IRS panel makes a pitch

IRS Modernization program update

The oversight board of the Internal Revenue Service says the agency couldrun out of money for its modernization efforts by the end of this fiscalyear, and it is requesting that the Bush administration and Congress providea "substantial longer-term investment in modernization and improvement."

"The IRS Oversight Board is concerned that for the first time, the [InformationTechnology Investment Account] will have a zero balance by the end of fiscal2001," the board said last week in a paper justifying recommendations.

The board, created in 1998, was designed to act like a corporate boardof directors for the IRS and to assist Congress with oversight responsibilities.This is the first year the board has voiced its opinion on the IRS budget.

Larry Levitan, board chairman, said the requested funds are critical.The IRS is "brittle. Eventually something is going to happen, and [it's]going to fall apart," he said.

The board is requesting $450 million in fiscal 2002 for the account.However, the Bush administration's preliminary budget proposes just $400million.

The difference may seem small, but the funds are crucial to completingthe modernization effort on time, board officials said. "It's been too longalready," Levitan said.

It's not clear what influence the oversight board has on the budgetprocess. But one observer said those recommendations could be a mere footnoteat the bottom of the budget justification.

"There is no model for this," said board spokeswoman Joelle Jordan.Dorobek is a freelance writer based in Arlington, Va.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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