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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release


June 13, 2012
TIGTA - 2012-21
Contact: David Barnes
(202) 622-3062
David.barnes@tigta.treas.gov
TIGTACommunications@tigta.treas.gov

Report: IRS Is Adequately Planning And Testing Its Ability To Recover From Disasters

WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is adequately planning and conducting disaster recovery tests on its most critical computer systems, according to a new report publicly released today.

However, the IRS can improve disaster recovery test problem reporting and the tracking of progress to implement recommendations made at the conclusion of the tests, the review by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) concluded.

Disaster recovery planning is a coordinated strategy for recovering computer systems following a disruption. By testing disaster recovery plans, recovery problems can be identified and corrected before an actual disruption occurs. Disaster recovery testing is conducted to test the IRS's ability to recover major computer systems at one Computing Center to another Computing Center. Disaster recovery exercises and tests are also being conducted on the Customer Account Data Engine 2 system as it is being developed. TIGTA's review was requested by the IRS's Cybersecurity organization and is also part of TIGTA's statutory requirements to annually review the adequacy and security of IRS technology.

"Effective disaster recovery capabilities are vital to ensure that key information systems can be recovered with minimal disruption to the critical IRS business processes they support," said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

TIGTA recommended that the IRS 1) revise reports that the IRS prepares during disaster recovery tests to include required entries for references to problem tickets and 2) create a process for reviewing the completeness of problem tickets and reports prepared during the tests to help ensure that they contain complete information. The IRS agreed with and implemented both recommendations.

Read the report.

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Note: The difference between the date TIGTA issues an audit report to the Internal Revenue Service and the date TIGTA publicly releases the report is due to TIGTA's internal review process to ensure that public release is in compliance with Federal confidentiality laws.

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