House Committee To Hold Hearings On State Department Security

July 7, 2008 - 7:25 PM

( - House International Relations Committee Chairman Benjamin Gilman (R-NY) announced on Monday that he will hold a series of hearings to examine security lapses at the State Department.

Gilman's announcement comes after a published report said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was conducting an intensive search for a laptop computer reportedly containing secret information that somehow vanished from the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR).

"The missing laptop is the latest in a long string of security failures at the State Department. It is obvious that the department lacks a professional environment that is sensitive to security concerns. Our committee intends to pursue these security failures with public hearings in May," Gilman said.

Gilman also said the INR was found to be "not in compliance" with many security procedures, according to a report by the State Department Inspector General last year.

The State Department had no comment on Gilman's allegations when contacted on Monday by

Congress is currently on its Easter recess. Gilman announced that his committee would hold a hearing on "Information Technology and Computer Security" on Thursday, May 11th and a hearing on "Foreign Buildings and Embassy Security" on Thursday, May 18th.

"Such security lapses are not acceptable. Whatever changes are necessary at the State Department to better protect our nation's secrets should be undertaken," Gilman said.