CSC: Work with IRS modernization a success

Computer Sciences Corporation Web site

Responding to a critical letter from Capitol Hill on its work with the Internal Revenue Service, Computer Sciences Corp. said in a statement that its work for the IRS has been successful, especially the complex Business Systems Modernization.

CSC is intent on having the IRS’ tax fraud-finding system — the focus of the letter — running by 2007.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) sent a harsh letter Aug. 3 to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, scolding the IRS for its mistakes in attempting to update the Electronic Fraud Detection System (EFDS), which finds fake tax returns. He also reprimanded the IRS for continuing to contract with CSC despite the botched system.

The company disputes the congressman’s charge.

“CSC is proud of its successful record of delivering on the IRS Business Systems Modernization program, one of the largest and most complex [information technology] and business process transformation programs ever attempted in the public or private sectors,” CSC said.

It cited its successful projects: the Customer Account Data Engine, the Integrated Financial System, a suite of Web-based e-service applications, the Modernized e-File and “Where’s My Refund?” which lets taxpayers track the progress of their tax returns, including refunds. CSC also provides support for various IRS IT projects.

One such program that is separate and distinct from modernization is EFDS, CSC said. “Today CSC is working closely with the IRS to ensure that EFDS is fully operational for the 2007 filing season,” the company said.

Thomas wrote that the failure to update the EFDS has cost taxpayers millions of dollars and benefited criminals who intentionally filed false returns.

The IRS paid $18.5 million to CSC, the prime contractor, for more than two years of work, which resulted in no working product, according to Thomas’ letter.

He urged Paulson to hold people accountable for the failed program and re-examine the IRS’ contracting relationship with the company.

He also wants the Treasury Department to monitor future efforts and find out whether other IRS systems are in jeopardy.

“Another year without comprehensive fraud detection will allow further looting of the federal Treasury and have adverse effects on our tax system,” Thomas wrote.

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