OPM Data Breach — What you should do

1. Monitor your credit report. Look for accounts or charges you don’t recognize. Even if the breach didn’t involve credit card information, thieves may use your Social Security number, address and date of birth to open accounts in your name.

2, Take advantage of OPM’s offer of credit report access, credit monitoring, and identity theft insurance and recovery services to potentially affected individuals.

3. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports. With a fraud alert, businesses must verify your identity before providing new credit. An initial fraud alert lasts 90 days but you can renew it.

Get next steps and more on the Federal Trade Commission’s website.

President Kelley Discusses Breach with OPM Director

NTEU this week met with Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Katherine Archuleta and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) concerning the recent federal employee data breaches, and the resulting response.

This briefing was related to the initial personnel breach. NTEU continues to press for additional information related to the second announced breach impacting records related to background investigations.

OPM provided a general status update regarding the June 4 reported breach of personnel records. The majority of email and mailed notifications have occurred by the OPM-selected contractor CSID, though some notifications continue in cases where e-mail notifications were undeliverable or an earlier mailed letter was returned.

Currently, individuals can contact the CSID toll-free line (844-777-2743; international callers collect at 512-327-0705) to verify whether they were affected in the personnel records breach. Also, individuals can fully enroll in the credit monitoring services with a CSID representative on the toll-free line or by visiting the CSID website.

As a reminder, individuals who have not received a notification can contact the CSID toll-free line to verify whether or not they have had information compromised in the June 4 personnel records breach. Also, for residents of New York State, CSID is now providing the missing fraud protection insurance coverage that had not been in place earlier. New York-state required specific information is now being provided from CSID.

At this time, there is no new information as to who has been affected by the second breach that concerns background investigations. The Director of OPM and OMB personnel stated that the DHS and FBI forensic investigation is nearing completion and that they expect to reach out to NTEU, and to begin the actual individual notifications, soon.  NTEU will update members as soon as this information is available.

Also at the meeting, the Director of OPM announced a third, separate incident. During the ongoing forensic investigations into the two earlier reported breaches, it has been determined that a system vulnerability exists with the E-QIP system primarily used by OPM, agencies and individuals to handle background investigation forms (Note: this is separate from the announced, actual breach into background investigations databases). While there is no evidence of an actual breach, but rather a possible IT vulnerability, the Director of OPM has now suspended the entire E-QIP system, meaning that no new forms can be submitted either by new hires or by existing employees undergoing a periodic reinvestigation (PRI). At this time, OPM and OMB expect the system to remain down for a period of 4-6 weeks, while IT improvements are made. OPM Federal Investigative Services (FIS), that handles background investigations, is currently in the process of making needed personnel and work adjustments. Existing employees will continue to operate as normal with their current clearance level in place, and their PRI will occur once the system is back up and running.  OPM and employing agencies are also currently considering various flexibilities to address the situation for new hires.

NTEU continues to call for immediate blanket credit monitoring and identity theft protection coverage to be extended to those individuals whose information has been compromised in the background investigations breach, and who have yet to be notified.  The union is also pressing for these services to be extended beyond the current 18 months now being offered as a result of the personnel records breach—and that they be provided to both affected employees and to their family members, particularly given the high-level of risk faced by these individuals.



NTEU Opposes Benefit Cuts to Federal Workers’ Comp Program

Wednesday, May 20 2015
Washington, D.C.—Congress should reject proposals to slash workers’ compensation benefits for federal employees who get hurt on the job, the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) told a House panel today.In a statement to the House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, NTEU National President Colleen M. Kelley said the union opposes proposals that seek to cut benefits for employees and their families and force injured workers to move to retirement status.“Forcing a worker at retirement age to give up regular workers’ comp benefits and live on the income from retirement savings put aside until his or her work life was interrupted by an on-the-job injury would cause grave economic hardship to many disabled employees,” President Kelley said.

As in the past, NTEU is willing to work in a bipartisan manner to improve the workers’ compensation insurance program set up by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA), “while always keeping in mind this is an issue of human dignity,” the NTEU leader wrote.

“NTEU very much wants to work with this subcommittee or any other policymaker to find ways to reduce the costs of the FECA program, as we did in 2011,” she wrote. “The best way to do so is not by reducing benefits or denying claims but by preventing the occurrence of injuries.”

The NTEU leader wrote that the program needs a “change in management practices and culture” more than legislative fixes. According to reports from NTEU members, some agency managers are uninterested in helping FECA recipients return to work by offering light duty assignments, approving alternative worksites and making disability accommodations, President Kelley wrote.

NTEU is the largest independent federal union, representing 150,000 employees in 31 agencies and departments.