The Washington Times - December 18, 2013, 04:43PM

The Obama administration on Wednesday said it is disappointed that the House’s top investigator did not sit down with cyber security experts before he received sensitive documents relating to the security of HealthCare.gov, the federal Obamacare portal that serves 36 states.

But Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican and chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, took affront to the letter from the Department of Health and Human Services, saying the new offer walks back HHS’ promise to arrange a meeting between him and agency Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to discuss the documents from MITRE, one of many Obamacare contractors.


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“Chairman Issa is disappointed that HHS has apparently reneged on the White House’s offer to make Secretary Sebelius available to discuss concerns about HealthCare.gov security. It’s difficult to have a serious dialogue when the other party walks back an offer after we’ve said yes,” a committee spokesperson said.

Mr. Issa has been going back and forth with committee Democrats and the Obama administration over his subpoena of the sensitive documents, with the latter saying they could provide a roadmap to vulnerabilities on the website.

The agency on Wednesday suggested a meeting with both Republicans and Democrats from Mr. Issa’s committee — and with House Speaker John A. Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — “now that you are in possession of the documents and share the responsibility with us for ensuring that they are not used to compromise the security of the [federal marketplace],” the letter from Jim R. Esquea, HHS’ assistant secretary for legislation, said.

Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, had requested the sit-down in a letter to Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, earlier on Wednesday.

In its letter, HHS assured Mr. Issa that the website complies with security protocols.

“To date, there have been no successful security attacks on Health.gov and no person or group has maliciously accessed personally identifiable information from the site,” Mr. Esquea wrote.