IRS contractor pledges to meet revised modernization schedule

New computer systems for the Internal Revenue Service are on track and will be completed on their revised schedule, according to the president of the leading contractor on the project.

Lawmakers have become increasingly impatient with delays and cost overruns surrounding the Customer Account Data Engine, a multi-year effort to replace IRS' antiquated "master file" with a modern database. The master file holds more than 150 million taxpayer records and serves as the hub of the tax-collection system.

At a hearing this month, Alabama Republican Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees the IRS, said the department's modernization efforts have "woefully under performed," adding that "schedule slippages and cost overruns have been epidemic."

Shelby worried that the current modernization could repeat an earlier two-year program to update IRS systems that failed after spending $4 billion. "That effort was a complete loss," he said.

Paul Cofoni of Computer Sciences Corp. acknowledged "some performance issues" in an interview about his firm's work on the modernization. But he said the delays were due to the age and complexity of the old system and unexpected technical problems in the overhaul process.

"We are getting better and better at this," he said, adding that while CSC is "not out of the woods yet," he expects delivery of the project's multiple stages to occur on its revised schedule.

Cofoni noted that IRS system modernization has been attempted twice before, but no contractor has moved as far as CSC in terms of a complete overhaul.

CSC is set to test the first phase of the database this summer. It will automate income-tax records submitted on 1040 EZ forms, which constitute 5 million of the 150 million total IRS files. The system is expected to be online in January. Final work is being completed on an internal records system set for delivery on a revised schedule in October.

CSC touted several smaller electronic systems that came online last fall and winter, making tax filing simpler and easier for a large segment of tax filers trying to meet the April 15 deadline. The seven systems enabled third-party tax filers, including tax-preparation services, to create accounts for tax filing on a secure database, search for clients' relevant information, such as a taxpayer identification numbers, and resolve online any questions from the IRS, Cofoni said.

He said more than 10,000 third-party tax filers took advantage of the system this year. "It has been very favorably received by that constituent base."

He noted that 24 million individual tax filers used applications to check the status of tax refunds and the status of child tax credits. "That's 24 million fewer phone calls to the IRS this year."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.