- Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump
Media Contact for In Wake of Data Breach, Auditor Bump Calls for Enhanced Oversight Capabilities of the Department of Revenue
Mike Wessler, Communications Director
Boston — Following revelations of a data breach at the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, which made private information of approximately 39,000 businesses in the state available to other businesses, State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump today sent a letter to members of the Massachusetts Legislature encouraging them to pass a measure she introduced (H. 4061), which would provide her office with access to information contained in tax returns for audit purposes.
“How did you feel when you read today’s Boston Globe headline, ’Data breach was twice as large as Department of Revenue said’? Disbelieving? Mad? Helpless?” Bump asked in the letter. “While there may be nothing to assuage those first two reactions, there is something you can do to help reduce the risk of future data breaches at the Department of Revenue – pass House Bill 4061, currently sitting in House Ways and Means.”
In her letter, Bump notes that Massachusetts is one of only a handful of states that do not allow their state auditing entity access to information on tax records.
Bump's office can currently access tax return data for the purpose of investigating allegations of public benefit fraud, however it is unable to access this data to assist in its audits.
Bump testified before the Joint Committee on Revenue in support of the measure in October, which released the bill to the House Committee on Ways and Means where it is currently under consideration. During her testimony, she called the inability of her office to provide oversight of the Department of Revenue “a critical gap in the Commonwealth’s accountability infrastructure.”