GAO Releases Report Criticizing Contractor Access to Sensitive Government Data: The Government Accountability Office released a report on September 10, 2010, focusing on a year and a half study of contractors assigned to three government agencies: Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services (HHS). The GAO found that sensitive information released to contractors working with those agencies was not properly safeguarded and therefore posed a significant risk of improper disclosure or misuse. The report follows an announcement by Defense Secretary Robert Gates in August announcing major cuts to the government’s reliance on contractors, calling for a “10 percent annual reduction in spending on contractors who provide support services to the military, including money for intelligence-related contracts.” The report highlighted several data-breach incidents including one where a contract employee stole the names, social security numbers and birthdates of employees at the Transportation Security Administration in Boston.