In a decision that completely defies logic, the IRS announced this week that it has awarded a non-competitive multi-million contract to Equifax for the purpose of fraud prevention.
Yep, you read that right.
The very corporation that less than a month ago was rocked by its second security breach which exposed the personal data of more than 145 million Americans will now be handling the tax information of untold millions more.
Sen. Orrin Hatch blasted the IRS, “In the wake of one of the most massive data breaches in a decade, it’s irresponsible for the IRS to turn over millions in taxpayer dollars to a company that has yet to offer a succinct answer on how at least 145 million Americans had personally identifiable information exposed.”
That’s the understatement of the year.
We’re waiting for Congress to call a spade a spade and finally disband the rogue agency.
Here’s more from Politico…
The IRS will pay Equifax $7.25 million to verify taxpayer identities and help prevent fraud under a no-bid contract issued last week, even as lawmakers lash the embattled company about a massive security breach that exposed personal information of as many as 145.5 million Americans.
A contract award for Equifax’s data services was posted to the Federal Business Opportunities database Sept. 30 — the final day of the fiscal year. The credit agency will “verify taxpayer identity” and “assist in ongoing identity verification and validations” at the IRS, according to the award.
The notice describes the contract as a “sole source order,” meaning Equifax is the only company deemed capable of providing the service. It says the order was issued to prevent a lapse in identity checks while officials resolve a dispute over a separate contract.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle blasted the IRS decision.
“In the wake of one of the most massive data breaches in a decade, it’s irresponsible for the IRS to turn over millions in taxpayer dollars to a company that has yet to offer a succinct answer on how at least 145 million Americans had personally identifiable information exposed,” Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)told POLITICO in a statement.
The committee’s ranking member, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), piled on: “The Finance Committee will be looking into why Equifax was the only company to apply for and be rewarded with this. I will continue to take every measure possible to prevent taxpayer data from being compromised as this arrangement moves forward.”
The IRS defended its decision in a statement, saying that Equifax told the agency that none of its data was involved in the breach and that Equifax already provides similar services to the IRS under a previous contract.