Business Systems Modernization:

Results of Review of IRS' March 2001 Expenditure Plan

GAO-01-716: Published: Jun 29, 2001. Publicly Released: Jun 29, 2001.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Randolph C. Hite
(202) 512-6256
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) submitted its fourth expenditure plan to Congress in March 2001. In the plan, IRS requested $128 million from its systems modernization appropriations account. This report (1) determines whether the plan satisfied the conditions specified in the acts, (2) determines IRS' progress in implementing modernization management controls and capabilities, and (3) provides other observations about the plan and IRS' Business Systems Modernization program. GAO found that IRS' March 2001 expenditure plan satisfies the conditions specified in the appropriations acts. IRS continues to make important progress in implementing modernization management controls and capabilities but has yet to implement a sufficiently defined version of the enterprise architecture to guide and constrain projects or employ rigorous configuration management practices. Acquiring modernized systems before having the requisite management capacity in place increases the risk of cost, schedule, and performance shortfalls.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In response to GAO's findings, the Commissioner decided to slow ongoing and new projects to, among other things, complete the implementation of needed systems modernization management controls and capabilities. GAO reported that this decision was prudent and appropriate. As of August 2001, the IRS had ceased funding and work on three new projects.

    Recommendation: The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, consistent with his commitments, should slow ongoing projects and delay and stagger new project starts until the requisite controls and capabilities are fully implemented.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury: Internal Revenue Service

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In response to this recommendation, the IRS, in early 2001, developed an architecture certification control process requiring that, before projects begin detailed design and development activities, they must demonstrate and the Chief Information Officer must certify that project requirements and designs are aligned with the IRS' Enterprise Architecture. The IRS reported that it started using this process in June 2001.

    Recommendation: The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, consistent with his commitments, should not approve projects exiting Milestone 3 until IRS demonstrates, through the use of traceability matrices, that projects align with a sufficiently defined enterprise architecture version.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury: Internal Revenue Service

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In August 2001, IRS reported that it had implemented configuration management practices across the Business Systems Modernization (BSM) program. For example, it established a process for managing changes to project baselines whereby modifications require change requests, including analyses of cost, schedule, and functional impacts, to be developed and approved prior to changes being made. IRS also reported that it had established the projects' baseline configuration items, configuration units, costs, and schedules.

    Recommendation: The Commissioner of Internal Revenue, consistent with his commitments, should not approve projects exiting Milestone 3 until IRS has fully implemented rigorous configuration management practices across its portfolio of modernization projects.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury: Internal Revenue Service

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Dec 10, 2014

Sep 25, 2014

Sep 23, 2014

Jun 10, 2014

May 22, 2014

May 12, 2014

May 8, 2014

Looking for more? Browse all our products here