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Capitol Health Call
February 13, 2013

HHS Public Records

JAMA. 2013;309(6):535. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.464

A whistleblower's charge that political appointees within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have been using instant messaging technology to communicate with career employees in an effort to circumvent recordkeeping laws has drawn the interest of the chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight.

The chairman, Rep Charles Boustany Jr, MD (R, La), sent a letter December 18 to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for the department's policy on the archiving of electronic message records; copies of internal guidance or directives concerning the use and archiving of electronic messages; and all communication concerning the use of instant messaging by appointees.