Jul 16, 2015

President Holway to OPM: Have Federal Workforce's Back.

WASHINGTON, DC – National Association of Government Employees (NAGE) National President David J. Holway met with government agency and union leaders Wednesday at the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Acting-Director Beth Cobert presided over the meeting and addressed concerns regarding the recent cybersecurity breaches of more than 21.5 million current and former federal employees and their families.
In her opening statements, Director Cobert emphasized her office's concern and updated those present on what has been done. Since the breach, OPM has launched the website opm.gov/cybersecurity, where federal employees can access materials and information regarding the ways they were affected and what OPM is doing to remediate the situation.

President Holway was not placated by Cobert's words, stating, "Whether the protections last 18 months or three years, the current and former employees and their families are going to be affected for the rest of their lives. These people go to work each day and have the American public's back. Who has their back, Director Cobert?"

Cobert responded that a comprehensive plan is in the works, but may take weeks or even months until it is fully realized. OMB Chief Information Officer Tony Scott expounded on Cobert's statements, explaining a "30-Day Cyber Sprint" project is currently underway to address some of the short-term cybersecurity concerns, although Scott's characterization of the project as a "warm-up exercise" led the attendees to question its impact.
As the meeting closed, Holway again emphasized the importance of serious action. "The initiatives discussed today may provide token assurances for the future, but for the millions of people whose livelihoods are at risk, it is hardly consolation. OPM must go to Congress and request funding for more comprehensive identity protection measures."

For more information concerning the breach, please go to www.nagefederal.org.

Where trade unions are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected. - Samuel Gompers
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