IRS pushes ahead with modernization despite funding limits

Although it expects to be under funding restrictions into January 2008 because of Congress’ continuing resolution, the Internal Revenue Service will push ahead with efforts to update IRS systems, an agency official said today.

The current resolution runs through Nov. 16, but Richard Spires, IRS’ deputy commissioner for operations support, thinks Congress will extend it. Under the resolutions, agencies can’t start new programs.

But money for the IRS’ Business Systems Modernization is different than the usual annual appropriations from Congress because it’s a three-year appropriation, Spires said at Input’s FedFocus 2008 conference.

IRS is working with Congress to keep those funds available as the agency moves ahead with its modernization, he said.

The agency has business systems that predate Woodstock in 1969, and officials have been working for years to update them.

“Our ability to execute has been suspect in the past,” Spires said, so IRS is taking an incremental approach to modernize and enhance existing systems.

“Much of what’s out there works just fine with a few tweaks,” said Andy Buckler, senior adviser to the IRS’ deputy commissioner, who spoke with Spires.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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