Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

GAO Suggests Ways to Correct IRS Management and Technical Weaknesses

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

GAO Suggests Ways to Correct IRS Management and Technical Weaknesses

Article excerpt

The General Accounting Office issued a report on the management practices of the Internal Revenue Service and how they can be improved. Internal Revenue Service: Business Operations Need Continued Improvement identified actions the IRS should take to implement past GAO recommendations and to correct its management and technical problems.

The GAO has written a number of reports evaluating IRS programs, including a highly publicized one issued on July 26, 1995, on the status of the tax systems modernization (TSM) program. The latest report said that although the IRS had made some progress, its systems development efforts had taken longer than expected, had cost more than originally estimated and were less effective than originally envisioned. The study synthesized several recent reports, including one on TSM, to provide an overview of the opportunities to improve IRS business operations. Included among the report's recommendations are steps to

* Limit TSM funding to critical priorities.

* Develop a business strategy that includes performance measures.

* Make sound investments in information technology to achieve the business strategy and to measure performance.

* Build a technical foundation for the TSM information systems projects, and develop new processes to complete projects faster and more economically.

* Address serious, persistent financial management problems that have affected the credibility of IRS financial data.

The report also said it would require sustained oversight by the IRS top management, the Treasury Department, the Of[ice of Management and Budget and Congress to make the improvements a reality. …

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