IRS moves e-learning courses online

The IRS is moving its tax law and tax processing electronic training courses to be compatible with the Office of Personnel Management's e-Training initiative.

IRS has purchased an application called Plateau 4 Learning Management System from Plateau Systems Ltd. of Arlington, Va., for 20,000 employees and plans to transfer about 50 percent of its learning material online by 2006. It will begin implementing the software across the agency for a variety of courses and moving other applications online in the first quarter of 2003, IRS spokesman Anthony Burke said.

Eventually, the system will schedule and track both classroom and online job training for 100,000 IRS employees.

Plateau 4 will also give IRS managers the ability to examine the skills of each IRS employee and customize the coursework they are assigned. It will automatically e-mail IRS agents affected by tax code revisions and procedure changes that require retraining.

The IRS negotiated government-wide pricing of the multi-million-dollar contract on behalf of the Treasury Department and the Transportation Department's Transportation Virtual University, Burke said. The three agencies will use the same system to blend into OPM's e-Training initiative.

'IRS has a need to have very accurate, up-to-date content on the tax code, assisting taxpayers, customers facing stuff,' said Paul Sparta, Plateau's chief executive officer.

The IRS has no unified infrastructure for e-learning. 'Without infrastructure, you can have all the content, but you have a hard time managing delivery of that content,' Sparta said.

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