it to us, as well. and you are not. that is why he will be back before this committee. opm, we will get to the truth of this. it is one the biggest data breaches and history of this country. we need a response.
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>> let us see if we can get past and down to the nitty-gritty here. the chairman just mentioned documents that we do not have. cytech, why don't we have them? and can you tell us when we will get them? >> sure. >> it seems like we are going in a circle. maybe you all will be here long time. i cannot be here forever. going in circles -- i think it is unfair to the committee. can you tell us, give us some efinitive answers? >> thank you very much for the question. to the best of my understanding, we have provided the information we have associated with that tool, to the extent that we need to go back and make sure we are being responsive. >> to follow on with the ranking member, if you don't have it, you need to explain why.
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you're absolutely under responsibility to preserve it. if you have not preserved it, that is another issue the committee will have to pursue. >> thank you. >> we now recognize mr. connolly of virginia. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it. if you have not preserved it, i find myself in an interesting position in this hearing. because having worked for the legislative branch for 10 years in the senate, now being a member of the legislative branch as a member of the house, i certainly have always felt that it is a key responsibility of the executive branch to be responsive to information requests. on the other hand, our constitution i think builds in a dialectic in which, you know, we want information. the executive branch does not want us to have it. it is a natural order of things.
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and there is a built in tension, and there are mechanisms for us to address that dialogue. but it does rely on, at the end of the day, on common sense. on good faith, on determination, as well as statutory enablers. legitimate requirements for information must be enforced on a bipartisan basis. fishing expeditions, blatantly partisan efforts to seek information to embarrass, humiliate, to undermine will not get bipartisan support. nd they do not deserve it. and understandably, they can
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cause even more friction in the executive branch. trying to be responsive. cause even more friction in the executive branch. trying to be responsive. in may of last year, the chairman, along with mr. meadows, had a request for documents relating to the review of the clean water role. are you familiar with that? > yes, i am. >> that request was followed by a subpoena in july for similar
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>> yes. you are asked to produce those documents. can you briefly describe what is being asked? sometimes in this conversation we act like they are in piles, and you are just withholding them. that is not how it works, is it? >> thank you for the question. >> if you can hold that a little closer to you. >> is that better? >> great. >> the request for information was quite broad, covering a nine-year span. as such, we began the process for searching. that involves identifying the subject -- the various
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custodian information. and once the documents are gathered, then having a review performed by various subject matter experts, following review of other agencies, to assume they received proper review. it is quite intense, early for such a broad range of documents. we continue to work on processing that request. >> do you have a response to that subpoena? >> our response rate could certainly be improved. we have not produced them as quickly as we should have. as such, we have taken steps recently to improve our production sponsor rate. and i expect that that will continue. moving forward. >> i also, you know, the chairman is saying that you ought not have an issue of volume. how many pages you have delivered, that is. it is the percentage of the request. that sounds reasonable. in many cases, i would agree with the chairman that that is a better standard. in terms of determining responsiveness. but on the other hand, they can also be a self-serving standard. not that it would be here, of
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course. we don't like to respond. and when, in fact we are on a fishing expedition that could be tens of millions of documents. and then, that standard can be used against you. i think, unfairly. where you are trying to be responsive, but you are not anytime soon going to give me 100 million pages of something you are doing the best you can to be responsive to the nature of the request. i think we need to tread a little bit carefully when we decide to say you are unresponsive, while at the same time, trying to seek bipartisan consensus to ensure accountability in the executive branch. and that we fulfill our role, our constitutional role, of oversight of that bridge. with that, i yield back. >> thank you. i now recognize the gentleman from ohio. >> you sent a letter saying there were no prosecutions -- there were going to be no prosecutions and the irs targeting case.
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when was the decision made not to prosecute? >> well, i think that shortly before we send a letter. >> a week before, two weeks before? a month before? >> i guess the precise. >> you said 100 people were interviewed. was john interviewed? >> i don't know. >> were they transcribed? >> i don't know. >> in your letter, you said substantial mismanagement took place. you uncovered substantial mismanagement, by whom? >> by employees of the irs. >> specifically? >> i cannot give you specific names. >> you wrote this letter? >> that is correct. we will provide you with information. >> we appreciate that, we also sent you a letter requesting
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that all documents pertaining to the investigation -- we have single eceive a document. why is that? > i understand it. producing an entire file present particular issue, with law enforcement sensitive. >> we have that for 3.5 years. i've had two different fbi directors give me that exact same answer for 3.5 years. their answers added one other word -- ongoing investigation. now the investigation is over. it has been over, according to the a-page letter you sent us, on october 23. now you are telling us you cannot give us any documents. is there some national security interest that prevents you? is there some presidential
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privilege that prevents you? >> no, but there are law enforcement sensibilities and securities concerning the confidentiality of witnesses. people who cooperated, the producing an entire file candid assessment -- >> you have not given us anything. that is the point. >> we have a briefing next week. >> would you give me more information? in your letter, you say poor judgment. who exercised or judgment and the irs when they were significantly challenging the free speech rights under the first amendment, being violated for five years in some cases, certain groups and individuals? tell me who in the irs was exercising that poor judgment? >> we scheduled a briefing next eek. >> it will be a heck of a briefing. before the letter came to the chairman, did you say no one
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was going to be prosecuted? >> no. >> did you tell ms. lerner there would be no prosecution before the letter came to chairman jason chaffetz? >> no. >> did you tell mr. schulman? >> i've never talked to him. >> not personally, but did you notify these individuals that no one was going to be prosecuted, when americans' first amended rights were targeted? >> not that i'm aware of. >> do you know if they were transcribed? >> i do not. >> and you don't know if john was interviewed? >> i do not. >> you think he should have been interviewed, the guy presiding over the internal revenue service, your agency. and he is the commissioner when 422 backup cases are destroyed, containing e-mails?
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do you think it would be maybe a good thing to do in an investigation? >> prosecutors did a thorough investigation. >> for the people who were targeted notified? >> that i'm aware of. >> do you know catherine engelbrecht? > i am familiar. >> the lady who was audited both personally and your business by the irs, visited by the epa, atf, osha, all law she was trying to clean up voter registration. the full weight of the government came down on her. she was contacted before you decided? >> i don't know. i know people were interviewed in the context of the investigation.
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>> one last question, sir. you are going to talk to us in a few weeks with a briefing. >> next week. >> when you think we will get the documents? >> we will talk about that next week during the accommodation process. >> the you plan on giving us the documents? are you actively now trying to get those documents to us? >> we are actively preparing for the briefing next week, determining -- >> that was not my question. are you actively getting the documents to us? >> we are reviewing the documents to see what the law enforcement sensitivities are presented by those files. > thank you, mr. chairman. >> please be prepared to answer all those questions at the riefing next we.
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you have had years to look, months to prepare. given our letter, we expect a full and complete brief. we now recognize the gentleman from california for five minutes. >> thank you. let me thank the panel for their public service. i do share the chair's frustration on the withholding of information by the executive branch to congress. one panel member, i believe, mentioned the difficulty of having 100 bosses. i just want to know that you only have one boss -- that is the american people. and one of the ways the framers designed the government is for the american people to express their will through 435 elected members of congress, 100 elected senators. it is the duty of the executive branch to respond in a timely manner to numbers of congress. let me explain the importance of this. i will go through one area, which is privacy. he u.s. supreme court has said
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it is illegal for law enforcement, without a warrant, to put a gps device on a person's car and track them through geolocation. this committee has sent two letters to the department of ustice, asking for the it is illegal for law you have failed to provide those. and i want to know why that is. why don't you provide your colleagues? we want to know if you are violating the law? you have failed to provide those. and i want to know why that is. why don't you provide your colleagues? we want to know if you are violating the law? >> well, congressman, first of all, the request is not for policies. the request was for two particular memorandum. that included investigation and policies on geolocation. litigation strategies. with respect to policies, the similar context, we have provided that policy to ongress. >> well, let me just read the first sentence of your letter. this response regarding your interest on geolocation and other surveillance location.
