James Runcie, the Chief Operating Officer for the US Department of Education’s Office of Financial Aid, provided written testimony to Congress yesterday about the return of the IRS Retrieval Tool. He said the “encryption solution” for the software security vulnerability in the tool will be in place for the start of the 2017-2018 FAFSA cycle on October 1st, 2017. So it will not be available for the remainder of this cycle, which will require the estimated 8 percent yet to file to manually enter that information.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has done a series of articles on the outage. The most recent one is here: http://www.chronicle.com/article/As-Fafsa-Tool-Outage/239988?cid=wcontentlist_hp_latest
Past articles include:
- Education Dept. Moves to Ease Burden of Fafsa Tool’s Absence
- Tool’s Outage Threatens to Set Back Financial-Aid Reforms
- Breach of Financial-Aid Tool May Have Compromised Data on 100,000 Taxpayers
- IRS Tool Used for Student-Aid Forms Will Be Offline Until the Fall
- Citing Security Fears, IRS Suspends Key Tool in Financial-Aid Process