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If you’re one of the 20 million or so people whose Social Security numbers and other sensitive information was stolen last year in the massive government data breach, you’re receiving some extra protection.
As of June 1, every affected person has $5 million in identify theft insurance, up from $1 million that was initially offered, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced on June 24. In addition, OPM is working on extending credit monitoring and identity protection services for 10 years, an increase from their initial offer of between 18 months and 3 years.
Late last year, Congress told OPM to increase the theft insurance and credit monitoring protection. AFGE had argued for months that the protections initially offered by OPM were not enough to address the severity of the security breaches, and Congress passed a measure authored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland that ramped up the protections.
OPM also is sending a second round of notices to individuals who were affected by the breach into background investigation files but did not receive the initial notification. About 10% of the initial mailings were returned due to bad addresses, OPM said.
To enroll in the identity theft protection and credit monitoring services, or to read answers to frequently asked questions, visit www.opm.gov/cybersecurity.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 625,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.UPDATE ON RECENT CYBER INCIDENTS: Open Letter to Colleagues from the Identity Theft Clearinghouse, FTCDear DOL Colleagues, I am writing to provide you an update on the recent cyber incidents at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). As we have recently shared, on June 4, OPM announced an intrusion impacting personnel information of approximately four million current and former Federal employees.
Download: Talking_points_2015_0604.docx , Timeline and Actions.docx
Hires Contractors to perform IT work at multiple agencies
The Department of Labor is contracting out information technology (IT) functions performed by federal employees in the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and Employment Training Administration (ETA). It is the NCFLL's understanding that this contract will eventually result in the privatization of IT functions in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA).
DOL has acknowledged in writing that it is privatizing work performed by its own employees, in direct contradiction to the law. OMB Circular A-11, which provides guidance for implementation of the law states:
“Pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 1710 and 10 U.S.C. 2461, agencies are precluded from converting, in whole or in part, functions performed by federal employees to contract performance absent a public-private competition (a practice known as “direct conversion”). The conversion of work from in-house to private sector performance may only occur through public-private competition. Appropriations acts since 2009, however, have prohibited agencies from using funds to “begin or announce a study or public-private competition regarding the conversion to contractor performance of any function performed by Federal employees pursuant to Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 or any other administrative regulation, directive, or policy.”
In other words, work designated for performance by federal employees cannot be converted to contractor performance without first conducting a cost comparison process that is consistent with the law.
NCFLL-AFGE members are proud to work for DOL, and we believe our agency is vital to our nation's workers. We must stop this illegal privatization, write to your elected representative urging them to tell Secretary Perez to reverse this illegal privatization.