Fedweek

Several proposals are pending in Congress to apply the broader and longer services promised to those affected by the clearance files breach to those affected by the personnel files breach, as well. That would effectively benefit about 600,000 current and former federal employees affected by the latter but not by the former. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee initially announced, but then canceled, plans to approve such a bill today (July 22), meaning any action likely will be put off until after the August congressional recess. Officials have said that of those notified in the personnel files breach, about a fifth have opted into free monitoring of credit and certain other personal information for 18 months; for those affected by the clearance breach, those services would apply for twice as long, and certain other services would be offered. However, many employees say they are reluctant to give to the contractor providing the services the personal information needed to start some of them; some say they are independently taking steps such as putting freezes on their credit accounts. Certain other services, including $1 million in identity theft insurance and access to identity restoration services, apply to affected persons regardless of whether they enroll in the monitoring services. Federal employee organizations are seeking–through lawsuits and Capitol Hill lobbying–lifetime monitoring and identity restoration services and increased insurance for all current and former federal employees regardless of whether they were impacted by the breach. The administration has said it is exploring making some form of identity protection a basic federal employee benefit but has offered no further details.