Judicial Watch Sues OPM for Records on Agency Personnel Classes, Seminars in China; Breach of OPM Data | Beaufort County Now | Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after OPM failed to reply to a December 11, 2020, FOIA request

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    Washington, DC     Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) seeking records of the OPM's Federal Executive Institute's personnel classes and seminars in China and any records of communications concerning the 2014 breach of OPM data by hackers working for the Chinese government which compromised the personal information of some 22 million Americans (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Office of Personnel Management (No. 1:21-cv-00646)).

    Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after OPM failed to reply to a December 11, 2020, FOIA request for:

  • Any and all promotional materials, admission applications, invitations to apply, enrollment documentation, or similar records pertaining to any course, conference, seminar, or other event conducted by the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.
  • Any and all course catalogs, syllabi, agendas, training and briefing materials, or similar records pertaining to any course, conference, seminar, or other event conducted by the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.
  • Any and all contracts, including Personal Service Contracts, awarded by the Office of Personnel Management to support the operations of the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1,2012.
  • Any and all materials used to provide security briefings to any student, faculty member, instructor, or other employee or contractor assigned on a permanent or temporary basis to the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.
  • Any and all records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Office of Personnel Management and any official, employee, or representative of the government of China and/or any other Chinese national regarding, concerning, or related to the Federal Executive Institute in China between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2012.
  • Any and all records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Office of Personnel Management and any other individual or entity regarding, concerning, or related to the Federal Executive Institute in China that contain the terms "breach," "security," or "SF-86" between March 1, 2014 and January 20, 2017. This request includes, but is not limited to, any such communications with any official, employee, or representative of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    The Federal Executive Institute is a training center for executives of U.S. government agencies which includes an International Leadership Development Program which for years sent U.S. officials to China for training.

    Judicial Watch is seeking information on Federal Executive Institute operations in China between September 2009 and September 2012.

    An April 28, 2010 report from the Chinese propaganda outlet People's Daily Online described how a group of 20 U.S. officials selected by the Federal Executive Institute went to Tsinghua University in China for "a one-week intensive training program" which included lectures on China's communist system.

    The OPM revealed in June 2015 that it was the target of a "cyber intrusion" in which the personnel records of 22.1 million people were compromised. The OPM was targeted in two linked attacks, the first in March 2014 and the second in May 2014.

    "Sending federal employees to communist China for 'training' seems like reckless risk to our national security," stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "And the hack, likely by China, of the Obama administration's sensitive personnel records of millions of government employees is a scandal that our government would like to cover up but for which Judicial Watch is seeking answers now in federal court."
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