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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release

December 7, 2011
TIGTA - 2011-87
Contact: David Barnes
(202) 622-3062

Report: IRS Did Not Always Follow Recovery Act Procurement Regulations

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) did not always comply with strict purchasing requirements when spending funds it received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act), according to a new report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

The IRS received $203 million in Recovery Act funds and, at the time of TIGTA's audit, planned to use approximately $85 million for Recovery-Act funded procurements. As of February 18, 2011, it had awarded approximately $85 million in procurements for reprogramming IRS computer systems, updating related tax forms and publications, and providing customer service to assist taxpayers.

However, TIGTA found three IRS procurements totaling approximately $58,000 that were not tracked or timely reported to the Office of Management and Budget and were awarded without meeting Recovery-Act procurement requirements.

TIGTA determined that the IRS Office of Procurement Policy did not take immediate corrective action once these unreported procurements were discovered. Additionally, TIGTA found that only one of the 19 additional Recovery Act procurements reviewed met all planning and award requirements.

"The Recovery Act required unprecedented levels of transparency, oversight, and accountability," said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. "If the IRS does not consistently meet these requirements for its procurements, taxpayers will not always know how Recovery Act funds were used by the IRS."

TIGTA recommended that the IRS evaluate the management control weaknesses and noncompliance issues identified during the audit and document any lessons learned which could be used as a reference for future legislation requiring special tracking and reporting requirements for procurements.

IRS officials agreed with TIGTA's recommendations and stated that the Office of Procurement plans to work with its operating divisions to document any lessons learned, including an assessment on Recovery Act reporting and a discussion on ways to improve the process. Going forward, the Office of Procurement also plans to ensure that all procurement managers are briefed on new legislation, including any special requirements for planning, awarding, tracking, and reporting procurements.

Read the report.


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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