TREASURY INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR TAX ADMINISTRATION

Office of Audit

Highlights

MANAGEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SOFTWARE TOOLS NEEDS IMPROVEMENT

Final Report issued on February 21, 2019

Highlights of Reference Number:† 2019-20-005 to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

IMPACT ON TAXPAYERS

The IRS uses tools for software development and software asset management.† Efficient and cost-effective management and implementation of the IRSís software assets is crucial to ensure that information technology services continue to support the IRSís business operations and help provide services to taxpayers efficiently.

WHY TIGTA DID THE AUDIT

This audit was initiated to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the IRSís implementation of software tools acquired to address its software asset management and software development needs.† Federal regulations require agencies to 1) manage, identify, and report software asset inventory; 2) determine the cost of each purchase; and 3) determine the cost for maintenance of these assets.

WHAT TIGTA FOUND

The IRS is successfully implementing the migration of IBMģ Legacy Rationalģ tools to the Rational Collaborative Lifecycle Management tools solution.† For example, in March 2018, the IRS timely completed the migration from one legacy tool used by 135 projects with 268 repositories.† TIGTA attributed this success to the IRSís development of policies, procedures, and effective communication.† However, the IRS has not developed policy directives that outline the required use and exceptions for not using IBM Rational tools.

The IRS did not effectively manage the IBM Legacy Rational tools software licenses and did not actively monitor the costs associated with purchasing the software licenses and software subscription and support.† As a result, the IRS purchased software licenses that it never deployed and purchased software subscription and support for licenses it did not use.† TIGTA estimates that the IRS wasted approximately $3.4 million between Fiscal Years 2015 and 2017 on unused software licenses and support.† The IRS may have violated the bona fide needs rule by not using licenses purchased in Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016.† In addition, TIGTA estimates that the IRS overutilized software licenses and support worth between $851,708 and $2.8 million.

The IRS did not follow the Federal Acquisition Regulations and IRS guidance when purchasing the IBM BigFixģ product.† As a result, the IRS improperly identified the BigFix product as a viable solution to meet its need for a software asset management tool.† Finally, the IRS had no formal acquisition process for using software credits to purchase the BigFix product, and the process used lacked internal controls.

WHAT TIGTA RECOMMENDED

TIGTA recommended that the Chief Information Officer:† issue policy directives on the mandatory use and exceptions for not using Rational tools; implement a process that will improve license utilization and enhance license compliance; review software maintenance renewals to ensure that coverage is purchased only for the number of licenses that show measured usage over the prior contract period; develop and implement controls to prevent system administrators from installing more licenses than acquired; request that the IRS Chief Counsel determine if the bona fide needs rule was violated; ensure that required planning procedures are completed prior to purchasing software tools; and document and implement policies for software and service credit purchases.

The IRS agreed with all seven recommendations.† The IRS plans to implement processes and tools to support increased utilization of available software licenses and establish policy for the review of license, subscription, and maintenance purchases.

READ THE FULL REPORT

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

https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2019reports/201920005fr.pdf.

 

Phone Number ††/† 202-622-6500

E-mail Address †/TIGTACommunications@tigta.treas.gov

Website†††††† ††††††/http://www.treasury.gov/tigta