S.C. changes taxpayer-monitoring contract terms

  • Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2013 5:36 a.m.

COLUMBIA — South Carolina has changed the requirements of a proposed contract to continue credit monitoring for taxpayers whose personal data was stolen by a hacker last year because none of the three bids met qualifications, Gov. Nikki Haley said on Friday.

The State Budget and Control Board approved the new parameters at a meeting that took place a little more than three weeks after it approved the initial proposal.

Haley and the other members of the board couldn’t talk about why the bids didn’t qualify because the contract has not been awarded. But the new proposal includes several changes, including requiring the winning company to monitor only one major credit agency. The old proposal required it to monitor three.

The new Request for Proposals, or RFP, also asks bidders who don’t offer to monitor all three credit bureaus to submit a proposal about how much more it would cost to do so and loosens some of the customer service requirements.

Haley supports having the winning company monitor all three credit bureaus, but she also wants to get the most protection for the best value, spokesman Doug Mayer said.

“One year ago, the governor negotiated a contract that was unprecedented in regards to protection versus cost and she is confident that the new RFP will provide comprehensive options for continued protection,” Mayer said.

The state is seeking a five-year contract, renewable every year, to replace the one-year, $12 million emergency deal that Haley and her staff negotiated with Experian after the hacking became public last September. The Legislature set aside $10 million for the first year of the new deal.

Haley said she expects the new contract to be in place before the current one expires at the end of October.

“Our goal is to get this done in time so we don’t have to worry about anyone missing their protection,” Haley said.

About 1.4 million people signed up for the monitoring. About 6.4 million taxpayers and businesses had their data, such as Social Security and bank account numbers, stolen in the hacking of computers at the Department of Revenue last year.

The Secret Service is investigating the hacking. No arrests have been made, and no new information on the incident has been released in months.

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