IG says IRS needs better systems testing

Because the IRS did not adequately track systems requirements when it tested the initial release of a taxpayer accounts data warehouse, it did not release Version 1 for fear the system might not function as planned, according to a new inspector general report.

Testers of the Custodial Accounting Project could not determine whether systems requirements were successfully reviewed, which led the IRS to postpone CAP’s deployment, said the report from the Treasury Department’s IG for tax administration.

Instead, in late summer the agency released Version 1.1, which incorporated additional reporting capabilities and made monitoring the system in tests easier.

The kernel of the testing problem was a change in scope, the report said.

“The IRS approved changes to the baseline systems requirements without always knowing which systems requirements were affected,” said Gordon Milbourn III, Treasury’s assistant IG for audit.

The tax agency has changed its approach to managing requirements for follow-on CAP versions, CIO Todd Grams said in a written response to the IG.

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