Tax agency CIO leaving

Paul Cosgrave, the chief information officer at the Internal Revenue Service, is leaving his position to return to private industry.

Cosgrave, who has held the CIO post since 1998, was instrumental in developing the IRS blueprint for modernization, which defines how to improve the tax agency's business operations with technology. The blueprint is expected to be released next week.

He also developed an agencywide information systems organization to manage all IRS information systems resources nationwide as well as consolidating 11 IRS e-mail systems into one.

IRS Commissioner Charles Rossotti said Cosgrave has provided "tireless dedication to improving the business systems of the IRS and providing creative strategic direction in both the business and technology arenas."

In an interview, Cosgrave said he's proud of what has been accomplished during his tenure.

"When I got here, the information systems organization was not as strong a part of the IRS as it is today. Less than half of the information systems reported to the CIO. It was decentralized and not viewed positively," Cosgrave said.

Now, he said, information has been integrated into the tax agency and centralized. As a result, the IRS' goal to have 80 percent of the nation's taxpayers filing electronically by 2007 is a realistic one.

Before joining the IRS, Cosgrave spent 25 years in industry, including 19 with Andersen Consulting, now Accenture. Later this month, he'll join a new venture in New York, but declined to identify it at this time.

Toni Zimmerman, the agency's deputy CIO, will be the acting CIO while the IRS undertakes a nationwide search for a replacement.

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