Recall Comptroller over security issue breach

Dear editor,

On April 11, State Comptroller, Susan Combs, had her office start notification to over three million retired teachers, retired state workers, and Texas Workforce recipients that their personal data had been compromised by being placed on an agency server that was open to the public.

She ”deeply regretted” the exposure of personal information including names, mailing addresses, and social security numbers. She was “angry that it happened.” Really?

The data was transferred to the Comptrollers office in early 2010 by three state agencies. It was required to be transferred to the comptroller’s office due to state law.

The data transferred by those agencies was not encrypted as required by Texas Administrative rules established for agencies. In addition to that, personnel in the Comptroller’s office incorrectly allowed exposure of that data.

Several procedures were not followed leading to the information being placed in a server accessible to the public, there is more, and then being left in the server for a long period of time without being purged as required by internal procedures. Wow!

There are only two words which come to mind, malfeasance and incompetence.

You see the only accounting experience Ms. Combs had before being elected Comptroller was counting cows on her west Texas ranch. When all we see is the (R) behind a candidate’s name this is what we get.

On April 15 four days later the Comptroller released a second statement from her office saying that four persons in her office had been fired and that her office had negotiated a 70% price reduction for a one-year credit monitoring through Experian Credit Reporting.

Wait a minute, the Comptrollers office allowed your information out to the public and you should pay for protection? Why shouldn’t the state pay for the protection?

Oh yeah, I forgot, her boss the governor has the state in a 24 billion dollar hole and can’t find the money to pay for the protection. And now, on April 20, Ms. Combs’ office released a third press release saying that her office had secured a second identity monitoring discount.

For only $29.95 you can buy protection form CS Identity Protector. Really? Did the state get a cut in the profits from CS Identity for this windfall of new subscribers?

Ms. Combs did this as “an offering to those affected by this regrettable incident.”

Regrettable incident? Instead of securing a second protection support package, the comptroller should be placing her signature on her resignation letter.

If not, the people of Texas should correct their error in selecting her comptroller.

Can you say recall?

Tommy Grimes CPA

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2011-04-28 digital edition

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