Several South Carolina Democratic legislators called for an audit into how Gov. Nikki Haley’s administration responded in the aftermath of a cyber-attack that compromised the personal data of more than 3.8 million taxpayers.
“We need this investigation to find out what went wrong, find out why this happened, and find out what should be done to ensure that this never happens again,” State Rep. Leon Stavrinakis (D-Charleston) said in a North Charleston press conference Thursday, “The Haley Administration has proven unable or unwilling to provide these answers honestly and competently.”
Simultaneous with Stavrinakis, State Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D-Camden) and State Rep. James Smith (D-Columbia) held a second press conference in Columbia. The pair also requested the LAC audit.
“The spectacle of the hacking scandal at the Department of Revenue, and its handling, is surely the Mother of All Government Dysfunction,” Sheheen said in a statement released Thursday.
Stavrinakis said he will work to sponsor legislation that would give South Carolinians a tax credit for the cost of obtaining credit protection in the hacking’s aftermath. While South Carolina is paying Experian $12 million to monitor South Carolinians’ credit data for twelve months, that monitoring will expire next October.
The company will still offer lifetime coverage to help anyone whose identity is stolen because of the hack. However, Stavrinakis said he does not think that is enough. He says South Carolina must offer tax credits to cover the cost of “comprehensive identity theft protection,” including monitoring “for a prolonged period of time.”
Haley’s spokesman Rob Godfrey said the Governor’s Office already used the independent cybersecurity firm Mandiant to investigate the Department of Revenue’s computer system. However, he said the governor would be open to an LAC audit.
Sheree Bernardi of Charleston affiliate WTMA contributed to this report