Chaffetz to OPM: Remove Donna Seymour

Published: Dec 10, 2015

WASHINGTON—In response to today’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Office of Inspector General (IG) report, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz sent a letter to OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert, reiterating his call for Chief Information Officer Donna Seymour to be removed.

In the report, the IG reveals OPM did not award a $20 million contract to provide credit monitoring and identity theft services to the initial 4.2 million victims of the OPM data breach in compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and OPM’s policies and procedures. This ultimately led to OPM selecting an inappropriate contract vehicle.

Key excerpts from the letter:

“I write once again to augment my concerns that Ms. Donna Seymour, Chief Information Officer for the Office of Personnel Management, is unfit to perform the significant duties for which she is responsible.

“On at least five separate occasions, I have expressed my lack of confidence in Ms. Seymour’s management of the Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO). …

“The IG’s Special Review determined ‘that in order to meet the OCIO’s June 8, 2015, requirements due date, the contracting officer failed to comply with FAR requirements and OPM policies and procedures in awarding the Winvale contract’ and then the IG identified five areas of noncompliance. …

“The IG concluded … ‘it is evident that significant deficiencies existed in [OPM’s Office of Procurement Operations] management of the contract award process.’ …

“It is troubling that yet another IG report has found that Ms. Seymour failed to effectively fulfill her duties. Further, the results of the Committee’s ongoing investigation have validated the IG’s initial concerns related to OPM network infrastructure improvement project. The record is clear that six months after the American people first learned about OPM’s spectacular failure at securing sensitive personal information, change is needed in the Office of the Chief Information Officer. …”  


Since the OPM data breach first came to light, Chairman Chaffetz has expressed the need for Ms. Seymour’s removal. On June 26, along with 17 members of Congress, Chairman Chaffetz made a public call for Ms. Seymour’s removal. The Chairman reiterated his call in an August 6 statement and in a September 14 statement, expressing his frustration with OPM’s unwillingness to heed warnings from the IG. Additionally, on September 23, OPM announced that fingerprints of an additional 4.5 million individuals were stolen as a result of the July 9, 2015 data breach.

On September 30, Chairman Chaffetz penned an op-ed in The Hill newspaper: “The Breach We Could Have Avoided.”