Milholland exits IRS

Without a restoration of the hiring authority that brought him in, the long-serving CTO departed the IRS at the end of June.

IRS CTO Terry Milholland

Longtime IRS CTO Terry Milholland, shown here testifying before a Senate committee, is departing the tax agency.

IRS Chief Technology Officer Terry Milholland is leaving the tax agency.

IRS leadership has long warned that Milholland, whose role was much like that of a CIO and who came to IRS eight years ago from the private sector, would be out without an extension of the streamlined critical pay authority under which he was hired.

Streamlined critical pay allowed IRS to pay tech talent above the senior executive service schedule. And more importantly, leadership has said, it simplified and sped the onboarding process.

With no renewal of the hiring authority, Milholland's latest four-year term expired this week. "Now, unfortunately, this means Terry will be leaving the IRS, even though he would have liked to have stayed longer," wrote IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a statement. "We remain hopeful that Congress will see the value of this program for taxpayers and the IRS and eventually renew this hiring authority, which would allow us to bring in more talented people like Terry.

Milholland came to government after serving as a top technical officer at Visa International, Electronic Data Systems and Boeing.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in May he was considering renewal of the authority, but he also condemned Koskinen's leadership.

Koskinen, meanwhile, credited Milholland for helping deliver an "IT renaissance" at the IRS.

He noted Milholland's work on the IT modernization project Customer Account Data Engine (CADE-2), the migration to Windows 7 and IRS' smooth implementation of Affordable Care Act requirements.

"Because of work performed to deliver CADE2, the Government Accountability Office removed our Business Systems Modernization program from its High-Risk list in 2013," Koskinen wrote. "We'd been on that list since 1995 — and many thought the removal would never happen."

An IRS spokesman confirmed that Milholland’s last day was June 30. Gina Garza, a long-serving IRS IT leader who headed up the ACA program office, has replaced Milholland in an acting capacity

Milholland is one of 10 senior IRS IT officials who were brought in under streamlined critical pay and whose terms, without its restoration, will soon expire.

Note: This article was updated on July 1 to add IRS comments that came after initial publication.

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