IRS tightens inventory control after 2,300 computers go missing

IRS tightens inventory control after 2,300 computers go missing

'The IRS is like the child who asks for a doll all year and then loses it the day after Christmas.'
'SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY

A senior senator has asked the Office of Management and Budget to rein in IRS funding until the agency can account for 2,300 missing computers.

A recent Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report concluded that the IRS has lost track of the computers over the last three years because of poor inventory control.

IRS officials said the agency now maintains tighter control over its inventory. The IRS has 163,000 computers nationwide. Of the missing computers, 1,597 have been accounted for, IRS spokesman Bruce Friedland said, adding, 'We have not compromised taxpayer information.'

In a letter dated Jan. 7, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking Republican member of the Senate Finance Committee, asked Office of Management and Budget director Mitch Daniels to limit the IRS' budget until the agency improves inventory management.

'Now, we learn that the IRS is like the child who asks for a doll all year and then loses it the day after Christmas'or in this case loses 2,300 dolls,' Grassley said.

The IRS budget for fiscal 2002 is $9.5 billion, with $391 million earmarked for IRS modernization.

'The TIGTA report states that the IRS has reported a material weakness in inventory controls every year since 1983,' Grassley said.

Friedland said the agency has taken steps to improve its inventory management.

Last March, the agency upgraded its tracking programs, he said. Previously, agency units managed their computers. But the IRS has centralized control of PCs, making the Office of the Chief Information Officer responsible for the inventory, Friedland said.

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