The nominee to head the hacked Office of Personnel Management says she is working with Congress to answer the question of whether a vendor discovered an OPM network breach during a product demonstration, contrary to her predecessor’s testimony that the agency detected the hack.
The night before Acting OPM Director Beth Cobert testified at a Thursday Senate confirmation hearing, the House oversight committee subpoenaed her to deliver documents relating to the compromise that exposed records on 21.5 million U.S. national security employees and their relatives.
Since June 2015, when the suspected Chinese espionage act was disclosed, OPM has maintained that agency employees uncovered the intrusion last spring while fortifying the agency’s IT environment.
Republican lawmakers contend that, after sending a July 24, 2015 information request, the panel has still not received copies of OPM files about the contractor, CyTech.
Nominee Cobert told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee at her confirmation hearing she looked at the subpoena, but has not had time to thoroughly review it.
When questioned about her knowledge of the contents, Cobert said, “I do know that we have had an ongoing discussion with the House oversight committee around a range of documents related to the breach including information about CyTech.”
Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said the issue the House needs to tease out is then-OPM Director Katherine Archuleta’s June 2015 testimony that “it was OPM’s new technology that discovered the breach when it sounds like in fact it was really this demonstration project that determined it.”
CyTech, a Virginia-based firm, said…