The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is pushing back against the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) claim this week that it had to give a $7.25 million, no-bid contract to Equifax in the wake of its massive data breach.
The IRS is hiring the embattled credit reporting agency to “verify taxpayer identity and to assist in ongoing identity verification and validations needs of the Service,” according to its filing on Federal Business Opportunities, a website that lists federal contracts.
The IRS labels Equifax as a “sole source order,” which means that the agency believes the credit reporting company is the only business capable of providing the service.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen defended the company's decision in a letter to Rep. Earl BlumenauerEarl BlumenauerProgressives push for fossil subsidy repeal in spending bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - House Democrats plagued by Biden agenda troubles Oregon legislature on the brink as Democrats push gerrymandered maps MORE (D-Ore.) obtained by Politico saying, “the only alternative” to doing business with Equifax was “to shut down all online access to taxpayer accounts.”
Lawmakers are taking aim at the IRS to figure out why the agency awarded the contract to Equifax after the credit rating company suffered a massive hack that compromised the personal information of more than 145 million Americans.
“Right now, no businesses or consumers in Massachusetts or Nebraska would blindly trust Equifax to protect against fraud or handle sensitive personal information,” wrote Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) on Wednesday.
Updated: 9:43 p.m.