Congress lets IRS tap funds for modernization

Congress lets IRS tap funds for modernization

By Shruti Dat'

GCN Staff

APRIL 27—Congress has released $148.4 million from the IRS Information Technology Investment Account to fund the service's modernization efforts.

Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.), chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government, earlier this month approved the IRS' third and largest request. The IRS received $35 million last July and $33 million in December from the fund to develop a revised modernization blueprint with prime contractor Computer Sciences Corp.

IRS had requested that Congress approve $176.3 million for the service to continue the modernization effort. It received $27.9 million less.

"Our view is that this is less than we requested, but it signals Congress' cautious but increasing confidence in our modernization effort," IRS chief information officer Paul Cosgrave said.

Cosgrave said the third installment would fund three facets of the modernization: completion of the enterprise life cycle plan, publication of the updated modernization blueprint and initial development of some systems programs.

IRS will allot $49 million to complete its enterprise life cycle plan, refresh its three-year-old blueprint and the further formulate its vision, Cosgrave said. The agency will funnel $60 million to the development of individual projects, such as the Customer Account Data Engine, he said. CADE will replace the 30-year-old Master File and Integrated Data Retrieval systems.

Finally, the service's customer communication project will receive $38 million to make call routing more efficient by next year. But the IRS will delay work on its Customer Relationship Management projects until after the release of its Blueprint 2000, Cosgrave said.

He said IRS would request additional funding from ITIA in the summer and toward year's end. The agency will begin developing a new financial management system-a congressional priority-this summer, Cosgrave said. The IRS Modernization Executive Steering Committee will meet May 15 to discuss modernization and funding issues, he said.

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