IRS board urges modernization increase

IRS Oversight Board FY06 IRS Budget/Special Report

A new report from the IRS Oversight Board says the Internal Revenue Service's modernization effort needs more money.

Congress approved $203 million for IRS modernization in 2005. That figure is $82 million less than Bush administration officials' requested $285 million. IRS officials are now asking for less, $199 million in fiscal 2006. "This is an appropriately focused program that will allow us to devoted the right management attention and resources and knock off the important things," IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said today during a National Press Club luncheon. "I think once again it’s a balanced request."

But oversight board members say modernization should have funding increased, not reduced.

"Cutting back on modernization will force the program to take longer and cost more than necessary," the report states. "As time passes, a catastrophic disruption in our nation’s tax system becomes more likely."

Board members urge lawmakers to add $140 million for core modernization efforts and $78 million more for other modernization-related initiatives, including agencywide training on modernization systems and money for simulataneously operating legacy systems and new ones during a transition period.

Administration officials believe that the modernization effort, which for years was plagued with problems, needs to have two consecutive good years before agency officials can ask Congress for funding increases. IRS officials say they want to repeat last year's performance, which they characterize as the best year ever in modernization.

That would demonstrate "two years of good solid delivery on schedule and costs – and then look for growth in the future," W. Todd Grams, the IRS' chief information officer, said shortly before the board’s report was released.

During congressional deliberations on the fiscal 2005 budget, Senate staffers said one reason lawmakers cut the modernization budget was to accommodate a tax agency request for increased tax enforcement funding.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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.