Paul L. Caron

Sunday, December 1, 2013

TIGTA: IRS's IT Security Has Improved From 'Material Weakness' to 'Significant Deficiency'

TIGTA The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has released  Annual Assessment of the Internal Revenue Service Information Technology Program (2013-20-126):

Since last year’s assessment report, the IRS has made progress on improving information security. As a result, the Government Accountability Office made a determination to downgrade information security from a material weakness to a significant deficiency. Even still, TIGTA’s reviews identified weaknesses in system access controls, audit trails, and remediation of security weaknesses.

In addition, the IRS took important steps to correct system performance issues of the Modernized e-File system to deliver a successful filing season. However, TIGTA continues to believe that the IRS’s Modernization Program remains a major risk. TIGTA identified several systems development issues that should be addressed to further strengthen and support the Modernization Program. For example, our review of the Customer Account Data Engine 2 database determined that existing data quality issues prevented the downstream interfaces from being implemented. Further, the development and implementation of new systems for the Affordable Care Act present major information technology management challenges. As a result, TIGTA plans to continue its strategic oversight of this area.

Achieving program efficiencies and cost savings is an important area for the IRS. In October 2012, the IRS achieved Information Technology Infrastructure Library® Maturity Level 3 to help achieve greater efficiency delivering information technology services. While the IRS has made progress on improving program effectiveness and reducing costs, TIGTA’s recent audit work involving data center consolidation, the Aircard and BlackBerry® smartphone program, and hardware and software management identified several opportunities for the IRS to achieve additional cost savings.

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