IRS’ Reece returning to private sector

John Reece, the IRS’ CIO and deputy commissioner for modernization, is leaving the government to resume his private consulting business.

Reece will leave at the end of April, two years after taking the lead role on the IRS modernization project.

“My two years creating and leading the Modernization Information Technology Services organization have been both challenging and rewarding,” Reece said in a statement.

The modernization project, which predates Reece’s tenure, has steadily drawn criticism. A General Accounting Office report released last year said the IRS “faces increasing risk that it will be unable to deliver promised system capabilities on time and within budget.”

The report criticized the agency for its lack of management controls and capabilities, such as a human capital management plan and a reliable cost-estimating process for the project.

Previously, Reece worked in information technology services and consulting, and served as the vice president of information technology at Time Warner Inc.

He was hired at the IRS to oversee all IT operations and for the entire set of Business Systems Modernization projects.

He helped reorganize information systems for the modernization and worked to improve the agency's business practices and technology after his predecessor, Paul Cosgrave, implemented the new IRS organization structure.

Reece, in turn, leaves the IRS just as the agency is planning to roll out the first two phases in a multiyear effort to replace its taxpayer database. This new database will allow accurate tax account answers on a real time basis.

“We have put a solid foundation in place for modernization, ITS and security services to grow and build upon,” Reece said.

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