WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, issued the following statement on President Obama’s intent to nominate Beth Cobert to be Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM):
“In July, Beth Cobert stepped in as Acting Director to help the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) navigate the aftermath of a series of devastating data breaches of its own systems and those of its contractors. Under her guidance, the agency continues to address the serious consequences of these breaches, including the implications for our national security and for the more than 4 million individuals whose personnel data was stolen and the more than 21 million individuals whose sensitive security clearance information was compromised. It’s critical that OPM continues to help the victims of the breaches and provide information in a timely and transparent manner.
“Given the magnitude of these breaches and the other challenges facing OPM, permanent, Senate-confirmed leadership at the agency is imperative. That’s why I welcome President Obama’s intent to nominate Acting Director Cobert as the agency’s permanent director. I have worked closely with Beth Cobert in her role as Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget and as Acting Director at OPM. I find her to be someone who is impressive, decisive, and well-respected on both sides of the aisle in Congress. She is someone who can continue to help lead OPM through this challenging time. I urge my colleagues to act quickly on her nomination.
“But leadership isn’t the only solution. Congress needs to provide federal agencies with the tools they need to stop the kind of attacks OPM experienced. Last month, the Senate passed critical cybersecurity legislation that would enable the sharing of information among the private sector and federal government and, among other things, require agencies to implement the cyber intrusion and detection program known as EINSTEIN. I hope the House and the Senate are able to approve the final bill soon and then turn our efforts to enacting badly-needed, bipartisan data breach legislation. We must continue our important work on this issue without delay. We owe it to these millions of individuals – and to the rest of the American public – to begin restoring their confidence in our government’s ability to keep their personal information safe and secure.”