Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Office of Audit

THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ORGANIZATION NEEDS TO IMPLEMENT A COMPETENCY DATABASE TO EFFICIENTLY MANAGE ITS WORKFORCE

Issued on September 21, 2012

Highlights

Highlights of Report Number:  2012-20-107 to the Internal Revenue Service Chief Technology Officer.

IMPACT ON TAXPAYERS

The IRS Information Technology (IT) organization partners with leadership to define and implement human capital policy and guidance that ensures employees are supported to deliver outstanding service.  Without effective human capital management, which includes determining the critical skills and competencies that will be needed to deliver IT services, the IRS IT organization risks being unable to effectively and efficiently achieve its mission of delivering services and solutions that drive effective tax administration.

WHY TIGTA DID THE AUDIT

This audit is included in TIGTA’s Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Audit Plan and addresses the major management challenge of Human Capital.  The overall objective of this review was to evaluate the IRS IT organization’s workforce planning efforts to ensure that it has the human capital needed to deliver IT services and solutions that drive effective tax administration.

WHAT TIGTA FOUND

Although the IRS IT organization has a process for identifying its resource needs and gaps for completing its priority work, the process relies on management’s knowledge and judgment about each individual’s skills and does not consider resource needs for other mission-related work.  Additionally, there is no system within the IRS IT organization that provides information about the skills and competencies associated with the various occupations.  Without a competency database, management cannot efficiently and effectively manage the skills of its workforce. 

The IRS Human Capital Office developed, tested, and successfully implemented an automated tool that would help with assessing the skills and competencies and readily link that information with training.  TIGTA believes that the IRS IT organization should implement this tool to help with its overall skills management.  The IRS IT organization will benefit from using the automated assessment tool because it will reduce management’s burden, it is a cost-efficient means for identifying skills gaps, and it allows for quick and easy access to employee data for development and training purposes.

WHAT TIGTA RECOMMENDED

TIGTA recommended that the Chief Technology Officer 1) develop an inventory list of the key (or important) skills needed for each IT position and differentiate the skills by proficiency level, and 2) implement a repeatable process for assessing employees’ skills.  In addition, the IRS IT organization should consider using the Assess 4 Success process and tools developed by the IRS Human Capital Office.

IRS management agreed with the recommendations and is in the process of developing an IT Workforce Tool that will gather technical competencies, skills, and areas of expertise, with proficiency-level ratings from the results of each employee self-assessment.  Management plans to use this IT Workforce Tool for employee self-assessments and ongoing gap analysis to meet its strategic planning objectives.  They considered the Assess 4 Success tool; however, it lacked some of the assessment information and analysis capabilities that the new system will offer.  The IT Workforce Tool, along with the IRS’s IT Integrated Release Plan, will provide expanded skills information by critical program areas related to future demand and detailed gap analysis assessments.

READ THE FULL REPORT

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

http://www.treas.gov/tigta/auditreports/2012reports/201220107fr.html

E-mail Address:   TIGTACommunications@tigta.treas.gov

Phone Number:   202-622-6500

Website:   http://www.tigta.gov