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Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > FDA Asked To Explain Email Monitoring Policies

FDA Asked To Explain Email Monitoring Policies

Posted 07 March 2012 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) sent a letter to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about their monitoring of nine employees who worked for the agency. The letter demands a comprehensive explanation of all FDA monitoring policies after the agency kept tabs on emails sent by the nine workers to federal watchdog agencies.

In the letter, sent to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Budget Director Jeffery Zients, Grassley and Issa state that FDA's monitoring of the actions of its employees "was not lawful."

"To the extent that it monitored communications with the Congress and the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), the FDA was not legitimately investigating wrongdoing or tracing a security breach. Disclosures to OSC and Congress are authorized and protected by law," continued Grassley and Issa.

Their letter goes on to request that OMB collect information on whether or not FDA employees-and those of other agencies-are permitted minimal use of personal email at work, whether FDA has an official policy for monitoring employee email, what communications are legally protected, the extent of monitoring activities, the titles of FDA officials authorized to order or conduct surveillance and statistics on monitoring activities.

Read more:

Letter - To The Honorable Jeffery D. Zients

Regulatory Focus - Whistleblowers Accuse FDA of Monitoring Correspondence to Congress About Medical Device Concerns

Regulatory Focus - Senator Grassley Expresses 'Concern' About FDA Treatment of Whistleblowers, Opens Investigation

Regulatory Focus - Investigation into FDA Handling of Whistleblowers Widens

The Hill - Republicans question extent of agencies' spying on federal employees


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