Topics in this Week's News Include:
Here's the News!!
1. TRICARE Beneficiary Personal Information at Risk:Late last week, Science Applications International Corporation, SAIC,announced that personal data including names, addresses, SocialSecurity numbers, birth dates, and/or limited health information in theform of codes for as many as 867,000 TRICARE beneficiaries may be atrisk for compromise. The personal information was being processed bySAIC under several health care contracts for the Department of Defense(DoD). The information was held on a single, SAIC-owned File TransferProtocol (FTP) server at a small SAIC location in Shalimar, Florida.The server was not behind a firewall and did not contain adequatepassword protections, which is in violation of SAIC policy. SAICstopped using this server when security concerns were raised. Forensicanalysis has yielded no evidence that personal information maintainedon the server was removed or compromised; however, SAIC cannot rule outthat possibility.
All affected beneficiaries will be notified. SAIC is sending onenotification letter per identifiable adult (e.g., service member,spouse, dependent parent) or one per family when there is an affectedminor dependant in a service member sponsor's household. The letterwill be sent from ID TheftSmart™ and delivered by the U.S. PostalService. This package will include a letter from SAIC, a letter fromthe government, and information from Kroll Inc. on their IDTheftSmart™identity restoration service. In addition, all affected beneficiarieswill be provided with a free one-year membership in Kroll's IDTheftSmart identity restoration service.
After receiving notification, impacted individuals with questionsmay call the Incident Response Center Monday Friday from 8 a.m. tomidnight (Eastern Time) at:
- United States: 1-888-862-2680
- International, call collect: 1-515-365-3550
These dedicated telephone lines are reserved for use by thoseindividuals identified and notified in writing by SAIC, in coordinationwith the government, about this incident.
In response to the incident SAIC has launched an internalinvestigation into the situation and several employees have been placedon administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigation. Inaddition, SAIC has:
- Established a company-wide task force to ensure that the companyresponsibly addresses any adverse impact on the company's customers andany affected individuals.
- Conducted a detailed forensicanalysis of the server and data, which included assistance from some ofthe company's and the government's top experts in computer security.
- Initiateda systematic, company-wide assessment to assure that such lapses do notexist elsewhere in the company and determine whether any changes inpolicy, methods, tools and monitoring are needed to make sure that sucha lapse does not recur.
- Launched an internal investigationusing outside counsel to determine exactly how this security failureoccurred and placed a number of employees on administrative leavepending the outcome of the investigation.
In a letter to NMFA, a senior SAIC official pledged the companywould "do everything we can to support military members and theirfamilies." He also stated the company would "ensure it does not happenagain."
For more information on the security breach and what you can do toprotect your personal information and recover from a theft of thatinformation, go to: http://www.tricare.mil/pressroom/news.aspx?fid=299.
2. Free Financial Planning for Injured Service Members:The Project for Financial Independence is now offering pro bonofinancial planning to severely injured service members through apartnership with the Department of Defense Heroes to Hometowns (H2H)program. In addition to the new financial planning services, H2Hassists severely injured members find suitable homes, adapt vehicles toaccommodate their injuries, secure transportation to medicalappointments, find jobs, and locate child care. To learn more aboutHeroes to Hometowns, visit: http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/. Look for the QOL Resource box and click "Heroes to Hometowns."
3. NFL Players Extend Free SAT Prep Program:For the past three years a group of NFL players has partnered withEKnowledge and DoD to offer free SAT preparation materials to militaryfamilies. VSG/NFL Players and EKnowledge recently announced that theprogram has again been extended and now provides the materials forJROTC cadets as well as children of military personnel. Some of theathletes involved in the program are: Mark Anderson, Chicago Bears; JonBradley, Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Scott Young, Philadelphia Eagles;Garrick Jones, Atlanta Falcons; Corey Williams, Green Bay Packers;Jason Radar, Miami Dolphins; and Ahmaad Galloway, San Diego Chargers.
For additional information or to obtain the SAT Prep program visit the Military Homefront website at: http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/portal/page/itc/MHF/MHF_DETAIL_0?current_id=126.96.36.199.0.0.0.0.0. Requests can also be made by calling EKnowledge at 951-256-4076 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Wounded Warriors Commission to Hold Last Public Meeting:The President's Commission on Care for America's Returning WoundedWarriors will hold its final public meeting on Wednesday, July 25th at11:15 a.m. At this final meeting, the Commissioners will discuss andvote on final recommendations to the President concerning care forAmerica's returning wounded and injured service members. It will beheld at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center'sAtrium Ballroom in Washington, D.C. (Source: http://www.pccww.gov/)
5. USAA Tops the List of Military Spouse Friendly Workplaces: Military Spousemagazine recently released their list of "Top 10 Military SpouseFriendly Employers". USAA topped the list and was noted for exemplaryHR policies. In addition, USAA has a stated goal to comprise 20 percentof its workforce with military and military spouses. All of thecompanies on the list offer comprehensive benefit packages, jobsharing, tuition assistance, on-site child care, and liberal leave andre-employment policies. Other evaluation criteria included efforts torecruit military spouses, results in recruiting spouses, and policiesfor spouses of Reserve and Guard members. Other companies on the list,in order of rank, were AAFES, RE/MAX, The Home Depot, Wachovia,Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Sears Holdings, Kelly Services,Lockheed Martin, and Starbucks.(Source: Military Spouse Magazine press release)
6. Local Initiatives Promote Military Spouse Employment:NMFA has long known that military spouses are excellent employees.Military spouses are culturally diverse, well traveled, educated,experienced, loyal, hard working and resourceful. Research also shows,however, that despite these qualities military spouse employmentoutcomes are less successful than their civilian counterparts. Thisdisparity is likely linked to frequent moves.
The Military Family Employment Advocacy Program in Brevard County,Florida is working with military spouses to develop portable careers.The program is funded by the Florida legislature and administered bythe Brevard Workforce Development Board. All military family membersare eligible to utilize the program. Services include resumeassistance, career and educational opportunity training, job searchassistance, and assistance with support services like child care.
Snohomish County Washington, led by the Greater Marysville TulalipChamber of Commerce is working to ensure that spouses in their area arerecognized for the value they bring to a company. The Snohomish CountyMilitary Family Friendly Employment Partnership Initiative seeks toeducate local employers about the advantages of hiring military familymembers. The program will officially launch in September with a seminarat Naval Station Everett. Currently the chamber is meeting with localmunicipalities urging them to join the network. The hope is that localgovernments will lead by example in hiring military family members.Ultimately, companies will be asked to join and agree that they willcontinue to create job opportunities for military family members.
NMFA applauds local efforts to promote military spouse employment. This is truly a win-win situation for all involved.
7. H&R Block Offers Full Scholarships for Military Spouses:Military spouses are currently eligible to attend a H&R BlockIncome Tax course on a full scholarship. After successful completion ofthe course students may be eligible to interview for employment withH&R Block. No previous training is required and the program is opento active duty and reserve component military spouses. For moreinformation contact your local H&R Block office. Call1-888-412-7880 for more information.