IRS Lacks Accurate Count of Legacy IT Systems

In a report conducted by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), IRS was found to not have developed specific or long-term plans to modernize or retire most of its IT legacy systems.

In addition to lacking specific or long-term plans, TIGTA also found that IRS “does not have an enterprise-wide definition or a complete and accurate inventor of legacy systems.” The watchdog found that 288 (43 percent) of the 669 systems in IRS’ production environment had missing information which prevented TIGTA from determining whether the IT systems should be considered legacy.

Among the remaining 381 systems, 231 systems were legacy and 150 were determined to not be legacy by TIGTA.

“Furthermore, the IRS generally does not capture operations and maintenance costs at the system or subsystem levels, only at the investment level,” the report said. “As a result, the IRS does not have sufficient and detailed cost data that can be used in its decision-making processes to prioritize its legacy system modernization efforts.”

TIGTA made five recommendations, to which IRS agreed with three and partially agreed with the other two. Among the five recommendations include:

  1. The CIO should coordinate with other business units and functions as needed to establish, implement, and uniformly apply an enterprise-wide legacy system definition for IRS;
  2. Implement Portfolio Rationalization or a similar program to identify, prioritize, and execute the modernization or retiring of future legacy systems;
  3. The CIO should capture operations and maintenance costs for its current IT infrastructure at the subsystem level;
  4. Ensure all systems are included in the As-Built Architecture (ABA) with complete and accurate information; and
  5. Implement a policy requiring system owners to provide system information and periodically update it in the ABA.

IRS partially agreed with recommendations two and five as the agency “plans to implement the Portfolio Rationalization to include IT organization-managed and business-managed systems for an enterprise-wide strategic approach and continue to track operations and maintenance costs at the project/program level.”

Jordan Smith
About Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.

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