New study: Earlier IRS modernization efforts not a total waste

New study: Earlier IRS modernization efforts not a total waste

Remember the failed, multibillion-dollar Tax Systems Modernization effort of the early 1990s'the one that got lawmakers so incensed? Turns out some of the money was well spent.

That's according to a new study by Barry Bozeman, a professor of public policy at Georgia Institute of Technology. Bozeman has concluded that without the infrastructure upgrades made through the TSM program, the IRS would not be able to handle the current tax processing volume.

IRS CIO John Reece agreed with Bozeman's conclusion. "Had TSM not been done, we couldn't be doing the tax returns we're doing today. It saved our bacon," he said yesterday at the Information Processing Interagency Council conference in Orlando, Fla.

Reece has a draft of Bozeman's report and has suggested some changes. The report has not been circulated publicly yet.

Meanwhile, as part of current modernization efforts, IRS will adopt Version 2.0 of its enterprise architecture plan, Reece told GCN. The CIO team has briefed key IRS staff members on a draft of the architecture. This week, overseers at the Office of Management and Budget and the IRS Oversight Board will vet the plan, he said.

The latest architecture iteration is more explicit than Version 1.0 about how business processes are linked to systems, the sequencing of projects, systems interfaces and specific technology plans, Reece said. IRS teams worked with officials from Computer Sciences Corp., the agency's prime contractor, to develop the revised architecture plan.

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