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since you brought up simulators, we had a hearing in october. and your department of justice witness testified about rates which can monitor cell phones, track locations. and we want to know, i want to know, could these stingrays give substantive conversations? you danced around that and said i don't know. i find that troubling. either that witness was withholding information to the committee or had a shocking level of ignorance about a device the department of justice was using. but you did commit to providing the answer to that question. to which we have not gotten yet, even though we asked -- both publicly and in writing. but i did find out about a week later, through an address, that yes, the stingrays can monitor conversations. that is why it is so important we get documents.
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because i partly do not trust the witnesses that i've heard sometimes for this hearing. that is why we look at these documents, to know is the department violating the law? it is not a hard request. if you do not want this matter put out publicly, you don't have to. you can give it to us in a confidential, private setting. but i think it is important for us to get these documents. i think the american people have a right to know, is the department of justice violating law when it comes to privacy? we need to have these documents, know what your policies are, know how you are using stingrays? how are you using these devices? i will ask you once again to provide them. i know in your letter to the committee, you do not cite a case. devices? i will ask you once again to provide them. i know in your letter to the committee, you do not cite a case. unless you provide a case that says you cannot provide these documents, i would like you to provide those documents. with that, i yield back. >> before the general and yields back, could you give to me for a moment?
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>> ranking member cummings and i sent a request. i just don't understand, with the department of justice sent a request for the fbi general counsel, guidance specifically on the use of gps and what the supreme court case that what jones means for geolocation techniques? why is it the members of congress, i am on the crime subcommittee, why is it that i cannot actually see what you are sending out, far and wide? you are sending this out to prosecutors. when you send this out far and wide, why can't elijah cummings and i look at it? >> first of all, prosecutors need this information when they litigate cases. and we have provided briefings
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-- >> no, a briefing is not good nough. this is the request that is put out. 100% redacted. this is what the pages look like. we have concerns post-jones that the federal government is potentially spying on americans rated what techniques are they using? we have a security clearance. you send blank pages to the public. we are asking for an in-camera review situation to be able to read this ourselves. you are willing to give to all of the federal prosecutors. ok? you are willing to share this widely within the department. but you will not allow mentors of congress look at it? why? >> mr. chairman, as i indicated, we have provided additional briefings. but there are law enforcement
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sensitivities. it is attorney information we're happy to continue. >> this is guidance. you sent this out on the techniques that are currently being deployed. we do not know if you are violating or not by letting the law? justice alito even referred to that, saying that the legislative body needs to be involved and engaged. the american people trust us. but you don't trust us. >> it is not that we don't trust you, mr. chairman. it is attorney-work privileged information designed to provide -- >> privileged from the american people. that is what i have a problem with. >> let me get down to the bottom here. is it one of your concerns that
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the ongoing investigation? >> yes, there are ongoing information. they do discuss investigative techniques. and the legal argument's we would make in support of those techniques, discussing the potential arguments made by efendants. >> so the bottom line is you don't trust us. >> no. >> in other words, if we are saying that we would like to see this information in there fidance and make commitments that we are not going to disclose, then what would be the reason? i mean, going to what you just said. take away the reason for not providing? >> we have engaged in discussions about that route
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and we would be happy to continue. >> that is not an accommodation. i want to actually read it. you gave it to the prosecutors. why would you assume that any member of congress with a security clirnse having signed an oath? we signed documents saying we won't reveal this. why would you assume that it is going to get out in the public? >> it is not only a question of disclosure. it's a question of waiver of privilege. the fact that we provide it to a third party could potentially be in an argument we waived the privilege and be discoverable. what we are trying to do is protect our law enforcement responsibilities.
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>> nobody wants to interfere in a criminal investigation. we want to make sure you are able to do your job but we have to do our job, too. e have to reach some type of balance here. if there is case law supporting what you just said, do we have that? have you provide that had? >> i don't know. but again, we would be glad to continue these discussions and i agree that there is a way we can reach an accommodation. >> let's try to do that as soon as possible. >> yes, sir. >> we haven't got thrn yet and it's been years. i would cite the ftc versus owens corning fiber glass. when a committee requires documenttation. it is well documented you are hiding this from the american
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people. who is the client you are trying to protect? >> we are trying to protect the american people. >> and we represent the american people. >> and so do we. but providing this memorandum for broad public disclosure. >> i am not doing broad public disclosure. we should be able to see what you are doing. >> we are trying to accommodate the information request. >> no, you are not. we just want to read the documents. and you're saying no. and that should scare every american. i appreciate the committee's indulgence. i believe we now recognize mr. wallberg for five minutes. >> this is a perfect exament of how we've gone away. and with all due respect you do not represent the american people. you do not represent the american people. we are the only ones elected to represent the american people. now, remember that. i am sitting here today thinking i am hearing an old hogan heroes rerun with
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sergeant schultz saying, i know nothing. i also understand that you people have been put in very difficult situations representing people who do have the answers but put you in the place to try to give just enough to satisfy us. and you have staff behind you to make sure that you don't go too far in giving that answer. that's frustrating. i also understand that you don't have the benefit that we do. there's only one person in our district that people come to and expect to have an answer from and we are held accountable. members of congress. we are elected by those people. and the further you get outside of this beltway -- and that's the chaltheaning you have, i understand that. but having relative that is live at different levels outsite of this beltway the further you get away the more frustration there is that the
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people have lost control. from both sides of the prospective. so when we who directly represent the people who have been elected to represent the people in given districts, especially here in the the house, are put upon by our people to ask questions and to get understanding from them, you have to understand why it's frustrating to have documents that we have been told will receive piece meeled out. so i go to you. representing a state that has waters of the u.s. surrounding us on three sides, very important to michigan, the very -- i have very great i want rest in the rules making process.
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i go to you, representing a state that has waters of the u.s. surrounding us on three sides, very important to michigan. i have very great interest in the rules making progress. back on march 3, 2015 in a hearing before this committee members asked administrators for documents relating to a review of the waters of the u.s. rulemaking. after the hearing, committee staff followed up on numerous occasions about this request and received no response. how did you instructor legislative affairs staff to respond to the committee after the march 3 hearing? did you instructor them not to initiate a search until a formal letter was received from the committee? did anyone tell you not to initiate a search? >> absolutely after receiving the request we began the search. it is a large research, and it is taking time. i appreciate that we should and could have increased the speed of that production. we are working on that. when he got the request, we started to produce documents. we will continue -- mr. wahlber: in your first production to this committee provided 893 pages of documents -- 846 of which were publicly available online. were you aware of that? ms fucile: the document request that we's received was quite
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broad. we were responsive to that. several of those documents much of those documents were publicly available online. since then we have produced communications between senior officials -- mr. wahlberg: is it normal practice to have staff under heavy load to produce for a committee documents that are readily available online already? ms. fucile: we believe that the documentary provided were part of that request. mr. wahlberg: that is not helpful. we could do that. we are plenty of other pages. just going over with the epa has provided to us. they provided 21,000 pages of documents in the last 10 months omb has provided this committee with 3000 pages. 21,000 versus 3000, that is concerning. ms. fucile: the rule of the epa is considerably different than the world of the omb player. the number of documents we would produce for any rule would be smaller. mr. wahlberg: 80% of online already. we are capable of seeing those. we weren't asking for those. ms.fucile: i disagree with the characterization and 80 3% were available online. that included materials available online.
