GSA awards BPAs for credit monitoring

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 4 p.m. Aug. 31, 2006, to add more information. Please visit Corrections & Clarifications to see what changed.

Three firms received blanket purchase agreements Aug. 14 to give agencies credit-monitoring services following several thefts or losses of federal employees’ laptop computers containing personal information.

The General Services Administration awarded the BPAs to Equifax, Experian Consumer Direct and Bearak Reports, a small, woman-owned firm, according to the agency.

The companies will provide agencies with a fast and effective solution for commercial credit-monitoring services, GSA said.

Recent incidents of misplaced federal computers have threatened the confidentiality of millions of people’s personal information in government records. A firestorm on Capitol Hill has ensued as department leaders have had to testify before policy-makers on how to prevent such losses.

In May, the personal information of as many as 26.5 million veterans, including their names, Social Security numbers, disability ratings and birth dates, was stolen from the home of a Department of Veterans Affairs employee, who took the laptop containing the information home without authorization, according to VA officials. The FBI later recovered the missing laptop computer and hard drive.

When the VA incident occurred, Equifax talked with the department about the value of credit-monitoring services in the event of a security breach, said David Rubinger, the company’s vice president of communications.

As more organizations face data breaches, the BPA is a chance to give the federal government a way to react quickly, he said.

“Credit monitoring is beneficial to all consumers and plays an even bigger role in helping protect those who have had their personal and/or financial information compromised,” said Ty Taylor, president of Experian Consumer Direct.

Many companies faced with breaches have turned to services that monitor all three national credit reports, which also include identity theft insurance and fraud resolution services, he said.

GSA said the BPAs will bring reduced pricing and volume discounts through bulk-buying. Agencies can also select different levels of credit-monitoring services depending on the degree of vulnerability, risk and protection, according to GSA.

The BPAs also eliminate separate contracting and open-market costs that result from separate agencies searching for sources, developing technical documents and solicitations, and evaluating offers, GSA said.

The BPAs do not obligate funds, and they do not have a limit on the dollar value of task-order purchases, according to GSA.


  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

Stay Connected


Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.