Columbia, SC) – In the wake of South Carolina’s biggest and most serious cyber infiltration of sensitive private citizen and business information, an official Legislative Investigation has been launched to find answers and make legislative recommendations on how our state can best address the many concerns this raises. With millions of our citizens’ and businesses’ most personal information now compromised, the public deserves full answers and solid reassurances that their identities are secure – and will remain secure – from the threat of fraud and abuse.
House Speaker Bobby Harrell said, “While this Investigative Committee is officially tasked with finding out answers and recommending better security solutions, its ultimate goal is to re-instill public trust in our state government. We greatly appreciate Governor Haley’s swift action directing her Cabinet agencies to work with federal authorities in addressing the immediate fallout of this security breach, but an independent outside investigation is needed to answer many of the questions moving forward.”
The appointment of this Investigative Panel comes one day after the House Organized South Carolina’s 120th General Assembly and assigned all newly-elected House Members to Standing Committees. As this investigation progresses, all of our state’s citizens are strongly encouraged to take immediate action to make sure their identities are protected. For information on how to sign up for the Free Identity Protection being offered by the state, click this link here. And for a SCDOR Q&A of some of the most FAQs about these protections, click here and here.
“Governor Haley maintains, and to her credit has demonstrated, that the Cabinet agencies she oversees will readily be forthcoming with information about this security breach,” Speaker Harrell added. “But to fully restore public trust we need the most accurate accounting of these concerns, not an agency’s internal best version of what happened. For that to happen, those tough questions need to be answered before this independent outside investigation.”
Majority Leader Bruce Bannister, Chairman of the Investigative Committee commented, “This security breakdown is shockingly disturbing. It’s clear that something went horribly wrong, and our citizens are entitled to answers and assurances that these problems are being addressed. Our Investigation needs to uncover exactly what went wrong so we can take the necessary steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Our citizens expect better, and deserve better, from their state government.”
Minority Leader Harry Ott, Vice Chairman of the Investigative Committee stated, “People only have one choice when it comes to where they can file their state income taxes, for that reason alone, we should be holding our agencies to a higher standard when protecting our public’s trust. With this failure, we’ve let an entire state down. This trust must be earned back and it’s up to this Investigative Committee to start us down the right path.”
Appointed by House Speaker Bobby Harrell, the Members of the House’s Legislative Investigation into the SCDOR Data Hacking are under the authority of a bipartisan Committee Chaired by Majority Leader Bruce Bannister and Vice-Chaired by Minority Leader Harry Ott:
Legislative Investigative Committee
Into SCDOR Data Hacking
Rep. Bruce Bannister, Chairman
Rep. Harry Ott, Vice Chairman
Rep. Shannon Erickson
Rep. Laurie Slade Funderburk
Rep. Dwight Loftis
Rep. James Merrill
Rep. Andy Patrick
Rep. Ronnie Sabb
Rep. Bakari Sellers
Rep. Gary Simrill
The Investigative Committee will be charged with issuing a full public report to the General Assembly detailing the breakdown in agency security measures that allowed this cyber data hacking to occur. The Committee shall have the ability to request any necessary information, interview experts and take witnesses testimony to uncover exactly how the infiltration occurred and to determine if proper security measures were followed. The Committee’s report shall also include recommendations for any legislative or agency procedural changes necessary to ensure that our businesses’ and citizens’ personal information is better safeguarded from future cyber assaults.