[IRS Installation of Telephone Equipment in Employee Residences]

B-220148: Jun 6, 1986

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requested a decision regarding the propriety of installing telephones in the homes of IRS customer service employees. The telephones would connect to a centralized switching system and would enable the employees to perform their part-time duties at home. GAO held that IRS could pay for the installation using appropriated funds because: (1) the telephones would be separate from the employees' home telephones; (2) the centralized switching system would make abuse virtually impossible; and (3) it constituted essential telephone service of limited use and involving numerous safeguards. Accordingly, IRS may install telephones in the homes of its customer service employees.