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December 12, 2012

NEW: SC Revenue Department gets $20 million loan to pay hacking costs

State budget leaders approved a $20 million loan to the S.C. Department of Revenue on Wednesday to pay for the cost from the massive cyber-hacking of taxpayer financial data.

State budget leaders approved a $20 million loan to the S.C. Department of Revenue on Wednesday to pay for the cost from the massive cyber-hacking of taxpayer financial data.

The department will use the money to pay for a year of free credit monitoring for taxpayers, encrypting data, notifying affected taxpayers and hiring private attorneys and a public relations firm.

The loan approved unanimously by the state Budget and Control Board is coming from the insurance reserve fund and must be repaid by October 2013. The department will request an appropriation in next year’s budget to repay the loan, Gov. Nikki Haley said.

The department cannot repay the costs on its own -- the loan represents about half of the agency’s $41 million annual budget.

The loan comes just in time. Experian is supposed to receive the first $6 million payment of its $12 million contract to provide credit monitoring by Saturday. The remainder is due next month.

The Budget and Control Board also approved seeking requests for proposal, or RFP, to hire a consultant who would assess state computer needs to help South Carolina in hiring another firm to develop a formal cyber-security plan.

“This is a RFP for a RFP,” Haley said.

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