Chaffetz Statement on Resignation of Department of ED Chief Operating Officer

Published: May 24, 2017

WASHINGTON – Today, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) released the following statement after the Department of Education announced the resignation of James Runcie, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Federal Student Aid (FSA), who was invited to testify at a Committee hearing on improper payments tomorrow.

“It is disappointing Mr. Runcie would rather resign than testify before Congress. Under his leadership federal student aid systems are less secure, performance has suffered, and improper payments have increased. For years, the Inspector General and this Committee have warned the Department of Education of vulnerabilities to its $1.1 trillion federal loans program. Appointing new leadership is the first step to righting the ship. I encourage Secretary DeVos to appoint a new COO who values security and competency over politics.”

Background:

The Committee held hearings related to vulnerabilities in the Department of Education on the following dates:

  • November 17, 2015 – Identified vulnerabilities to FSA IT security
  • November 18, 2015 – Examined FSA’s performance as a statutory performance based organization
  • February 2, 2017 – Exposed corruption of Department’s former Chief Information Officer
  • May 3, 2017 –  Examined the data breach of the Data retrieval tool

On May 25, 2017, the Committee will host a hearing on improper payments at the Department of Education.