House Lawmakers Want Info on Disruption of IRS Student Financial Aid Tool

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers have urged the Internal Revenue Service to provide information about the outage of a tool used to help students apply for federal financial aid.

Lawmakers asked IRS commissioner John Koskinen in a letter published Thursday to brief the House Committees on Oversight and Government Reform and Education and the Workforce on a recent incident that led to the unavailability of IRS’ Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA.gov and StudentLoans.gov sites.

The Education Department said March 9 that DRT went offline due to information security concerns.

The House members also asked Koskinen to identify the dates on which IRS learned about the vulnerability; took DRT out of service; and notified FBI, the inspector general and the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team of an information security incident related to DRT.

IRS should describe the scope of data and personally identifiable information that may have been compromised as well as the total population of known impacted individuals, the lawmakers said.

They also asked IRS to identify recommendations made to the Education Department on DRT operations in the past year.

Representatives also requested documents related to the determination that the event is a “major incident.”

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