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Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release


December 3, 2014
TIGTA - 2014-49
Contact: David Barnes
(202) 622-3062
David.barnes@tigta.treas.gov
TIGTACommunications@tigta.treas.gov

Annual Assessment of the Internal Revenue Service's Information Technology Program

WASHINGTON -- A new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) summarizes numerous challenges facing the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) information technology program.

The IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98) requires TIGTA to conduct an annual evaluation of the adequacy and security of IRS information technology. TIGTA assessed the progress of the IRS’s Information Technology Program, including security, modernization, and operations for Fiscal Year 2014.

TIGTA’s assessment focused on three key areas:

TIGTA’s reviews in the information security area identified weaknesses in the enterprise information technology security program; the protection of Federal tax information; implementation of enterprise risk management; security issues with systems development activities; implementation of security solutions; and security of employees.

In the Modernization Program, the Customer Account Data Engine 2 database validation efforts were efficiently performed due to adequate planning and resource coordination and a large percentage of the data fields were validated with automated data compare tools. However, TIGTA’s reviews of other systems development projects identified several issues that should be addressed to further strengthen the program including systems testing issues and requirements management process issues.

While several projects are currently on target regarding cost and schedule, other critical systems may be affected by budget limitations. TIGTA is also concerned that the IRS’s existing fraud detection system may not be capable of identifying Affordable Care Act refund fraud or schemes prior to the issuance of tax refunds. As a result, TIGTA plans to continue oversight of this area.

Efficient and cost-effective management of information technology assets is crucial to ensuring that information technology services continue to support the IRS’s business

operations and help it to provide services to taxpayers efficiently. TIGTA’s recent work involving the IRS’s inventory management of mainframe and server software licenses and telecommunications equipment as well as the disposal of electronic equipment identified several opportunities for the IRS to achieve cost savings.

Because this was an assessment report of the IRS’s Information Technology Program through Fiscal Year 2014, TIGTA did not make any 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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