Breach, Data Security

Rep. Chaffetz calls for OPM CIO dismissal

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, renewed his call that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) chief information officer (CIO) should be removed in light of a report made by the OPM Inspector General (IG) that she was hampering his investigation into a recent pair of breaches.

Last week saw an escalation in the war of words between Chaffetz, the OPM Inspector General and OPM's acting director, Beth Cobert. Chaffetz, citing a memo issued in July by IG Patrick McFarland that said OPM CIO Donna Seymour was hindering his probe into the hack of 22 million OPM files, called for the Obama administration to fire Seymour.

“My concern about Ms. Seymour's ability to serve is amplified by a communication the Committee received from the Inspector General," Chaffetz wrote in an Aug. 6 letter to Cobert. The Congressman that in an Aug. 3 letter, "OPM's IG notified me that on July 22, 2015, a memorandum was sent to you and the letter advised me that ‘there have been situations where actions by the OCIO [office of chief information officer] have interfered with, and thus hindered, the OIG's work."  In addition, Chaffetz told Cobert, "the OCIO has repeatedly provided the OIG with inaccurate or misleading information."

McFarland's letter to Cobert added that he believes it is imperative for OPM to act on his concerns if it is to meet the “unprecedented challenges facing it today.

Neither Chaffetz's nor Cobert's office replied to a request for comment for this story.

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