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the vast majority of the document via produced for this committee is not been available online. >> we now recognize the gentlewoman from new ersey. ms. coleman: thank you to each of you to be here today to answer our questions. this has been a very difficult discourse. i, as a new member somewhere between we play too much on our department trying to get information from so many different committees and subcommittees? is that an onerous burden that you are not staffed or configured to respond to in a timely manner, or in a way that meets our needs? are you trying to not give us the information that we want in a manner that is usable?
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and so, if it is the former, then we need to address that and you need to be communicating clearly with us about the impact of the request, and how we can better work together. if it is the latter, then you will just be dragged into this committee, and subcommittees until the end of time. because it is disrespectful not to address congress is right to have information. so, we need to figure out which one of these things it is. in the department of human services there was a request regarding secret service misconduct. there were a number of issues which were already addressed. my understanding is there is one more issue that is outstanding. i'm not quite show what it is,
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are you aware of it? it is one of 16 issues that have been identified and have been responded to. >> with regard to the secret service request, we're dealing with two different documents. one was the february 18 letter, that contained 16 requests. we were complying with the request as a matter of fact. the process worked as it should. the request was very broad. so we went back to the committee and asked the committee to prioritize and that we could prioritize. which, in fact, the committee did. you prioritize for lines of information which we were producing. in the course of that production, ultimately the july 9 subpoena came forward. it also had 18 requests.
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most of which were overlapping with the february 18 letter, but it brought in the aperture. as a result, we have been producing on both of those documents. we continue to produce, even last night be produce documents in response to the federal -- every 18th request. - february 18 request. if there is an outstanding request, do you have any idea or any estimate of the time that it would take to have that equest answered? > we are continuing to comply. on the february 18 to letter, there were 16 requests. 12 of them are closed. for remain open. we produce last night for two more. that means there is to that remain open on the request.
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on the july 9 subpoena to 18 requests. five remain open, and we continue to produce some of those. can't give you a definite timeline, but we have been producing and continue to produce. we will continue into such time as we can close these out. >> the department of justice issue is a little bit different. versus our committee's perspective. what form and the great we are entitled to information. but for the rest the department, are we in agreement there are outstanding requests timeline, but we have been that have not been responded to and a way that this committee deems appropriate? >> we do about sending requests for the committee. but we are working to meet those request.
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ms. fucile: yes, my answer would be the same. >> sometimes a think you're talking what apples and were talking what oranges. mr. levine: there remains one request which we will produce documents for. >> i simply want to echo our desire to work together to have the information we need to represent the people that sent us here to represent their interests. we are equally engaged in making sure that americans are safe and secure end of the benefit of all the services. it seems to me what we are trying to accomplish as the oversight committee. >> i would hope that it would be reasonable you could tell us which one to think are closed in which one to think us to open. when i hear from staff that if we make it does requests and you say it or close we don't
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know which ones are still open. i hope that is a reasonable ask. s that fair? does anybody want to actually say that and be recorded as saying yes? let's go down the line and ask that is a reasonable request. >> we can give you the status of each of your request. >> mr, kadzik? you're smart, i get it, that is good lawyering. we're asking a direct question. mr. kadzik: i think we -->> know i'm asking you will you tell us on the outstanding requests moving forward -- will you tell us that? mr. kadzik: i think we have, and will continue to do so. ms. johnson: when we produce, we tell you what we are producing. the production last night
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-- >> when it is completed, tell us it is complete. ms. johnson: yes and we said this is the requested document number four this is what we found. >> or one outstanding request remains open. >> will he tell us in the future when you have completed the request. ms. fucile: yes, as i just said it is still outstanding. >> yes, we will, we can indicate when it is closed. e believe we will let you know when things are close. >> optimism that is come with five requests. we just need to know which are close within the body etter. >> in august of 2014i wrote to he attorney general.
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i expressed serious concerns about alterations made to prosecutorial guidelines that requested information about this decision from empress becton agency. -- a respected agency. operation streamline was being terminated and that the u.s. attorney's office will no longer be prosecuting first time undocumented immigrant. this new guidance is of great concern because it undermines the mission of local law enforcement agencies throughout the county for 100% prosecution of those entering the united states illegally in order to curb the entries. the chairman also stated during an interview with a defendant from a recent smuggling case the subject told investigators that sense he had been in jail he and other partners are
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moving to other areas due to the hard stance on smuggling and the fact that if you are caught you go to jail. the federal government's failure to address immigration crisis and forcing cities in my district to step up and prevent the massive flow of illegal aliens entering the country. in 2005 a combination of no tolerance owned and increase manpower drawn the down a number of apprehensions in the region by nearly 95%. just over 6000 and 2013. despite this remarkable success nilaterally crippled law enforcement and terminated operation streamline as well as other worthwhile border programs. on october 10 the doj replied to my letter from august 28 about operation streamline being terminated. while i appreciated the prompt response, frankly i'm shocked that it took that long.
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considering it essentially resembled a simple copy, cut, and paste. with such generic basic language that in no real terms ould be considered an actual response. rather than answering my question or providing any reasoning as to why it had been terminated, the department of justice responded with a letter that stated it is a long-standing practice not to provide specific information regarding criminal law enforcement policies. that is just of the outrageous. i don't think i am really anybody special. response. rather than answering my i'm just a dentist impersonating a politician. i don't expect any special treatment from anybody. but i was elected. in accordance to the constitution of the united states, to have to service representative for the people of arizona. including government oversight,
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before i asked the question i would like to add these three letters into the record. chairman chaffetz: so ordered. >> centura both here, i will ask you one more time, which one of your agencies made the call to terminate operation treamline? mr. kadzik: congressman, within the last two months we conducted briefings with respect to the status of immigration enforcement. i apologize if your staff was not invited to that briefing. but i would be happy to have that briefing provided to members of your staff give you the current status of immigration enforcement. >> i ask you a specific question. who in your agency decided to terminate operation streamline? mr. kadzik: i can't tell you that it has been terminated. i would say that as it letter indicates the local united
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states attorneys intimate prosecution policies. >> but those company doj directly. i'm asking you this question, if he don't know the answer simply state the answer that you don't know. mr. kadzik: i can't say i don't know because i don't believe that it was terminated. >> it has been terminated, you don't know the answer, ms. johnson how about you? ms. johnson: operation streamline is not department of homeland security operation. don't have confidence to stick to that. - speak to that. >> does the department of homeland to carry shrug off information requests of individual numbers of congress performing oversight duties? ms. johnson: no caucus meant, we do not shrug off requests hat we received. we try to produce the documents that have been requested.
