Spires tapped as IRS CIO

The IRS appointed Richard Spires as CIO, effective earlier this week. He replaces Todd Grams, who left in July. Deputy CIO Arthur Gonzalez has been acting CIO.

Grams resigned to become chief financial officer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He had served as IRS CIO since 2003 and before that as IRS chief financial officer.

Spires most recently served as associate CIO for applications development, where he had had responsibility for 400 systems that support tax administration. Spires has also had oversight of the projects within the Business Systems Modernization program.

IRS commissioner Mark Everson praised Spires for his contribution to IRS modernization, in particular, spearheading the program that mandates the electronic filing of tax returns by large corporations and nonprofits.

'Some in the business community had questioned whether the necessary technical infrastructure could be developed. Richard oversaw this landmark effort, which achieved its goal,' Everson said in a statement today.

Spires co-developed with IRS business units the agency's Modernization Vision and Strategy and its associated five-year plan for IT development. The plan emphasizes smaller, incremental releases of products delivered more frequently, leverages existing systems where appropriate and takes a unified, portfolio-level view of investments.

Spires joined the IRS after outside studies said the tax agency needed more management with experience in large projects to get its Business Systems Modernization program on track after repeated missed schedules and cost overruns.

Before coming to the IRS in 2004, Spire was president, chief operating officer and a director of Mantas Inc. of Fairfax, Va. Prior to Mantas, he also served in technical and managerial positions at SRA International, also of Fairfax, Va.

Spires earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati and a master's from George Washington University in Washington.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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