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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Equifax takes another hit with lost GAO decision

Equifax’s dust-up with the Internal Revenue Service is pretty much a moot point now.

The Government Accountability Office has rejected Equifax’s protest of a contract award to rival credit bureau Experian Information Solutions.

Experian won the contract over incumbent Equifax, which kicked off the protest. But that was just the start.

While that protest was pending, Equifax revealed that it had been hacked. But the IRS still needed identity verification services and extended Equifax’s contract until the protest could be resolved.

That extension was executed as a sole-source contract to Equifax, then set off howls of protest on Capitol Hill as legislators attacked IRS officials for what they thought was a bonehead decision.

I blogged about this and also defended the IRS.

Then came news that Equifax had another security problem with a third-party software provider that was collecting web analytics for Equifax’ website. That software served up malware.

When news of that broke, The IRS suspended the extension. The IRS also stopped enrollments in an online system for retrieving tax records and other information.

But now the GAO decision lets the IRS start transitioning those services to Experian.

And now Equifax has to work on restoring its reputation.

The GAO announced its protest decision today but hasn’t released the written document yet. The document still needs to go through a vetting process to protect proprietary data. That process will likely will take a few more weeks.

GAO said that Equifax’s protest didn’t have merit because it was based on an “unreasonable interpretation of the solicitation.”

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Oct 16, 2017 at 1:19 PM

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