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Dept. of Can’t Make it Up: IRS Hires Equifax for ‘Critical’ Taxpayer ID Services

The contract was “sole source order” which, according to media, means no one bid on the contract.

Internal Revenue Service

In September, America learned that up to 143 million citizens were impacted by a severe data breach at Equifax, “one of the nation’s three major credit reporting agencies.”

In the aftermath of the breach, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provided helpful information on its website concerning “What to Do,” including checking credit reports, freezing credit, and setting up fraud alerts.

That did not stop another federal agency from signing a $7 million contract with Equifax to protect Americans’ data.

Wait, what?

From CNN Money:

Equifax has landed a $7.25 million government contract to help the IRS detect fraud.

The deal was finalized last week, according to the federal government website that tracks contracts.

…Equifax (EFX) is now tasked with helping the agency “verify taxpayer identity and to assist in ongoing identity verification and validations needs,” according to contract details posted online.

As CNN Money and others reported, the contract is “sole source order,” meaning, according to the University of Washington, that “only one supplier (source), to the best of the requester’s knowledge and belief, based upon thorough research, (i.e. conducting a market survey), is capable of delivering the required product or service.”

Really, only one supplier?

There are two other credit reporting agencies – Experian and TransUnion – that have not, to the public’s best knowledge, put the information of half the U.S. population at risk.

Only in the federal government!