IRS buys software to track complaints
- By Judi Hasson
- Dec 04, 2000
The Internal Revenue Service is turning to an off-the-shelf product to track
complaints from customers and employees.
Complaints on topics ranging from slow service to workforce disputes are
filed in three separate databases, and until now, the agency had no way
to cull the information to detect a systemic problem.
The IRS aims to correct that shortcoming with a new intelligent search software
package — RetrievalWare from Excalibur Technologies Corp. — at a cost of
"We are not changing the underlying system," said Steve Whitlock, director
of the IRS Commissioner's Complaint Processing and Analysis Group. "This
is an analytic tool that looks at the three systems and tracks the complaints."
Complaints are fed into three databases, depending on the nature of the
grievance. General correspondence go one way, complaints about race and
gender bias land in another place, and employee grievances are fed into
a third system.
With the new software, which will be fully integrated by next June, the
IRS will be able to extract data from the three systems, and search and
analyze the consolidated data.
RetrievalWare is already used by several government agencies. At the State
Department, it is being used to provide arms control officers with treaty
compliance and inspection data.
The Agriculture Department's Farm Service Agency is using RetrievalWare
for its nationwide intranet portal for agriculture reference manuals. The
software enables FSA employees to scan, index and categorize handbooks in
a desired format.