The Authorities Accountability Workplace (GAO) on Monday rejected Equifax’s bid to retain its $7.25 million “taxpayer identification” contract—the one awarded days after Equifax introduced it had uncovered the Social Safety numbers and different private knowledge of some 145 million folks.
At its core, the Equifax-IRS ordeal reveals the strangeness of the federal government contacting system. That is as a result of Equifax wasn’t even initially chosen to proceed its contract with the IRS’s Safe Entry on-line program, which permits taxpayers to retailer and retrieve on-line tax information. However as a result of Equifax protested when the company gave the contract to rival Experian for a fraction of the associated fee, the IRS mentioned contracting guidelines demanded that it supply a “bridge” contact to Equifax till the GAO types out the protest.
The GAO sorted every part out on Monday. It put aside the problem from Equifax which contended that Experian, whose bid was price as much as $795,000 yearly, did not have the technological wherewithal to confirm taxpayers signing up for the Safe Entry program.
“GAO denied Equifax’s protest, concluding that the IRS moderately discovered that the Experian supply would meet the company’s wants. In essence, GAO’s resolution concludes that Equifax’s contentions had been based mostly on an unreasonable interpretation of the solicitation,” Ralph White, a GAO procurement legal professional, mentioned in a press release.
Final week, the IRS tentatively suspended the contract with Equifax due to one other Equifax snafu. The Equifax website was maliciously manipulated once more, this time to ship fraudulent Adobe Flash updates. When clicked, the updates contaminated guests’ computer systems with adware that was detected by simply three of 65 antivirus suppliers. Due to this procurement flap, taxpayers can’t open new Safe Entry accounts with the IRS. The tax assortment company expects to re-open this system to newcomers “as rapidly as we are able to.”
In a press release, the IRS mentioned:
We’re wanting ahead to the beginning of the brand new contract. We are going to transfer as rapidly as we are able to, however it’s going to take a while to start service below the brand new contract. We’re persevering with to evaluate the timeframe for the brand new service. As well as, we proceed to evaluate the standing of our short-term contract with Equifax, which was briefly suspended final week.