Oversight chair wants officials fired over hack

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House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) called on President Obama to fire at least two top officials from the embattled Office of Personnel Management (OPM) over their role in the massive data breach that has rattled the government.

“If we want a different result, we’re going to have to have different people,” Chaffetz told reporters after administration officials held a classified briefing with lawmakers about the hack, which has potentially exposed up to 14 million people’s data.

Chaffetz believed that his panel’s Tuesday morning hearing should serve as the nail in the coffin for OPM Director Katherine Archuleta and OPM Chief Information Officer Donna Seymour, who both testified.

{mosads}“The information we heard from the hearing about how OPM dealt with [the hack] was of value” Chaffetz said. “They weren’t garnering much support and certainly weren’t exuding confidence.”  

“That’s what led me to come to the conclusion that I think it’s time that they be dismissed,” the lawmaker added.

Lawmakers were repeatedly frustrated during the hearing at both officials refusal to answer basic questions about the breach, such as who is affected and how many people had their data exposed. 

The OPM leaders cited the confidentiality of the ongoing investigation.

During the hearing, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) kicked off the calls for administration resignations over the event, but did not specify who should lose their job.

Hours later, Chaffetz went a step further, calling on both Archuleta and Seymour to step down.

“I think it’s time for them to resign, and if they don’t, I think the president should fire them,” he said.

Other lawmakers said they would take a wait-and-see approach before pressing Obama to can any officials.

“Let’s see how the investigation goes,” said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas).

Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), who co-chairs the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, struck a similar tone.

“Once we fully know what happened and how it happened then we’ll determine who’s responsible and who should be held accountable,” he said. “But I want to get all the facts first.”

Tags Jason Chaffetz OPM

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