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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release


August 2, 2011
TIGTA - 2011-43
Contact: Karen Kraushaar
(202) 622-6500
karen.kraushaar@tigta.treas.gov
TIGTACommunications@tigta.treas.gov

IRS Making Progress In Disaster Recovery Preparedness

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has improved its ability to recover the use of its information systems in the event of a disaster, according to a new audit report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

In 2005, the IRS declared its disaster recovery program a material weakness in accordance with the Federal Financial Managers’ Financial Integrity Act of 1982. The IRS prepared a corrective action plan that divided the material weakness into seven components and contained corrective actions for each of these components. The last of the corrective actions is scheduled to be completed in December 2011.

At the IRS’s request, TIGTA evaluated the IRS’s progress in completing its corrective actions. TIGTA found that the corrective actions are being adequately completed; however, previously recommended changes have not been made. These include development of a system for tracking whether employees with disaster recovery roles attend required annual training, and establishment of efficient metrics to assess progress and track improvements in completing the corrective actions.

“Significant events such as the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 emphasize the need for organizations to have plans in place that will guarantee essential operations can continue during a wide range of emergencies,” said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. “Effective disaster recovery capabilities are critical to ensuring that the IRS’s key information systems can be recovered with minimal service disruption.”

TIGTA recommended that the Chief Technology Officer ensure that the IRS develops both of the aforementioned changes; the IRS agreed with the recommendations.

Read the report.

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