Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
Office of Audit
SERVICE OPERATIONS COMMAND CENTER MANAGEMENT CAN DO MORE TO BENEFIT FROM IMPLEMENTING THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE LIBRARY
Issued on August 16, 2011
Highlights of Report Number: 2011-20-078 to the Internal Revenue Service Chief Technology Officer.
IMPACT ON TAXPAYERS
The Enterprise Operations organization Service Operations Command Center Branch (SOCCB) exists in part to ensure that normal information technology service operations are maintained for servers and mainframes by using the three Information Technology Infrastructure Library® (ITIL) processes of Event Management, Incident Management, and Problem Management. If the SOCCB does not effectively implement these ITIL best practices, service outages may not be addressed efficiently and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will not be effectively utilizing taxpayer resources.
WHY TIGTA DID THE AUDIT
This audit was initiated to determine whether the SOCCB has effectively implemented ITIL best practices to ensure service delivery management for Enterprise Operations organization products and services.
WHAT TIGTA FOUND
SOCCB management incorporated Event Management, Incident Management, and Problem Management best practices into SOCCB policies and procedures and daily operations. In addition, personnel resolved the majority of incident tickets within the required time periods.
TIGTA analyzed the 312 Fiscal Year 2010 incident tickets worked by the systems administrators and computer support specialists and determined that 145 (46 percent) of the tickets pertained to three systems. Most of the incidents occurred because of problems with software and were resolved by performing a system reboot or stop/restart. TIGTA determined that the SOCCB needs to examine incident reports to identify trends within the information technology infrastructure, making its Problem Management activities proactive.
TIGTA also determined that SOCCB management did not conduct a baseline assessment of SOCCB staffing and workload and does not have a documented strategic plan to communicate SOCCB goals and priorities with milestone and target dates. In addition, the current performance measures do not address whether work is performed efficiently and effectively.
WHAT TIGTA RECOMMENDED
TIGTA recommended that the Associate Chief Information Officer, Enterprise Operations, ensure that SOCCB management revises SOCCB procedures to address ticket trending, perform a staffing and workload analysis of the SOCCB, update the Enterprise Operations organization’s strategic plan whenever an SOCCB ITIL best practice is required to support the goals or objectives of the organization, ensure development and execution of a training plan, and identify and implement additional ITIL performance measures.
In their response to the report, IRS officials agreed with all of the recommendations. The IRS plans to revise procedures to account for trending activities of its incident tickets, perform a staffing and workload analysis, update the Enterprise Operations strategic plan for Problem Management, develop and execute a training plan, and identify and implement performance measures.
READ THE FULL REPORT
To view the report, including the scope, methodology, and full IRS response, go to:
Email Address: TIGTACommunications@tigta.treas.gov
Phone Number: 202-622-6500
Web Site: http://www.tigta.gov