Top OPM official steps down amid pressure following massive data breaches

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Donna Seymour, chief information officer for the federal Office of Personnel Management, stepped down Monday amid pressure to resign in the wake of recent security breaches in which personal data for roughly 22 million government workers and others was stolen.

Seymour submitted her retirement letter two days before she and other federal officials were scheduled to testify about the breaches before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Seymour, a career federal employee who became the agency’s top information office in 2013, had already testified twice before the Republican-led committee about two incidents, made public last summer and allegedly originating in China.

“Her retirement is necessary and long overdue,” committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said after Seymour’s announcement. “On her watch, whether through negligence or incompetence, millions of Americans lost their privacy and personal data. The national security implications of this entirely foreseeable breach are far-reaching and long-lasting.”

The Utah Republican had repeated called for Seymour’s resignation, also citing an inspector general’s report that stated Seymour's office was impeding an investigation into the two breaches by giving "incorrect” and/or “misleading information."

Agency Director Katherine Archuleta resigned in July, following the revelation about the data thefts in which those applying for security clearances were among the victims.

Seymour said in her retirement letter: “Leaving OPM at this time was a very tough decision for me, but I feel it is in the agency's best interest that my presence does not distract from the great work this team does.”