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>> doesn't make a difference if there's more than one? maybe 30 or 40 members writing a letter? as i can more attention? -- does that get more attention? ms. johnson: we do have to prioritize when you're subject to 92 to committees and subcommittees. ou have to prioritize. we prioritize requests, we task them out to the appropriate components to search for the documents. >> as a doctor, it seems to me a problem has been misdiagnosed. if you can't keep up with congress, i understand that congress is a third-party. if you can't keep up with a document requests a view should reevaluate your conduct. quit abusing the laws and ollow the law. mr. kadzik: we do recognize the gentleman from california.
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>> thanked the ranking member for -- forgive me for being naïve. it does seem that both the committee and the department should be less pull and tug and gray areas. it strikes me that public documents are public documents. the sooner you have the documents i think it does is all well knowing there was some political latitude. my question is specifically to the ag, i had a specific letter that i sent to the department of justice and the attorney general. i would let you just have it on the record. it was vis-à-vis the ability to enforce the clean air act versus potentially or going to the due diligence when it comes to volkswagen. i have read interpretations that said this gap there was
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the letter that we said recklessly got a response. i will give that. if you could go back and let our office now -- what i was asking -- is there a possibility because it seems to me that is the only motivating factor, having spent a long time in california. when it comes to break the date of -- regulative agencies my question would be, can you pursue criminal acts. given that as a pacific -- specific requests cap me. is there a tactical reason why don't want to respond. it would be helpful for me to understand type can communicate that. with that, i give you the opportunity to respond.
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>> we did file a civil suit gainst volkswagen. i'm not familiar with what criminal authorities we may have. >> i yield back. mr. kadzik: thank you for a uch. chairman chaffetz: they give her much. how long you been in your position? mr. kadzik: about three years. chairman chaffetz: what to do before that? mr. kadzik: i was in private law. >> iq geomet to what mr. lynch said -- i keep going back to what mr. lynch said what appears to be never certain situation. it does appear to be that for some i don't care how you look at this. i thought you've been there
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onger than that. when you all of you this, do you view it as adversarial? mr. kadzik: we don't. i think we've had a good working relationship with this committee during the past year. and we look forward to continuing to cooperate with you and the chairman to continue as much information as we can consist in with how law-enforcement responsibilities and confidentiality in the executive branch. i don't want it to be adversarial, i don't view it as adversarial. i know that you expect and require cooperation, and we hope to provide it. >> i don't think it should be adversarial. i worked on capitol hill for over 20 years. i have seen it for both sides. i think it can work invested we have a collegial relationship we can sit down and go over priorities and sequencing.
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that is our problem, we have to grapple with that income to the solution. i think it would be less frustration if we could just sit down and say these are the priorities. where the document all the documents, we need all contracts. we start there and then can build on that later. we can continually talk to the staff. i feel like i have had good relationship with your staff. they can call me at any time, i can call them. i think that is the way that it works best. not having a sort of confrontational relationship. >> knowing the information as opposed to having a blanket kind of request would help. mr. kadzik: yes. that what the chairman asked for, notification various embassy construction projects.
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that was a very clear direction from the chairman. we were able to respond to that in a few weeks. then if anyone wanted more or different we can go on from there. i feel like that is the constructively to work with this committee. not that we are balancing many requests. many more than we frankly can deal with in a very constructive way. we will get the better. we are getting better. they will be less frustration f we can go over the plan. chairman chaffetz: i recognize the gentleman from new york -- gentlewoman from new york. my prophetess, -- my apologies, we now recognize for five minutes. >> i want to visit with you about the waters of the
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u.s.. when you give your testimony, you called it clean water rule. that was a new moniker that was given to that rule. over the christmas holiday. n full knowledge that it was always called that rule and has been so thoroughly rejected by the people of this country. hat caused the new name. one of the reasons you are here today is because even though your agency is exhausted from the work you had to do. i get it, you are a small agency, and that was an enormous legislation. but they would not even speak to congress about the omnibus
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until the first agree to strip from that bill all of the riders that had to do with policy including our decision to not fund the waters of the u.s. rule. this is the position administration took on that rule. this rule is easily one of the top 10 worst rules that has been adopted during the course f this administration. in fact, so bad that a federal district court blocked the rule in 13 states, calling it an exceptionally expansive interpretation of federal jurisdiction. that would irreparably diminish the state power over their waters. it is so serious that the sixth circuit expanded to cover the whole nation.
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this rule has the whole nation up in arms, which is why we want more information about it. on march 3 and may 12 we ask for information about this rule. as of june 4th, no documents were produced. the may 12 letter signed -- no documents were produced. so the committee subpoenaed these documents. we requested all documents and communications referring to the ule. a few documents were reduced -- produced, many of which were a printed copy of the rule. october , a letter was signed y this chairman, and others, and there has been no response. that is the reason you're here today.
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we are frustrated that when a rule that is this expansive and this provocative of states's rights is promulgated, and the administration would even talk to us, to congress. and the, having all of those states sue to have it stayed that we can get the information we are requesting but how this rule came about from the get o. now my question, has it searched the inbox of all those who worked on this rulemaking? ms. fucile: as part of our search process we are in the process of going through all of
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the documents related to the review of the orders of the u.s. and we are in process of that. as the request came in it was for a nine year. . june of 2006 until 2014 so we are going through that. >> how many custodians have you identified? ms. fucile: i don't have that information. >> i would like to request, how many have you identified today? that is a request for information. ave you asked all staff to produce copies of documents related to the waters of the u.s. rulemaking? ms. fucile: the search process has gone through identified custodians, i don't know
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exactly who those are. i can find that out. >> i am requesting that. we want to know whether the oira staff has documents related to the rulemaking. we want to know if they have produced all potentially responsive documents for review. ms. fucile: as i said before, we are continuing -- we certainly have not produced all documents. >> pursuant to those earlier requests, i renew those requests. chairman chaffetz: you committed to providing all of those documents? ms. fucile: we committed to providing the committee the issue that -- the information they need. chairman chaffetz: we decide what we need. will he provide all the documents? why isn't that a simple yes?
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you can't say yes to that? ms. fucile: we are committed to getting the committed the information you requested and going through all of these documents. there is a process that is a long-standing practice between this administration and other administrations to make sure the documents are relevant and make sure that these documents adhere to privacy concerns. also come all the information you have given you so far has been complete without redaction. we are committed to this process. chairman chaffetz: i want to know if you're committed to giving us all the documents, yes or no? ms. fucile: we are committed to giving you the information you need, and continuing to produce documents. chairman chaffetz: why can't ou just say yes or no? ms. fucile: part of the problem is -- i personally don't know what all the documents are.
