​After security disaster, OPM director resigns in disgrace

To nobody's surprise, with more than 22 million federal government employee personnel records revealed, OPM's director will leave her post.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor
(Image via Reuters/Twitter)

It was only a matter of time.

After it was revealed last month that more than four million federal personnel records had been stolen, members of Congress quickly demanded that the agency's director Katherine Archuleta should be fired.

On Friday, Archuleta resigned.

In an e-mail, Archuleta wrote: "Today I informed the OPM workforce that I am stepping down as the leader of this remarkable agency and the remarkable people who work for it. This morning, I offered, and the President accepted, my resignation as the Director of the Office of Personnel Management."

She continued, "I conveyed to the President that I believe it is best for me to step aside and allow new leadership to step in, enabling the agency to move beyond the current challenges and allowing the employees at OPM to continue their important work."

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT, 3rd), who chairs the House Oversight Committee, was the first to call for her resignation. Chaffetz said at the time Archuleta had "failed utterly and totally." He added: "OPM's security policy was akin to leaving its doors and windows unlocked and expecting nothing to be stolen."

Support for a management house-cleaning came from both sides of the aisle. The fate of Donna Seymour, the agency's chief information officer, remains unknown.

Whoever takes over faces an uphill battle ahead -- not least because the OPM admitted Thursday that over 22 million employees are affected by the data breach. Before that, the OPM had to stop processing security clearances. The OPM has restarted processing clearances using paper methods from the 90s.

In addition, after a failed start to address the resulting privacy and identity threat problems, the OPM and the Dept. of Defense is trying to set up new personnel privacy protection mechanisms.

At the time of writing, the OPM did not respond to a request for comment.

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