Nikki Haley’s Revenue Department Ripped
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s Department of Revenue (SCDOR) is receiving fresh criticism for its ongoing inability to competently (and honestly) manage the largest state-level data breach in American history.
According to The (Hilton Head) Island Packet, SCDOR continues to drop the ball a year after yet-to-be-identified hackers made off with 3.8 million Social Security numbers, 3.3 million bank account numbers, tax info for more than 650,000 businesses and nearly 400,000 credit and debit card numbers.
“After a year, one would think state officials would be on top of events surrounding the huge security breach they were responsible for,” the paper’s editorial board wrote. “Unfortunately, one would be wrong.”
Specifically, the Packet blasted Haley’s administration for its failure to alert taxpayers to shady “renewal notices” send out by Experian – the company she hooked up with a secretive, no-bid contract worth $12 million a year ago.
These renewal solicitations could subject hundreds of thousands of Palmetto State taxpayers to unnecessary charges (seeing as state government is shelling out $10 million in the current budget to cover credit monitoring for hacking victims).
“The Revenue Department said it was not aware that Experian planned to send out renewal solicitations until people started receiving emails,” the paper noted. “But the department has known for several months now that money was in the budget for just that purpose.”
The Packet concludes that South Carolinians whose information was compromised should “do what they can to protect themselves from identity theft … (which) includes not assuming state officials are on top of this.”
Sad … but true. At every step of this disaster Haley’s administration has gotten it wrong.
For example: No business tax information was taken during the data breach, Haley initially claimed. Oops. There was “nothing that could have been done” to stop the breach, Haley added. Oops again. South Carolina used “industry-standard security measures” to protect its data. Again … oops.
Even the Experian contract has been an exercise in evasion …
“Answers on when officials contacted Experian, and whether other companies were given any consideration, have evolved depending on the day,” the Associated Press reported last year.
In addition to inconsistencies regarding the timing of the contract and the lack of consideration given to other providers, Haley’s administration was busted telling several flat out lies regarding the company’s so-called “exclusive” services, which it turns out other companies not only provided – but provided at cheaper costs.
Now as the result of another botched response, many South Carolinians will be forced to pay for credit monitoring not once but twice …