OPM Hack Costing Taxpayers $350 Million

September 2, 2015

The hack of the Office of Personnel and Management (OPM) is costing taxpayers $350 million to notify and protect the identities of over 20 million federal employees who had their personal information compromised.

The government awarded a $133 million contract for identity protection services for 21.5 million employees on Tuesday. However, NextGov reports that the "true cost of the contract will actually be well more than double that amount—about $330 million."

According to NextGov:

While it’s true that Naval Sea Systems Command, the contracting activity on this procurement, did obligate an initial $133 million on Tuesday, that covers only one year -- the base year, in government contracting parlance -- of the contract.

However, OPM has already pledged to provide hack victims three years of protections, which include credit monitoring, identity-theft monitoring and other services. That means the government will have to exercise additional "options" on the contract -- again, contracting parlance -- bringing the total value of the contract over three years to $329.8 million.

Chinese state-sponsored hackers are believed to be behind the hack, which was the largest in U.S. history.

It cost taxpayers $20 million just to notify employees who had their personal information compromised. In all, the total cost to the government as a result of the hack reaches $350 million.