Washington D.C. – Victims of the massive 2015 government data breaches need more information about the status of their credit monitoring and identity theft insurance once the contracts for those services expire next month, said Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union.
Reardon has asked Office of Personnel Management Acting Director Margaret Weichert to explain the process for continuing this important coverage for millions of people affected by the data breaches, including federal employees and retirees.
In a letter delivered to OPM on Tuesday, Reardon cited the NTEU-supported law that requires OPM to provide coverage to the victims for 10 years, through Fiscal Year 2026.
Millions of people who had their personal information stolen in the OPM data breaches enrolled in free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance provided by the government.
“Given that the expiration of the contracts is set for next month, I am writing to request information about the plan for providing these services past December, the number of current enrollees to be transitioned, and what plans OPM has in place to notify impacted individuals, especially if a new provider is selected and individuals are required to reenroll for services,” Reardon wrote.
Federal employees give OPM extensive personal information as a condition of their employment and do so on the explicit promise that OPM will keep that information confidential. OPM, despite that promise, ignored warnings year after year from its own internal watchdog about its dangerously deficient IT security, leading to the theft of the private information of more than 21 million people.
Earlier this month, NTEU argued in court that its lawsuit against OPM should be allowed to proceed in order to force OPM to take the necessary steps to secure its data and to provide lifetime credit monitoring and identity theft protection for NTEU members affected by the breaches.
NTEU represents 150,000 employees at 33 federal agencies and departments.