The Washington Times - December 9, 2013, 11:09AM

Two House GOP lawmakers are seeking additional assurances from the head of the IRS that taxpayer information is protected from hackers when people enroll in Obamacare health care exchanges.

Reps. Diane Black of Tennessee and Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania sent a letter to Daniel I. Werfel, the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, on Monday expressing concern that the “sensitive personal data transmitted through the new health insurance exchanges” could be vulnerable to hackers.

SEE RELATED:


The lawmakers pointed to recent report from the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, the government’s chief watchdog for the IRS, which said that “critical elements of the security controls failed during testing.”


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Health Care Reform


“This audit raises important questions as to whether the IRS can successfully protect taxpayer data against fraud and abuse,” the lawmakers wrote. “Therefore, to better understand how the IRS plans to securely and successfully transmit taxpayer data, we respectfully request you provide a written explanation of the IRS’s process plan, along with copies of the documented policies for resolving the failed security tests.”


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Health Care Reform


Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, also has raised questions about whether the HealthCare.gov website is secure and said that it should be shut down and properly tested to ensure that consumers are protected from potential security risks.


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Health Care Reform


“This isn’t about wanting the site to fail itself,” Mr. Rogers said last week, arguing that his concern is about safeguarding people’s personal data from organized criminal organizations and sophisticated hackers. “What you’ve done is you’ve opened them up to a level of risk using this website that I have never seen.”


SPECIAL COVERAGE: Health Care Reform