Below is the press release regarding the Finance Committee’s hearing on the state’s stolen laptop:
State Senator Eileen M. Daily (D-Westbrook) and State Representative Cameron C. Staples (D-New Haven), co-Chairs of the legislature’s Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee, today announced plans for an informational hearing to investigate circumstances surrounding a stolen, state-issued laptop computer and the sensitive tax information contained therein.
The lawmakers said they’ll convene the hearing at 1:00 p.m. Monday, September 24th in room 2E of the Legislative Office Building. Testimony will be taken from invited speakers only. The public is invited to attend and members of the press corps are welcome.
“Connecticut taxpayers deserve and have every right to expect failsafe security measures with regard to the confidential tax information they entrust to the state Department of Revenue Services. If this administration fails to protect that confidentiality then the legislature will have to step in and force it to do so,” Senator Daily said. “With cognizance over DRS our committee has an obligation to find out exactly what happened leading up to this security breach so we can guard against any chance of it happening again.”
Personal information of approximately 106,000 state residents was loaded into the stolen laptop when it was stolen, putting those taxpayers at risk of any number of crimes associated with identity theft. Senator Daily and Representative Staples said they want to hear from the DRS commissioner, the state Department of Information Technology, the Attorney General, and others about controls, procedures, and liability with regard to personal use of state equipment and information.
“Other public entities like the Internal Revenue Service and our own Office of Fiscal Analysis routinely handle reams of confidential financial information without incident so perhaps there’s a better standard to which the DRS can subscribe and if so, we’d be eager to hear more about it,” Representative Staples said. “The DRS only compounded its embarrassing lapse leading to this missing data with its less-than-forthcoming response to the incident and delayed appreciation for the potentially serious consequences of surrendering this private material in public.”