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we are committed to getting you the documents. chairman chaffetz: when? ms. fucile: we have increased our production responsive rate, expect -- chairman chaffetz: you had enough information to actually peruse a rule, why can't you bring those underlying documents to congress? ms. fucile: as the congresswoman pointed out, there is litigation that increases the amount of work that needs to go down and be done in terms of producing
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documents. we are committed, i expect we will continue to produce documents that will continue this month and next month. chairman chaffetz: when is it reasonable to give us the documents? i'm looking for a date. ms. fucile: i can't give you a date because the breadth of the request is so broad. chairman chaffetz: wow, this is what we're up against. i do recognize the gentlewoman from new york. >> about to thank the chairman and the ranking member and all the panelists today. i think we can all agree on a bipartisan way that congress has a right, and is essential that congress has access to all the information it needs to provide proper oversight. i think we can all agree to that. but today's hearing seems to be focused on production delays by a few agencies for a handful of documents. although these agencies have produced large numbers of information to this committee. i would like to suggest that
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rather than suggesting that executive agencies generally do not comply with congressional oversight requests, the facts show the exact opposite. and assistant secretary frifield, in your testimony you said in 2015 the state department provided more than 3000 briefings and responded to more than 1000 letters and appeared at 168 hearings. that is a staggering amount of esponse. it's almost amazing -- are these numbers correct? ms. frifield: yes, they are correct. >> you also said the state department is responding to dozens of investigations again by a staggering nine different
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committees. is that correct? ms. frifield: yes, it is. >> then you said this is twice as many as it was in 2014, is that correct? ms. frifield: yes. >> according to our records come out committee held a 90 hearings last year. those agencies were testifying and playing a crucial role in 65 of them. my question to you, do you have time to do anything else after responding to all of these congressional responses and requests, and investigations, and hearings, and letters? it is a staggering amount of work. ms. frifield: it is, i thank you for acknowledging that. we take a lot of pride in what we do. we feel that it is very
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important. we are, in many ways, the advocate for you on the hill. we work with our agencies to make sure that people on the hill get but they need. most of us come from a hill background. we understand the pressures and the demand on members of congress. our job is to make should they get what they need. certainly, with the state department and the crises around the world we know that congress is intimately involved in many aspects of those. our job is to make sure you have the information you need to make decisions very important decisions on everything going on. >> do you do anything else but respond to congressional requests? ms. frifield: that is most of my job. >> 90% or 80%?
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ms. frifield: it is my entire job, pretty much. >> 100% of your job is to respond to congressional requests. in fact, more than 45 witnesses who testified last year came from the five departments represented today. were you aware that that is happening? i guess you do. this committee received more than 200 letter responses from executive agencies in 2015, for example the committee sent about 60 letters to the department of justice and received 28 responses. does that sound about right? mr. kadzik: yes it does. >> again, that it is staggering amount of work. the big provide information on topics from immigration and visas to water and transportation security. during the investigation the secret service who received 17 briefings and transcribed interviews.
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director clancy's testimony we received twice, more than 15,000 pages of documents and four interviews. in camera. my understanding is that the office management and budget as produced more than 9000 pages of documents in response o the committee and response o this -- more than this committee, but it has repeatedly asked that this committee for further uidance. does that sound about right to you? >> that does. > and omb is continuing to
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produce documents from is the correct? ms. fucile: correct. >> today's hearing also highlights requests the committee has made to the office of personnel management, and director levine, opm has produce responsive documents to each of these requests. and there's continuing to do that. is that correct? mr. levine: yes, that is correct. i want to congratulate you on responding to a staggering amount of requests. i know it is difficult to get it done as quickly and responsibly as you have. i want to thank you for your public service. chairman chaffetz: i recognize the gentleman from the carolina. >> i want to follow up on what you have been talking about. your characterization with my good friend mr. connolly troubles me. you have indicated that because of those in the wide breadth of the requests that is caused due to not fulfill what initially started out as a very simple request. so what you are indicating today is that you got no guidance from this committee on any priorities? >> that is not what i stated. i did say we had no
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guidance. it is very wide. >> so you have gotten guidance. ms. fucile: and i would say in one instance when we got guidance we were able to respond very successfully. you asked us for information about personal e-mails and we responded to that. that kind of give-and-take -- >> let me go, i have five minutes. it was a going to bring this up. this is the entire response that we got from omb with regard to two letters and a subpoena. the problem i have with it, all of this is either the proposed role of what could be found online, and in 10 months this is all that we have gotten from you. i went through and most of this is duplicates. is this the best you can do? >> a lot of the communication
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between senior officials has to eal with comments on iterations of the rule. we include the iterations of those. >> this is an e-mail chain. let me just tell you what offends me. e send you a simple request, then what you give us his things and we can get our own staff to look up. here's my question to you, as a follow-up what the chairman said, what have you -- through your? process -- decided not to give this committee ms. fucile: we have not decided not to give this committee anything. >> you decided to give us anything you look at? is that your testimony? ms. fucile: the documents we have reviewed be have turned over. other ones remain in process. i said earlier we will provide
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more documents this coming month. we have not redacted anything. >> that is not true. ms. fucile: e-mails is what has been redacted. >> i have read all of the e-mails. what i am suggesting to you at this particular point is -- what theory would you invoke to not give this committee the documents that regard this rulemaking? ms. fucile: we have not said we are not giving you documents. we have given every document. >> so you're going to give us all the documents? it is a simple question. are you going to give us all the documents? ms. fucile: the more direction we have in terms of what is more helpful to more responsive -- we will continue to provide the committee that it requests. >> so the answer is no. either you will give us all the documents or the other side is
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what would be the rationale to not get this committee documents. yes or no? ms. fucile: i don't want to speak documents i haven't seen. >> let me suggest there is no reason to give the committee all the documents. there is no reason. unless you can testify -- ms. fucile: because under litigation there are lots of equities to be concerned about. the results of we need to make sure there is nothing in documents -- >> can we count on all responsive documents every three weeks. can we get responsive documents on a regular basis? you have four custodians, two of them haven't given us anything. can we count on that on a three-week basis? s that reasonable?
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ms. fucile: i don't feel comfortable saying every three weeks. >> well you don't feel comfortable, i am not going to give up on this. you just need to tell your staff are not going to give up on it. you should simple requests are think that you can get done very quickly. we talked about these overstays. there is an internal document that has a number of these overstays -- visa overstays, that document to be produced within 24 hours. are you willing to produce a document to this committee? s. johnson: congressman, the
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secretary is keenly aware of this committee, and other committees desire for the visa overstays. i know that he put specific attention to getting a report completed. >> high don't want a report, i want those documents. can you produce those documents and give them to this committee in short order within a week? or is there a national security concern? ms. johnson: congressman, i honestly don't know what documents they are. > where both people have a knowledge that our internal documents that has the number of these overstays on it. an internal document that you could produce within a week. are you willing to produce that? ms. johnson: i'm not prepared to say that. if we have a request -- >> you do. ms. johnson: well, the report we admit is overdue. and the secretary is committed to getting that out. >> i'm going to make that official request that i would like within seven days those internal documents which should be only a few pages submitted to this committee with the number of overstays, unless
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there is a national security concern. ms. johnson: i have never seen the documents. >> let me, i've been watching try to answer these questions. it seems as if there is something blocking you from being able to give a definitive answer. i'm just trying to figure out, are you the appropriate person we should be asking? it seems like -- i don't know whether you have to report to a higher authority, whether there is hoops you have to go through. in fairness to the committee and efficiency, is there somebody else we need to be asking? do you follow me? >> i understand your
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question. my hesitancy is more about making a commitment to something in the abstract while i'm under of that i just don't know about -- oath that i just don't know about. we haven't withheld anything for that production hasn't been fast enough. it can and should be better. but i'm not saying we will not produce all the documents because we will hide and that but i do want to get myself in trouble by promising something in that there was some issue that right now i don't know anything about. >> that makes sense. that makes a lot of sense. i can tell you if you make a commitment, then don't keep a commitment, you will catch problems. that makes sense. i was just wondering. >> before the gentleman yields back, the concern here is mr.
