IRS plans more competitive sourcing

Expect the Internal Revenue Service to conduct more competitive sourcing studies in the coming year, said Jodie Paustian, a small business specialist at the agency.

"IRS management is very happy because we've saved several millions of dollars" through the two competitive sourcing studies the agency has conducted so far, Paustian said.

As a result, an agency once reluctant to hold public/private competitions for jobs classified as not inherently governmental is now gearing up for several more competitions, she said. Paustian spoke this morning at a breakfast sponsored by National Business Promotions & Conferences and Set-Aside Alert.

"We're looking to outsource all of the training functions we have in the IRS nationwide," Paustian said, including "multiple locations, multiple classrooms, a lot of distance learning, as well as coursework."

In addition, the agency will hold a competition for desktop PC services, known as seat management, she added.

In both of the previous IRS competitions, the agency's proposal beat the private-sector bid, although the agency cut 218 printing jobs at 10 campuses nationwide in the process.

The IRS is also reconfiguring its procurement organization, Paustian said. Most likely starting in April, the two offices that now handle information technology procurement will be merged into a single office headed by Linda Barrett, director of the IRS' Office of Information Systems Acquisition, according to Paustian's presentation slides.

The procurement office handling the agency's effort to modernize its tax-processing systems will remain unchanged, Paustian added.

The IRS recently awarded a $34 million task order to Computer Sciences Corp. to launch the next two phases of the Customer Account Data Engine, the digital replacement for the magnetic tape master files the IRS has used to process taxes since the Kennedy administration.

The first phase, due in July, will allow the data engine to process 1040EZ forms submitted by taxpayers who have changed their addresses in the previous year. The second phase, due by January 2006, will update the system to reflect tax law changes.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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