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OPM Asks for Agency Cost Sharing in Contract for Credit Monitoring Services

cybersecurityThe Office of Personnel Management is asking other federal agencies to contribute funding for the cybersecurity measures that will be implemented in response to the recent data breaches at OPM, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Eric Yoder writes that a memorandum from acting OPM Director Beth Cobert calls on agencies to cover the costs due to the timing of the cyber expenses late in the fiscal year.

“Given the limited resources available to OPM at this time to deal with a contract of this size, agencies will be asked to contribute FY 2015 funding to cover the first full year’s costs of credit monitoring and related services/benefits,” Cobert said in the memo, according to the report.

An OPM damage assessment previously revealed that the breaches exposed the personnel records and security clearance files of 22.1 million former and current federal employees and contractors, which the agency sought to address by offering credit monitoring, identity protection and other services.

Yoder reports that a contract on the response to the breach on security clearance files has yet to be made, while OPM and the Interior Department have paid $21 million for the contract on the breach of personnel records.

Jason Miller also reports on Federal News Radio that Cobert’s memo indicates plans to increase OPM’s fees for processing security clearances and extend cost sharing through fiscal years 2016 and 2017 to cover the anticipated costs of the contracts.

OPM spokesperson Sam Schumach has stated that the agency’s plans have the approval of the Office of Management and Budget, Miller writes.

The report added that the American Federation of Government Employees is instead asking Congress to cover the costs of the needed services.

“[Diverting] agency resources from serving taxpayers and potentially impacting their ability to fund employee salaries and expenses is improper and a possible violation of the Antideficiency Act,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said in a statement.

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