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meadows first made his request in march of last year. the reason you're here is we still don't have this information. that is why you have this whole committee frustrated. do you understand that? ms. fucile: certainly, i appreciate that. i admit our production is not been fast enough. we will do better. chairman chaffetz: just turn on the photocopier. ms. fucile: it doesn't work that way. the search process doesn't work hat way. chairman chaffetz: you have enough material to make a rule but if somebody comes to the conclusion -- we want to see that information. ms. fucile: and i have committed we will work to get you that. i'm here to help, chairman chaffetz: you are very nice person, but we're not seeing the results. one other thing, you cited a couple of times that there are different stakeholders. that is causing some delay.
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you mentioned litigation, what does that have to do with congress is right to review documents? ms. fucile: with any document research, different equities are given the opportunity to make sure there is a sensitive matter we are not aware of. that is our standard practice. chairman chaffetz: what is it you believe congress should not look at? ms. fucile: we haven't had that anything should not be looked at. we haven't said no to turning anything over. chairman chaffetz: then why not give us everything? ms. fucile: we are working on that, it is an incredibly broad subpoena. chairman chaffetz: you give us handfuls of documents. ms. fucile: when we were the ost successful was roomy had a
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conversation with your staff. we have been asking for meetings with your staff and until yesterday they weren't available. chairman chaffetz: that is not true. ms. fucile: it is true. chairman chaffetz: you are infuriating. this is infuriating. this request came in march. here we are turning in the new year. i will ask you one more time, then we would go to mr. cartwright. articulate for me what you believe congress should not see. ms. fucile: we have not said that you cannot see anything. it has been no document we haven't given you that we have looked at. chairman chaffetz: and why not give it to us? you haven't -- have you give us all the documents at march? ms. fucile: i have said the document request is still
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outstanding. i said i will work with you even more. i cannot do more than that. chairman chaffetz: you actually can come and you're not. >> mr. levine, i had some questions for you. you're the director of the office of congressional legislative and intergovernmtal affairs. mr. levine: yes. >> thank you for being here today. i think you are nice, and sweet too. mr. levine: i appreciate that, so does my family. >> i am particularly interested in opm because we had a data breach. we had a couple of significant breaches that impact that really millions of current and former federal employees. this committee has been investigated in the process of
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those breaches with the goal of ensuring that opm has the necessary tools to prevent this kind of thing from happening. part of the investigation this committee sent formal requests for documents for information. as of today, i know that opm has produced documents responsive to each of the requests. my correct -- am i correct? ms. johnson: yes. >> is that what you spend the majority of your time doing as well? mr. levine: yes, i would say the overwhelming majority of the time has been in the area of responding to both in respect to the congressional requests and others. as well as providing information to members in the case workers in the desert -- istrict offices. >> one of the things that we
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did in addition to asking for documents, we also asked contractors. you are aware of that, right? mr. levine: we had the key point to ceo in here for a hearing not too long ago, a gentleman to admitted that he point was responsible -- eypoint was responsible. just to make it clear, is that part of your document request response? or is that there's a separately? mr. levine: i don't believe it is. >> i didn't think so, ither.
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that begs the question are you aware of why either the ceo of eypoint or anyone has not been called to testify having taken index is a five months to respond? are you aware why we didn't get a request from this committee? mr. levine: i am not aware. >> i am not either. i am concerned about that. we hauled before this committee the people who have responded. my understanding that keypoint has still not responded to all he requests. are you aware of any reason why they should not ever spotted 100% to our document request? mr. levine: i am not. >> what about opm?
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how many documents has opm produced? mr. levine: i want to say in the thousands, probably over 000. what we tried to do to the chairman's request is focus on the ones that were the most responsive to provide that information. >> has opm ever taken the position that they will no longer respond to this committee's request? mr. levine: no. >> throat the course of identifying and gathering in producing documents, can you tell us what challenges -- and during the course of identifying and gathering and producing documents, can he tells what challenges you faced? mr. levine: i think they are a small agency that in the past has not been challenged with this level of document production. recently did not have the infrastructure in place whether imply staffing level
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there have been delays. we would like to do things out of quickly as we can. we have been moderately successful. i think it speaks to the volume and lack of preparedness for the volume. >> i thank you for your testimony. i thank you for your efforts in complying with these great gust -- requests. thank you for working with us to make sure these data breaches do not happen again. chairman chaffetz: i yield. >> on the summer 21st, the chart and -- the department of justice and a letter to state and local law enforcement with no warning in deferring payments. i would like to submit this letter. chairman chaffetz: accepted. >> we depend on these funds. to pull the rug from under these law enforcers without warning is preposterous.
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is as effective the -- effective immediately, the department defer all equitable payments to the state, local, earners and transfer any items for official use. why would the department of justice with no warning on december 21 day program is either -- it is not safe what degree. can you explain? quickly understanding is the funds that were part of that program were reallocated by congress in the budget. there was no money to distribute. >> according to this, it says it was a decision by the department of justice. i will come back to that. speaking of shares, -- sheriffs alk about what happened in november 2015, mr. shea fits submitted -- mr. chairman shea fits submitted a number of records. predominantly a sheriff and --
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n our district, concerning how the department of justice has terminated to refuse or renew grants to local police department space on allegations of discrimination. these questions seek to learn how often and under what circumstances these grants have been made. did you receive these? >> i believe we did not. >> what was the submitted response? >> my understanding is those responses are being prepared now and will be submitted probably. >> -- submitted promptly. >> what is the timeframe? >> i would be happy to get back. >> who vets them? >> the various people in the epartment. >> i went to ask, i would like o follow-up on the answers that you are saying you will probably provide.
