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Alleged Unauthorized Access of a VA Senior Executive’s Email Not Substantiated

Report Description: 

The OIG investigated an allegation that an attorney at the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) may have accessed a BVA senior executive’s government email account without permission, including email concerning a personnel matter involving the attorney. The complaint further alleged that the attorney should have known that access to the materials in the executive’s email account was not authorized. The attorney has since left VA employment.

After considering the extensive evidence collected, including analyses of audit logs, mailbox content, testimonial evidence, Office of Information and Technology (OIT) service tickets, and a forensic analysis of the attorney’s government-furnished laptop, the OIG did not substantiate that the attorney ever accessed the executive’s email or that the attorney was aware that such access rights had been assigned to them. Moreover, the OIG team could not dismiss the possibility that the attorney’s unauthorized access privileges were the result of an error made by either OIT staff or the executive. Based on these findings, the OIG made no recommendations.

Submitting OIG-Specific Report Number: 

20-01460-202

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