In Alaska news that doesn’t involve Sarah Palin, it emerged late last week that PwC lost the personal records of 77,000 public employees and retirees who participated in the State’s Public Employees Retirement System and the Teachers Retirement System in 2003 – 2004.
Alaska had engaged P. Dubs as expert witnesses in a lawsuit against its former actuary Mercer and turned the data over to the firm for analysis during the discovery process. PwC discovered that the data vanished in December and PwC notified the state last week (nobody wants to share bad news during the holidays).
PwC has accepted responsibility for the whole mess and has agreed to pay for identity theft protection, credit monitoring, and security freezes (if necessary) for the 77,000 employees affected. The firm will also reimburse any losses suffered by any of the participants.
The firm must have realized that there was little upside to disclaiming responsibility, as this would inevitably lead to a sentence in a Sarah Palin speech that involved PwC opposing God, guns, and regular Americans. Populist rancor would ensue and the firm would be run out of Alaska within a week (give or take).
This is the second SNAFU for PwC in the last month. The firm issued a press release on January 15th announcing that someone was sending bogus PwC checks to random people advising them that they had been selected to be secret shoppers. It’s not clear as to whether this is a sign of the wheels coming off or simply bad luck. We’ll keep you informed of any additional slip-ups.
State Acts Promptly to Safeguard Alaskans Against Potential Identity Theft [State of Alaska Department of Law]