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is there a mechanism in place to submit to how that works. quickly could submit to the attorney general army. -- >> he could submit it to the attorney general or me. if we have outstanding ones, we will respond to the ones there. asking the same question does not make it easier. >> do you consider it part of your mission to be helpful to the members of congress. >> absolutely. >> i want to conclude with this question, when you say prompt, can you give me a timeline? two weeks, four weeks, months? this is then that's been going on for seven years. -- this has been going on for seven years. recently the department of justice made a decision, no wrongdoing. the friday before he was supposed to get it, though
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department of justice appealed this decision. what is promptly mean? >> i don't recall the volume of what we received. i will try to provide a timeline. cooksey he will try to provide a timeline on when you could respond. that is what frustrates us. the ambiguity. can we sit, maybe end of anuary, first of february. to me that is prompt. use of the word prompt. what is a prompt response that i can let this sheriff who has gone through seven years of hell, get past this and get his grant for defensive weapons were his deputies, officers, so he can protect the community. what is a prompt response? >> not familiar with the particular question that was ask or the circumstances, i cannot tell you for cicely what
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that would be. as i said, i would be happy to go back and in higher -- inquire on the status. >> maybe it is best not to use the word prompt. chairman: recognize the ranking ember. >> with regard to mr. walker's request, one of the things that happens in congress sadly is that in order for us to get answers we have to wait until people like you get before us. it should not be that way. we should really get the answers. all of us have been in the position of mr. walker. it is very frustrating. when he goes back to his district, his people will say, i thought you on c-span, you had the people before you, what
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did they say? i guarantee you. by the time he gets to his office he will have somebody calling. somebody is going to say thank you. they will say thank you for raising it. then they will say did you have a conversation afterwards? i would ask you to make that a priority. thank you. assistant secretary -- the state department faces huge challenges with document management systems. you heard my complaints. that has been decades-old. in effect of previous administrations, wouldn't you agree? >> yes, sir. >> we appreciate the documents from last year. however, there is no denying some responses have taken wanted than you or we would like. you have your own significant
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professional experience on capitol hill. is that right? you are familiar with the information demands that congress has come is that right? >> yes. >> you could get no better boss than the senator. her standards are extreme lehigh, when to agree? -- wouldn't you agree? >> absolutely. >> the standards are not ideal. your position as the head of legislative affairs of the state department, you have the ability to talk to secretary kerry about the challenges you face. >> yes. >> have you done that? >> yes. >> heavy proposed changes to the current systems, if so, what is the risk of? -- response? >> yes, we have created a holy system. -- a whole new system. we have gotten support from the state department and secretary to do so. it is only recently up and
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running. we are working out some of the kinks. i am hoping this will transform the way we can respond to congress and enable it us to do it in a quicker and more convenient way. more of this century than the way we used to do it. >> did you propose creating a congressional document production branch? >> yes >> can you tell it more bout why you wanted this new unit in what your vision is? >> it enables us to computerize and make it more technologically happy -- technologically savvy system of collecting document. we sat to compete for resources with others. now we have separate entities which is able to help us process just documents are congress. >> how did that help you? >> it is the first major step in the process of collecting
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documents. it is to physically collect them, collate them, number them come and get them ready. that makes the whole early part of the process much easier. it is not entire process. if i could also say, sir, the secretary recognizing larger issues we have with some of the information management. he has the -- he asked the oig to do a report on how we do our record management. he also appointed a transparency coordinator, former ambassador, who is actually helping a simple that the changes across the board. we are hoping that we are able to edelman changes that make it better in our system and congressional production system. >> you said you had document production systems more accessible. can you briefly explain the technology in the process changes. . >> yes. for many years we would provide hem on paper inboxes there
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were a number. staff had to dig through what they were looking for. now it is more professional on disks. >> would you agree there is a lot more work to be done? >> absolutely. >> i just want to be effective and efficient. i tell my staff to work -- two words they control everything, effective and efficient. we have a limited amount of time to do the job we need to do. we just want to get it done. if there are deficiencies in your operation, please, try to address them. are there things we can do? are there things you would like to see us do other than the things i've already talked about. you talked about, it seems -- are there things we can do to help you do your job so we can do our job? anyone? speak now or forever hold your peace.
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> thank you. as you specifically noted the ability to work with your staff and the chairman's staff and committee's staff on prioritizing the information they can be the most helpful for you and them is the most helpful step that you can provide us as we work through requests. we appreciate when they have done that. we can -- we hope we continue the dialogue. >> anyone else? mrs. johnson? ms. johnson: the same thing. the most example thing we did with the secret service request was coming back to the committee. asking you to prioritize the 18 categories. you identified four. we immediately searched and produced on those. yes, the constant dialogue between our offices and your staff is extremely important.
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a collaborative spirit is important. whatever we can do to try to narrow and focus the request allows us to do the searches, to do the reviews, and produce documents faster. >> i would echoed the comments of my colleagues. the narrowing, limiting, and prioritizing to help us. -- do help us. >> as i said in my opening statement, i believe we have had a cooperative relationship with the committee. we look forward to committing the dialogue -- continuing that dialogue. that will make us more effective and efficient. chairman: now recognized settlement from alabama -- recognize the gentleman from alabama. >> on june 19 of last year, senator mark warner's office, maybe was 2013, no, toy 14 -- 2014, his office and a letter
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to opium questioning the agencies monitoring ontract. it appears from our records that his office received a reply four days later on june 23. however when this committee sent a letter requesting information, the committee did not receive a response until one month later, which incidentally was 17 days overdue. what i want to know, what accounted for the extended time it took to respond to this committee, versus the >> turnaround -- the faster around for senator warner's office. do we need to assess the senator to get a timely response -- ask the senator to get a timely response? mr. levine: with respect to senator warner's letter, if i understand correctly, two major
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differences, one, it was not a request for documents, it was a request for information. >> words? mr. levine: no, the large distinction being that the senator asked for information, and we provided it. >> do you prioritize certain requests? do you get -- give more priority to request with certain individuals or agencies than others? let me just tell you, i have sat here for an hour and a half, two hours, listening to this. mr. meadows from north carolina, and his discussion about the lack of response from the office of management but
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should -- budget. i have to question whether or not you guys respect the constitutional authority that is in this committee. our responsibility is oversight. we owed it to the american people. i have heard example after example today of how your agencies continue to impede this committee's ability to carry out our oversight esponse abilities. there a pattern here, mr. chairman. before i was a member of congress, before in this committee -- before i was in this committee, there was a letter signed -- 47 others 42, is that correct, mr. hairman? in their letter, i believe this is unprecedented.
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the oig office seleka had to send a letter to this committee because federal agencies were impeding investigations i withholding documents -- by withholding documents. it seems to me that's continuing now. if this were a department of justice, if the department of justice sent out a request for documents in an effort to do due diligence investigating an issue, i doubt seriously the department justice would look kindly upon the kind of delays this committee has expanse. -- experienced. i daresay, they might even issue a wore it. - warrant. they would probably rise to the level of obstruction of justice. to delay is to destruct, in my -- obstructed in my opinion. -- obstruct, in my opinion. r. chairman has requested time
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and time again for documents. it seems to me you think -- it ppears to me you have been very well coached and how to respond to these requests. it appears to me, mr. chairman, they have no intention of producing the documents. that is frustrating. it is a violation of the public trust. i yield back. chairman: now recognize the entleman from florida. >> thank you. the chairman and myself have sent a letter to the justice department in december requesting the case file for the prosecution. we asked forever the end of the month, we have not received it, not a surprise, given what people have said.
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i wanted to ask, will be department produce the case file? >> we are willing to come in brief on the issue. presenting prosecution files present particular law enforcement sensitivities. i know the issue that you and the chairman are interested in is whether or not they have selective prosecution. >> there are a number of issues we would like to review. we want to get prompt responses. we don't want this to turn into the irs or some other investigations that have been stonewalled to death. the case is over. there is no ongoing investigation. the sentence has been served. clearly, we have a public interest in conducting oversight on how the department is doing its job. we fund your agency. i think we are entitled to the files.
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we don't want the briefing, we want files. will you produce those? >> i would be happy to take that back. as i indicated, the particular sensitivities -- >> such as? >> the names of witnesses, individuals who cooperated. there is the internal deliberations of the prosecutors. >> basically if a prosecutor did have illicit motivation, we are not entitled. the public will never know whether someone had ill intent when they were providing cases. is that what you're saying? >> no. >> how they discover the truth? >> if i could finish, if that issue is raised before the court, and the court says they did not provide evidence. >> because the defense did not have access to what we are trying to seek access to. as i understand, it was in the middle of the case there was an
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adversarial system. you start getting into strategy, that is not the way the system functions. that ship has sailed. the case is over, and the books. prosecute, felony, served the sentence. the whole argument is gone. the interest is done. it is your view that -- you talk about law enforcement sensitivities. does that trump a subpoena from the congress. if we do not get the case file, obviously through the request, then we may issue a subpoena from the committee. >> as i said, we would like to find a way to accommodate the committee and provide information it needs. the first step would be everything so you can ask questions and receive information. then we could see what further accommodations would be necessary. >> when you can -- when can you let us know what the decision on the file is? i'm not asking when you can
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produce it. i assume you employee interns who could make copies. when can you let us know when you will respond to the committee? >> i think we can respond to the next two to three weeks. >> i don't think it should take three weeks. i think we would like an answer towards the third week of this month. if we don't get back, then we will continue to press the issue. i look around, i hear the stories -- at the end of the day, it is not members of congress being stonewalled, it is the american people. our constituents asking about things -- ask about things. they come and see a government that totally is unresponsive. the government is difficult to get answers from. i don't think that is the way the system was designed. we will wait for that response. we will be in contact one way or the other. i'll back. -- i yield back the
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balance. chairman: i do appreciate your personal responsiveness. i would expect the highest standards of responsiveness given your expertise and approach. my question is in follow-up to his, if the inspector general was to come and look at the case file, what would they not be entitled to look at in your opinion? ut i am no expert on the general -- a thicker general, my understanding is -- inspector general, my understanding is, in the resent state of the law, the only possible information it would potentially that -- that would potentially be excluded is grand jury information rotected by wiretap. i believe the fair credit reporting act protection protects information.
