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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release


July 26, 2010
TIGTA - 2010-38
Contact: Karen Kraushaar
(202) 622-6500
karen.kraushaar@tigta.treas.gov
TIGTA-PAO@tigta.treas.gov

TIGTA Report: IRS Has Increased the Energy Efficiency of its Desktop Computer Equipment, but More Needs to be Done

WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has improved the energy efficiency of its desktop computers but needs to take additional steps to become a "green government" agency, according to a report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

TIGTA found that 98 percent of the 76,708 desktop computers and monitors the IRS purchased in 2009 were energy-efficient. The IRS has also installed software that puts monitors into "sleep" mode during periods of inactivity.

However, the IRS did not begin implementing the energy efficiency of its desktop computers until January 2009, two years after the President issued an Executive order to increase the energy efficiency of Federal agencies.

TIGTA found that the IRS has not set a date for implementing other "green government" initiatives such as power management on its desktop computers, requiring duplex (two-sided) printing and fully implementing all ENERGY STAR features on its computers. ENERGY STAR is a Federal program promoting the use of energy-efficient products and practices.

TIGTA determined that the IRS could obtain an estimated $8.8 million in annual energy cost savings (from $19 to $25 per desktop computer) by fully implementing the ENERGY STAR features on its desktop computers. The IRS could save $9.4 million over a four-year period by requiring duplex printing.

"This report gives the IRS mixed reviews on its ‘green government' efforts," said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. "While I commend the IRS for buying energy-efficient computers, the Service could do more to save energy and reduce paper costs," Mr. George added.

TIGTA made four recommendations to the IRS, including immediate implementation of energy-efficiency practices for desktop computers and duplex printing as soon as possible. The IRS should also train employees on the purchase of energy-efficient desktop computers and develop a system to track whether the IRS is buying energy-efficient computers.

The IRS agreed with TIGTA's recommendations and plans to take corrective actions.

To view the report, including the scope, methodology, and full IRS response, go to: http://www.treas.gov/tigta/auditreports/2010reports/201020056fr.pdf.

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