Even after Equifax had been hacked not once, but twice, the consumer credit rating company (one of 3 major such companies) was awarded a $7 million (exactly $7,251,968.00) contract by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The IRS, headed by the Trump administration’s cabinet member, Steve Mnuchin, according to the contract synopsis:
“This action was to establish an order for third party data services from Equifax to verify taxpayer identity and to assist in ongoing identity verification and validations needs of the Service. A sole source order is required to cover the timeframe needed to resolve the protest on contract TIRNO-17-Z-00024. This is considered a critical service that cannot lapse.”
The office of the IRS defended its actions by stating that “Equifax told the agency that none of its data was involved in the breach and that Equifax already provides similar services to the IRS under a previous contract”.
On October 3rd, former Equifax CEO was publicly interviewed at Congress. Equifax was hacked and about 146 million American’s sensitive information was compromised. The CEO testified that “a single employee” made a mistake in the procedures.
Committee members chastised CEO Richard Smith from the dais.
“How does this happen when so much is at stake? I don’t think we can pass a law that, excuse me for saying this, fixes stupid. I can’t fix stupid,” said Representative Greg Walden, Republican of Oregon.