Defense Secretary Robert Gates will allow a Defense Department (DoD) official to testify before a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee, reversing previous DoD protests and agreeing to cooperate with an investigation on sexual assault in the military, the committee announced today.

Dr. Kaye Whitley was instructed by superiors not to appear at a July 31 hearing on the matter despite a subpoena from the committee. Whitely serves as director of the DoD's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.

A superior official claimed that he, not Whitley, was accountable to Congress on the military's sexual assault prevention efforts.

The committee appealed to Gates in a letter yesterday, asking him to instruct Whitley to testify.

Oversight Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs Chairman John Tierney (D-Mass.) had first requested Whitley's testimony in late June. The committee issued a subpoena a month later.

At the July 31 hearing, Tierney's subcommittee heard testimony from several servicewomen who had been raped by fellow soldiers. A Government Accountability Office report, released the same day, found the military's efforts to prevent sexual assault inadequate.