Merit Systems Protection Board Computer Outage, July 2015

Merit Systems Protection Board Computer Outage, July 2015

Background

The Merit Systems Protection Board is an independent, quasi-judicial agency in the Executive branch that serves as the guardian of Federal merit systems. The Board was established by Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1978, which was codified by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA), Public Law No. 95-454. The CSRA, which became effective January 11, 1979, replaced the Civil Service Commission with three new independent agencies: Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which manages the Federal work force; Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), which oversees Federal labor-management relations; and, the Board.

In July of 2015, they suffered a catastrophic system failure, which resulted in loss of data, and a striking blow to the functioning capability of the MSPB. According to one of the reports below:

Unfortunately, in late June 2015, MSPB experienced a significant disruption in its IT infrastructure resulting in the loss of MSPB’s virtual environment as well as the loss of employee working and archived documents. The IT outage also had an adverse impact on the achievement of MSPB objectives related to implementation of surveys of current web-users, progress on e-Adjudication, and progress on obtaining a secure, cloud-based survey capability essential for our studies and customer survey functions. We know this event was not the result of a malicious internal or external action and did not result in release of sensitive information or in the loss of official adjudication documents. However, recovering from the event, recreating the virtual environment, and re-establishing the confidence MSPB employees have in the IT systems and processes will take time. In moving forward with its IT stability and modernization initiatives, MSPB is cognizant of recent data breaches in other agencies, and will consider the new Federal cybersecurity requirements, as applicable.

Below, you will find documents relating to this outage. These were obtained under MSPB FOIA Case MSPB-2016-000174.

Document Archive

 Assessment and Recommendations Prepared for: Merit Systems Protection Board (Kelyn Professional Services), 8/14/2015 [11 Pages, 0.6MB]

 VMware Desktop Virtualization Health Check Services: Health Check Report for MSPB (VMware Professional Services), 9/14/2015  [50 Pages, 0.5MB]

 Final Report – U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) IT Assessment Project (Cask, LLC), 10/30/2015  [51 Pages, 2.5MB]

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