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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release

September 13, 2011
TIGTA - 2011-53
Contact: Karen Kraushaar
(202) 622-6500

Report: IRS Needs To Determine the Appropriate Size and Skills Of Its Acquisition Workforce

WASHINGTON -- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) cannot easily identify its acquisition workforce and ensure it has the skills needed to manage its $31.5 billion procurement portfolio, concludes a new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

Like other Government agencies, the IRS is faced with both increases in procurement spending and the number of acquisition staff eligible for retirement. TIGTA assessed the IRS’s efforts to determine the size, skills, and competencies of its acquisition workforce.

TIGTA found that the IRS cannot easily identify all employees who work on acquisition activities. The IRS’s acquisition workforce is split between contracting officers and contracting specialists working in the Office of Procurement, and employees in other offices who perform contracting activities. Although the IRS Office of Procurement could easily identify its acquisition workforce, it had difficulty identifying the acquisition workforce working in other offices. These employees, including contracting officers’ technical representatives and program managers, are more difficult to track as part of the acquisition workforce because their acquisition duties may be performed in addition to their normal job responsibilities.

Previous TIGTA audits have raised concerns over the adequacy of the IRS’s acquisition workforce. If the IRS does not take action to improve its acquisition workforce planning, it may not be able to easily determine whether it has enough people with the right skills to perform acquisition duties. In addition, the IRS may be understaffed to handle the anticipated acquisition workload, and may not have all the prerequisite skills to oversee its procurements.

“Our review found that the IRS is at risk on two counts: wasting scarce resources by paying more for procurements than necessary and not receiving adequate goods and services to meet its mission,” said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

TIGTA recommended that the IRS develop and document a Service-wide approach to ensure that it can identify, track, and monitor the adequacy of its acquisition workforce. The IRS agreed with TIGTA’s recommendation and is planning to take appropriate action.

Read the report.


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