Reid wants VA chief’s head

The U.S. Senate’s top Democrat on Tuesday called on Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson to resign after the department disclosed that another batch of personal information on veterans was missing.

"Enough is enough," Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada said. "Less than a month after promising to make the VA the ‘gold standard’ in data security, Secretary Nicholson has again presided over loss of personal information of thousands of veterans."

The VA on Monday announced that a subcontractor reported personal information on up to 38,000 veterans was missing from the company’s offices.

That comes on top of the theft in May of a VA laptop containing sensitive information on more than 26 million veterans and service members. That laptop was recovered in June and officials said they did not believe information was taken.

Nicholson said Monday the department’s inspector general, the FBI and local law enforcement "are conducting a thorough investigation" of the latest incident.

The subcontractor, the Unisys Corp., said a desktop computer was missing from its offices in Reston, Virginia outside Washington. Unisys was hired to assist in insurance collections for VA medical centers in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

The VA said it believes the computer records were limited to people who were treated at the two Pennsylvania centers in the last four years. It said the computer may have contained patients’ names, addresses, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and other information that could be used in identity theft and other crimes.

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