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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General's (OIG) Special Inquiry into the alleged cover-up of an unexplained increase in deaths at the Harry S Truman Memorial Veterans Medical Center, Columbia, Missouri, focusing on: (1) whether the Special Inquiry report represents the results of OIG's review; (2) whether OIG complied with its policies in conducting the Special Inquiry; (3) why a delay occurred between receipt of the cover-up allegations in February 1993 and the beginning of the Special Inquiry in January 1995; (4) whether OIG protected the confidentiality of the staff physician who made the allegations of a cover-up; and (5) if OIG processes and procedures are adequate for ensuring confidentiality.

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