IRS: Modernization funds won't be wasted

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Mark Everson told senators that the agency needs every bit of the $10.7 billion earmarked for the IRS in the president's fiscal 2005 budget request.

"I'm asking for the full request — not a penny more," Everson said, citing taxpayer service, tax enforcement and systems modernization as top priorities of his administration.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee's Transportation, Treasury and General Government Subcommittee, pressed Everson for assurances that the $1.6 billion that has been spent on IRS systems modernization during the past six years will not be wasted, he said, adding that an earlier modernization effort that cost $4 billion failed.

The current modernization program was originally estimated to be completed in 15 years at a cost of $7 billion. Those estimates by the IRS and its subcontractor were optimistic and caused people's expectations to be higher than they should be, Pamela Gardiner, the Treasury Department's acting inspector general for tax administration, told the subcommittee.

Gardiner also said the program's complexity and poor management practices early on caused the unrealistic cost and schedule estimates to veer even further off course. "I think everyone's disappointed," she said.

Everson told the subcommittee that systems modernization is one of his top priorities and that he is now meeting monthly with the president and chief executive officer of Computer Sciences Corp., the prime contractor for the IRS' systems modernization, in an effort to keep the program on track.

After delivering a harsh ultimatum to CSC officials in February, Everson said he is now "cautiously optimistic they can do this."

The next critical modernization deadline comes up in August, Everson said, which is when the initial release of the taxpayer database known within the IRS as the Customer Account Data Engine is due.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.