IRS Data on Investigations of Alleged Employee Misconduct

T-GGD-89-38: Published: Jul 27, 1989. Publicly Released: Jul 27, 1989.

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GAO discussed the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Internal Security Management Information System, focusing on the validity and usefulness of the system's data. GAO found that: (1) the data were unreliable because of the extensive number of invalid codes used in case characterizations; (2) the data did not describe where over 40 percent of the 1,228 special-inquiry investigations took place or such important characteristics of the 2,633 conduct cases as the types of employee investigated, IRS actions on employees, IRS referrals for criminal prosecution or prosecutive results; (3) although IRS started developing a new system with additional validity checks to preclude incomplete or illogical data, it was too early to determine the system's effectiveness; (4) IRS planned to correct only some of the invalid data in the old system before converting the database to the new system; (5) IRS frequently closed cases when the investigative work was done, but before the final disposition had occurred, resulting in incomplete data; (6) IRS did not know whether the new system would meet management needs, since it did not have any information on what management expected from the system; and (7) IRS did not have a plan for periodically reviewing data accuracy. GAO believes that IRS should fully document and test the system before proceeding with its implementation.

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