Only one IT aide currently working directly for members of Congress has ever completed a background check, members’ data have been improperly mixed with other members’ data, and members provided almost no supervision, officials revealed Thursday in a House hearing spurred by “egregious” violations by former IT aide Imran Awan.
Members of Congress threw “$10 million” in additional funding to the [chief administrative officer (CAO)] in order to enhance their cybersecurity program” in June 2017. The move followed repeated cybersecurity threats against members of Congress, including the detection of what an IG report called “unauthorized access” by Awan. They also had the CAO and others propose how best to clamp down on vulnerabilities. But the CAO revealed Thursday that members blocked the resulting proposal, which called for eliminating Awan’s job category, that of a floating IT aide accountable only to members.