GAO to IRS: Chew carefully

The Internal Revenue Service may be biting off more than it can chew with its modernization program. The tax agency needs to divert funds it has earmarked for future projects into managing those already under way, the General Accounting Office said.

The report, "IRS Needs to Better Balance Management Capacity with Systems Acquisition Workload," found that while the IRS "has made important progress in implementing modernization management controls" of its $351 million business modernization program, it still needs to better manage the projects it has started.

Software acquisition, configuration, quality assurance, enterprise architecture, human capital, risk management and cost and schedule estimations all need to be watched more closely, the GAO said. Without these controls, projects such as the Customer Account Data Engine and e-Services risk cost overruns and delays.

The GAO recommends slowing and delaying new projects and redirecting the capital into better management of those already in the critical stages of completion.

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