Oversight

IG knocks IRS software licensing

magnifying numbers

The Internal Revenue Service is not adequately managing its software licensing, a recent audit found. And while IRS officials say there are plans in place to approve such software governance, the inspector general is not so sure.

"The IRS does not have an accurate enterprisewide inventory of installed software and licenses as required by Executive Orders, Department of the Treasury Directive 85-02 and IRM 10.8.2 and as recommended by and [Information Technology Infrastructure Library] industry best practices," the report from the Treasury Inspector General for the Tax Administration stated.

Effective software licensing management reduces the risk for license noncompliance, and ensures that taxpayer dollars are not being wasted on unused licenses. The IRS agreed to all six of TIGTA's recommendations, but the two parties disagreed about specifically where appropriate corrective action needs to take place.

"The subject audit examined our desktop and laptop environment which we consider a part of our overarching approach for enterprise software governance," the IRS Chief Technology Officer Terence Milholland wrote. "Thus, our corrective actions addressing recommendations include desktop and laptop software licensing as a subset of the enterprise."

TIGTA, however, concluded that the IRS did not in fact have an overarching approach for enterprise software governance at the time of the audit, and recommended that the IRS develop a method to implement best practices for licensing management.

The inspector general delivered the final report to the IRS on June 25, but did not release it publicly until Aug. 19. A TIGTA spokesman told FCW this is standard practice, and that the lag allows for an internal review process to ensure compliance with federal confidentiality law.

About the Author

Reid Davenport is an FCW editorial fellow. Connect with him on Twitter: @ReidDavenport.

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