Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Office of Audit

THE SUSTAINING INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM IS SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED AND A COMPREHENSIVE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE STRATEGY HAS BEEN DEVELOPED

Issued on December 30, 2010

Highlights

Highlights of Report Number:  2011-20-006 to the Internal Revenue Service Chief Technology Officer.

IMPACT ON TAXPAYERS

The Sustaining Infrastructure Program centrally funds the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) information technology infrastructure investments primarily to replace computer hardware that has reached or surpassed its useful life.  The Sustaining Infrastructure Program is significantly improved, and agreed-upon prior recommendations are being implemented.  Taxpayers and IRS employees rely on the information technology infrastructure to ensure satisfaction of tax liabilities, quick resolution of any issues, and a high level of service to both taxpayers and the Federal Government.

WHY TIGTA DID THE AUDIT

This audit was initiated at the request of a Modernization and Information Technology Services organization executive.  The overall objective of this review was to determine the effectiveness of the IRS’s efforts to address the critical issue of sustaining the IRS information technology infrastructure.

WHAT TIGTA FOUND

The annual baseline amount allocated to the Sustaining Infrastructure Program is approximately $150 million, and the program is centralized to ensure the replacement of the IRS information technology infrastructure is addressed corporately.  The Sustaining Infrastructure Program developed and implemented a process for identifying, reviewing, prioritizing, and making decisions on funding the replacement of aged computer hardware as well as other critical infrastructure needs.  The Sustaining Infrastructure Program is significantly improved, and agreed-upon prior recommendations are being implemented.  For example, monthly reports are generated showing the number and value of aged computer hardware.  IRS management uses the reports to monitor their progress in replacing the aged computer hardware.  The appropriate executive steering committee is overseeing the Sustaining Infrastructure Program.  The IRS also approved the business case for a new tool called the Knowledge, Incident/Problem, Service Asset Management system which can associate information technology problem tickets with the aged hardware that caused the problem.  The Knowledge, Incident/Problem, Service Asset Management system implementation involves replacing the current inventory and problem management system and is scheduled to be implemented by July 2011.  The business case also reported potential benefits resulting from the Knowledge, Incident/Problem, Service Asset Management system implementation of $28,825,667.

In addition, the IRS developed a comprehensive information technology Infrastructure Strategy that will be used to improve access to data, access to information technology services, responsiveness to demand, optimization, and cost effectiveness in a sustainable manner.

WHAT TIGTA RECOMMENDED

TIGTA made no recommendations.

In their response to the report, IRS management was pleased with TIGTA’s comments and observations acknowledging the Sustaining Infrastructure Program had significantly improved.

READ THE FULL REPORT

To view the report, including the scope, methodology, and full IRS response, go to:

http://www.treas.gov/tigta/auditreports/2011reports/201120006fr.html. 

Email Address:   inquiries@tigta.treas.gov

Phone Number:   202-622-6500

Web Site:   http://www.tigta.gov