“The PNM government’s public response to the cyber-attack of TSTT’s systems falls woefully short of the level of public accountability expected from the highest level of governance. The Minister’s attempt to trivialize this major breach is nothing short of a betrayal of the public trust. The failure of TSTT to provide information to affected clients in a timely manner, and the revelation that the information belatedly offered by TSTT and its line Minister were completely untrue, must not be overlooked or excused”.
This is the view expressed by Oropouche West MP and Chairman of the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, Dave Tancoo, following concerns raised with him by several of his constituents who are TSTT customers.
According to MP Tancoo, not only does this cyber breach require independent public investigation, but also the events that led to the initial public response from line Minister Marvin Gonzales and the executive management of TSTT, and their subsequent about-turn need to be probed.
“The Board of Directors would have also sanctioned the company’s responses and must also be held to account. It is completely unacceptable that the Minister seeks to wash his hands of the matter by requesting the management of TSTT to investigate the breach. If there is any truth to the Minister’s claim that he was misinformed, causing him to mislead the Parliament and the Nation, then this is a very serious matter of misconduct and misrepresentation to the Nation. Someone must be held accountable”, says the Oropouche West MP.
MP Tancoo asserted: “It is ludicrous that the Minister’s response is to ask TSTT to investigate itself. The continued attempt by TSTT and Minister Gonzales to downplay this very serious breach of people’s privacy by asking TSTT to investigate its own misconduct, reeks of yet another coverup.”
He further stated that, “If there is any sincerity on the part of the Minister, he needs to come clean with the country and say exactly which official provided him with the misinformation which he in turn fed to the Parliament and the nation. The Minister may be comfortable with being misled but this country deserves the truth.”
The MP noted that almost a month has passed and none of the victims who have had their confidential information exposed have been notified.
MP Tancoo asked why is TSTT CEO Lisa Agard not accounting to the public; providing desperately needed clarifications, answering questions about the security of our personal records which remain at risk by criminals who would use this confidential information for nefarious purposes.
“My constituents who are TSTT’s clients want to know if their personal and financial information has been compromised and what steps should be taken to mitigate possible risks.”
Tancoo noted that instead of treating frontally with the issue, both TSTT and the PNM Government seem intent on continuing to dismiss this very real public concern.
MP Tancoo stated, “Our country deserves the truth. No more lies, please.”