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Atlanta-based Equifax loses appeal on IRS contract

Government watchdogs have rejected an Equifax appeal last week’s decision by the IRS to take away a $7.25 million contract from the embattled Atlanta company.

According to a report in Politico, the Government Accountability Office on Monday denied a protest filed by Equifax, which had hoped to hold on to a contract to provide help to the Internal Revenue Service.

That contract was to provide assistance in preventing identity theft. Announcement of the contract came – somewhat awkwardly – the same week as testimony before Congress concerning a massive data breach suffered by Equifax.

The IRS, which had been roundly criticized for awarding the contract to Equifax, last week announced it was taking the contract away from the company.

The GAO conducted a review and concluded that the IRS was justified in shifting the one-year agreement to Experian, Politico reported.

Equifax, which in September had admitted that data for 145 million Americans had been stolen from its system, argued to the GAO that Experian did not have the skills to provide the IRS with security advice.

The deal with Experian, however, is worth less than $1 million, Politico said. That is much smaller than the payment would have been to Equifax and Politico said the government did not explain the contrast in amounts.

Last week’s news about Equifax: 

IRS suspends Equifax contract, cites 'new information 

Also see: Manipulation of Web was via “third party,” says Atlanta-based Equifax  

Also see: Equifax breach included data on 10.9 million driver’s licenses 

 

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