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Heinrich Demands Scrutiny Of IRS Contract With Equifax

on October 10, 2017 - 5:52am
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
WASHINGTON, D.C.  Thursday, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), joined eight of his colleagues in a letter demanding further scrutiny of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) decision to award Equifax a sole-source contract to verify taxpayer identities and help prevent tax fraud despite the company’s recent disclosure of a massive cybersecurity breach exposing the personal information of as many as 145.5 million Americans, including over 860,000 New Mexicans.
“By awarding this no-bid contract, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is paying Equifax $7.25 million in taxpayer money to protect the very same taxpayers from an identity theft risk that Equifax helped create,” Senators wrote. “The decision to award this contract to protect the identities of taxpayers and the integrity of federal tax dollars in light of Equifax’s recent and severe breach of the public trust is highly concerning.”
In September, Equifax disclosed a cybersecurity breach that potentially exposed the sensitive personal information of more than 145 million consumers, including Social Security numbers, home addresses, and driver’s license numbers. Equifax had known about the breach for months, but did not publicly disclose it until September. In the interest of protecting taxpayers’ money, the Senators urged IRS Commissioner John Koskinen to explain why Equifax was awarded the sole-source contract in light of this cybersecurity breach. 
The letter was led by U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management, and signed by U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).
A copy of the letter is available here.