NFFE-Supported Bill Introduced to Provide Lifetime of Identity Protection
In June, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced the discovery of a data breach that compromised the personnel files of 4.2 federal employees. Following a subsequent investigation, it was revealed that private information for an estimated 22.1 million people was stolen from OPM databases. Among those affected include federal employees, contractors, security clearance applicants, and family members of those applicants.
Since the announcement of the original breach, answers from OPM have been challenging, if not impossible, to come by, often excused under the premise of “ongoing investigations.” All the while, millions of federal employees that have had their personal information compromised – at no fault of their own – continue to go without the protections they need and deserve. At every turn of this still-developing data breach, NFFE has demanded for the agency to be more transparent and responsive in addressing the widespread concerns of the federal workforce as well as outlining steps the administration can take to alleviate the problem.
Earlier this month, NFFE joined with our allies in the Senate to introduce the RECOVER Act (S. 1746). The bill, introduced by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), calls for expanded identity theft coverage for federal workers, contractors, and other individuals affected by the OPM data breaches. This includes lifetime identity theft coverage—something NFFE has repeatedly demanded—and that no less than $5 million of identity theft insurance be provided. These provisions will ensure that federal employees and those affected will always have the necessary protections to repair any future financial damages incurred as a result of this data breach.
It is encouraging to see members of Congress seeking fair solutions in the face of OPM’s underwhelming response to the breach of its cyber network. NFFE will work with our allies to pass the RECOVER Act, so that federal employees, their families, and all others affected in the OPM data breach receive adequate protections at no personal expense.
“To this point, OPM and the Administration has been slow to respond to questions from the millions of federal employees affected by OPM’s data breaches,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan. “America’s dedicated civil servants deserve better than the treatment they have received. We applaud the Senators involved in drafting and introducing the RECOVER Act. Passage of the RECOVER Act will be a top priority legislative priority of NFFE in 2015.”