OPM, Education Department CIOs resign under fire from Congress

The workplace of personnel control’s chief information officer, Donna Seymour, resigned Monday, two days before she was scheduled to stand a house Oversight and authorities Reform Committee hearing at the theft of statistics from the OPM’s network observed last year. A spokesperson for the OPM showed to Ars that Seymour had resigned, saying “she has retired.”

Seymour informed colleagues on the OPM in a message that she become departing to make sure that her presence at the workplace “does now not distract from the super work this team does every unmarried day for this organisation and the yank people,” in keeping with a record through u.s.a. modern-day Erin Kelly My Pro Blog.

House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) cancelled the deliberate hearing for Wednesday at the OPM hack. “Ms. Seymour’s retirement is good news and a critical turning factor for OPM,” he commented in a prepared statement. “At the same time as I’m upset Ms. Seymour will not appear before our Committee this week to reply to the yank people, her retirement is necessary and long overdue. On her watch, whether through negligence or incompetence, tens of millions of american citizens lost their privacy and personal facts. The country wide protection implications of this totally foreseeable breach are a long way-reaching and long-lasting. OPM now needs a qualified CIO at the helm to proper to deliver and restore self belief inside the organization.”

Seymour, a profession civil servant who got here to the OPM from the department of protection in 2013, had no previous direct revel in computer security, though she had served as a chief facts officer at several agencies. On the department of protection, she served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of defense for the office of Warrior Care policy and the principal Director for Civilian personnel policy, in which she handled human assets’ management policy for the nearly 1 million non-navy employees of the DOD. She had additionally previously been the DOD’s executive director for organization Human resource information systems.

When she arrived at the OPM, she inherited a raft of IT problems, consisting of nicely-documented issues in security and software challenge control, specially across the workplace’s EPIC system—the gathering of structures involved in the OPM’s role in coping with historical past investigations for Federal employees.

 

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In 2014, the “EPIC Transformation” assignment—an ongoing modernization program for the software program that investigators at the OPM and its contractors used to collect and control investigation statistics, consisting of considerable quantities of for my part identifiable data on both contemporary and ability federal personnel and contractors—was “rebaselined” (basically, despatched again to the drafting board) after floundering for nearly seven years.

The components of the device that have been in place did not meet protection guidelines and have been in essence operating in violation of federal policies. A 2014 OPM Inspector general record advised Seymour after which-OPM Director Katherine Archuleta to shut the structures down till they have been given authentic “Authority To function” because they posed a danger to national security.

Seymour convinced Archuleta to disregard those pleas. And inside months, hackers alleged to be working from China had infiltrated the OPM’s network.

Seymour’s departure got here on the same day that it changed into introduced that the department of training’s CIO, Danny Harris, might be leaving with the aid of the quit of the month. Harris changed into below fire on a couple of fronts, going through not just criticism of schooling’s cybersecurity footing but investigations of misconduct via Congress. In step with an announcement from training’s press secretary Dorie Turner Nolt, Harris was “becoming a distraction to the branch’s vital ongoing cybersecurity work.”

In advance this month, without delay following testimony earlier than Rep. Chaffetz‘s residence Oversight Committee, Harris collapsed and changed into taken to the sanatorium. Rep. Chaffetz had known as out Harris for education’s failure to satisfy protection desires set inside the “cyber sprint” mandated by the Obama management following the OPM breach. Chaffetz had stated that “with the aid of virtually every metric,” Harris became “failing to appropriately comfortable the department’s structures.”

Harris had been the challenge of an Inspector general research and become dealing with accusations of using training branch subordinates to assist perform facet agencies he become going for walks (such as car detailing and domestic theater installation), failing to report the income from those companies on his tax return, and having a fallacious courting dating again to the early 2000s with a federal contractor, who in 2005 was given a no-bid one-of-a-kind contract for IT assist for which Harris become this system manager.