What exactly does TSM mean anymore?

"It seems to me TSM is dead. I know we have an architecture plan, but what's your
plan for breathing life into this?" Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) asked at a hearing of
the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government.


In response, deputy Treasury secretary Lawrence H. Summers acknowledged that
"there has been a sharp turn in the way the program is being managed."


Kolbe shot back: "It does not seem accurate to me to say we have taken a sharp
turn on TSM. It seems it has stopped."


Summers, who appeared determined not to let the chairman lambaste the program, said
"Well, a car usually slows down before making a sharp turn. The faster the car goes,
the sharper the turn will be."


Realizing the subject was dragging on, Kolbe asked, "Well, tell me this: Are we
slowing down, or are we changing cars completely?"


"Sometimes you take a bus to get to the car," Summer said.


The subcommittee met to discuss IRS' fiscal 1998 $7.4 billion budget request, an
increase of $308 million from this year's budget.


"If by TSM we mean a set of contracts, that's been canceled. If by TSM we mean a
vision, that vision is still there, and we expect to deliver on it using different
techniques," Summers said.


He said IRS is contracting out more TSM development, 64 percent in 1997 compared to 40
percent in 1995. He also said IRS is developing a request for proposals for the systems
integration work. IRS still plans to have the RFP ready by July 31, as Congress mandated
last year.


During the past year, IRS has reduced the number of staff members working on TSM
development projects from 524 to 156 and has collapsed 26 modernization projects into
nine.


IRS Commissioner Margaret Milner Richardson said that of the additional money
requested, $93 million is for information systems. She said much of that money will be
spent on year 2000 date conversion work.


IRS will allocate the rest to programming changes for major information systems and
replacing vital IRS computers used to process remittances. The agency also will replace
some notebook computers used by field auditors to examine individual and business returns.


Summers said IRS must give Congress a TSM status report by May 15. He said the agency
will meet the deadline


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