IHS director criticized for property loss response
Senate Indian Affairs Committee oversight hearing on Indian Health Service Management: Lost Property, Wasteful Spending and Document Fabrication. July 30, 2008.

Opening Statements

Testimony | Q&A

Written Testimony | Webcast
Members of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee questioned why the director of the Indian Health Service wasn't more upset about property loss and waste at the agency.

Robert McSwain, who was sworn in as director in April, acknowledged the problem but disputed the conclusions of a Government Accountability Office report that said the IHS lost $15.9 million in property and wasted money on unused equipment.

"I'd be furious if I were you," Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota), the chairman of the committee, told McSwain, a member of the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California.

"I do have a problem but not to the extent it's being portrayed," McSwain said.

Dorgan and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) pointed out that McSwain questioned IHS's property management policies in a 1997 memo. McSwain refused to address the memo directly during his testimony.

Get the Story:
Indian health official denies mess (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 8/1)
Indian health official downplays equipment losses (The Great Falls Tribune 8/1)
Senators slam Indian Health agency for lost items (AP 7/31)

GAO Report:
IHS Mismanagement Led to Millions of Dollars in Lost or Stolen Property | Summary

Related Stories:
Sen. Dorgan seeks testimony from HHS Secretary (7/31)
Senate Indian Affairs business meeting and hearing (7/31)
Business meeting added to Indian Affairs hearing (7/29)
Senate hearing this week on IHS mismanagement (7/28)
Editorial: IHS mismanagement hurts patients (7/28)
Sen. Nelson questions IHS mismanagement (7/25)
Senate sets hearing on IHS mismanagement (7/23)
GAO Report: IHS lost $15.8M in property (7/22)