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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release


October 16, 2012
TIGTA - TIGTA - 2012-55
Contact: David Barnes
(202) 622-3062
David.barnes@tigta.treas.gov
TIGTACommunications@tigta.treas.gov

The IRS Can Better Manage Its Information Technology Workforce

WASHINGTON - Documenting the skills of its information technology (IT) workforce will allow the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to more effectively manage its human resources, according to a new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

TIGTA reviewed 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.

Although the IRS's IT organization has a process for identifying its resource needs for completing its priority work, the process relies on management's knowledge and judgment about each employee's skills and does not consider resource needs for other mission-related work, TIGTA found. Additionally, there is no system within the IRS IT organization that provides information about employee skills and competencies.

The IRS Human Capital Office developed, tested, and successfully implemented an automated tool that would help with assessing the employees' 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 would benefit from using the automated assessment tool because: it would 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.

"Documenting the capabilities of its information technology workforce will increase the IRS's ability to deliver effective tax administration," said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

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. 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 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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