IT Support Inefficiencies Boosting Costs at IRS, IG Finds

Inefficiencies in information technology support at the Internal Revenue Service have led to higher tax administration costs, according to a new  Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) report.

Among other contributing issues, TIGTA found that IRS business operating divisions had minimal involvement with IT allocation, which was handled primarily by the IT organization.

“The operating divisions are concerned that their lack of participation limits their input when establishing agency priorities for determining how to allocate IT organization resources,” the report says.

Additionally, TIGTA found that requests that would might reduce costs are not being efficiently addressed, and that “the system to track information technology requests does not accurately reflect the status and actions taken for some requests.”

TIGTA recommends that the agency’s CIO conduct annual meetings with the business operating divisions and IRS “chief officers” discuss IT resources, and establish an effective tracking and resource-estimate system for IT requests. Lastly, TIGTA recommends establishing internal guidelines to “be updated to ensure that the information documented in the work request tracking system accurately reflects the status of the request,” and whether it is denied.

The IRS disagreed with the internal guidelines request as it believes that there are already sufficient procedures in place to meet the goals of the recommendation. The IRS said that it will work more closely with IT suppliers to evaluate cost-benefits analyses’ of establishing a process to track estimated and actual resources needed to complete work requests.

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