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chairman: for memories of the committee, that is something we need to look at more broadly. we are the oversight committee. we are charged by the constitution to provide that oversight. we should have access to at least the same amount of information. i have a series of specific things i need to go through. we will work to wrap this up. miss fucile, we put in a request for transcribed interviews. you have not responded. tell me why i should not issue subpoena? ms. fucile: the request for transcribed interviews has been taken back. my understanding is not all of hose folks work there.
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chairman: if your response is they don't work here, i could find them somewhere else. i think it is more complicated. there are people that work there that we want to have interviews. they are trying to avoid subpoenas. i have done about a dozen or so. you leave us with no choice. i hope you understand that. i hope you take that back. within the week can you respond? ms. fucile: we will follow up with in the week. chairman: thank you. mrs. johnson, let me give you background, there were a series of problems and challenges of the secret service. and if so that secretary johnson put together a protective mission panel. people from the outside came in and let. secret service and homeland security the information, and
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they produced a very important and signal picket -- significant document. i was impressed with their conclusions and the depths of their work in such a short amount of time. in fact to me, i thought, that is what we aspire to do. my understanding is, you provided them -- homeland security provided that panel pretty much anything and everything they wanted in order to get information for the secretary. here we are in congress trying to have the same type of responsiveness, and one of the things that we asked for in ebruary of 2015 was -- this is -- i thought this was the easiest of all the requests, if that all documents and indications were produced to the recent protected mission panel which operated until december 2014. that is photocopying. there was a set of materials but together, given to the protective mission panel, we
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wanted to see that same thing. yet, we did not get anything, nothing. you gave us nothing until we got to june when i had to issue a subpoena. why is that? why would you not provide this to congress? why did i have to issue a subpoena? microphone. miss johnson: that predates me coming in as assistant secretary. i am not sure what was the result -- i am not sure why there was the delay. i am looking at my chart, i know that the majority of documents have been produced and made available. chairman: why not all of them? you produced all of them to the panel. why are you holding stuff back from us? miss johnson: chairman, i cannot answer the question because i do not know it has been produced. all of that occurred before he
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became the assistant secretary. chairman: we get the answer? -- will you get the answer? i think it is reasonable. we want the panel to come up with the best possible recommendations for the president of the united states and best recommendations for the homeland security, you given document. i want to make sure we are erforming at that same level. we want the same documents. do you want funding for the american people? there are all sorts of things. you only given this image of it -- you only gave a percentage of it. you are holding back from us. it is not reasonable. miss johnson: i will take that back. as i said, it is my understanding the majority of documents have been
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produced. we are currently still producing them. i will take that back. chairman: i think you are accurate. i take you at your word come and look forward to seeing it. the frustration is, this has been going on since february of last year. we talking one year, and we still have them. it has been a year. -- we still do not have them. it has been a year. we issued a subpoena. i did this jointly with the democrats. this is a bipartisan request, you still have not settled it. -- the filled. -- fufilled it. september 23, john mica and die, the chairman of the sick -- subcommittee on transportation sent a request on airport i did a vacation -- i to navigation. five requests, not a single document. why? ms. johnson: i mention this earlier. they will be producing the documents fairly shortly. chairman: ok. let's go to the state department, if i could. we're trying to wrap this
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up. we had four members of congress, myself, elijah cummings, stephen lynch, bipartisan request on october 16 for a bipartisan danger pay. it was not a long request. barely a page and a half. two requests, i don't have a single document from you. >> we have provided a briefing. we are preparing the documents and hope to have been delivered in the near future. chairman: i have a series of other things. my last bit of frustration with the state department, we noticed this hearing, and suddenly the whole dam rakes open -- breaks open. we got 2300 pages on a congressional certification. we have a closed out letter that was nearly two months
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old. last night, after hours you gave us 3958 documents related to the saudi facilities. some of these requests are old. i mean really old. mysteriously, we get them the night before his hearing. -- this hearing. it leads me to believe, we have to do this on a weekly or bimonthly basis. it is really hard for us to understand. i would rather not even hold his hearing. i don't want to have to hold it again. can you understand that? >> i absolutely do. we were discussing it. in your letter you very clearly articulated what where your priorities. we had been focusing on jakarta. we thought we would get as much done with that first. you say you have five you want us to do at the same time. chairman: it was in august. that was in august.
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we got at the night before. october 7, we didn't get that. when will you get those? >> we have given you a few documents, but we are briefing and continuing to gather them. chairman: i guess we got as last night. i need to get to the floor. we have some things happening there. i appreciate the member participation. please know there are a lot of good people in your organizations. we appreciate the good work. so much happens the right way, but it is these headaches that we have to figure out. we appreciate your participation today. this committee stands adjourned. the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] national cable satellite corp. 2016]
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>> next, q&a. live at 7:00 a.m. your calls and comments on "washington journal." >> today the bipartisan task force to combat the heroin epidemic looks to reduce heroin
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epidemic in u.s. that's live at 12:00 p.m. eastern on c -- 26r7b p.m. eastern on c-span-3. >> tonight on the communicators, john lancing ceo of the broadcasting board of governors discusses how media organizations are operating in today's media environment and how he would like them to address order to propaganda. joinedly ron nixon, new york times washington correspondent. >> the reality is we started 70 years ago as a radio enterprise. we still do some radio. but our ability to shift mobile and social and put more resources behind that is certainly there. we are really no different than any other media company that you and i know about that have had to do the same thing.
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just as well. and has done a fantastic job. and that's our mission is to shift resources, energy, focus, strategy, to be more in the peer to peer conversations instead of the one to many types of conversation soss that we could shift away from the stodgey old media to the new media. >> watch tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span 2. prepares dent obama for his state of the union address on tuesday he released this video on twitter. >> i'm working on my state of the union address. it's the last one. as i'm writing i keep about the road we traveled together these past 78 years. that's what makes -- seven years. that's what makes america great. pull ourselves closer to the america we believe in. it's hard to see sometimes in
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the day to day noise of washington but it is who we are. and it is what i want to focus on in this state of the union address. >> our coverage starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern with senate real an betty co-ed and clear real clear politics congressional reporter looking back at the history and tradition of the president's annual message and what to expect. then our live coverage of the president's speech followed by the republican response. plus your reaction by phone, facebook, tweets, and e-mails as well as those from members of congress. we will reair our state of the union coverage and the republican response starting at 11:00 p.m. eastern, 8:00 p.m. pacific. also live on c-span 2 after the speech we will hear from members of congress in statry hall with their reaction to the president's address.


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