IRS Management:

Business and Systems Modernization Pose Challenges

T-GGD/AIMD-99-138: Published: Apr 15, 1999. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 1999.

Additional Materials:


James R. White
(202) 512-5594


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the management challenges facing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and its progress in implementing its new restructuring initiative.

GAO noted that: (1) IRS' business modernization encompasses changing IRS' organizational structure, adopting new business practices, and managing for results; (2) a key challenge for IRS' business and modernization will be developing a balanced measurement system and incorporating that measurement system into reward and employee-evaluation systems; (3) IRS will have little assurance that employees will be motivated to change their behavior unless its reward and evaluation systems are aligned with its new measures; (4) IRS' systems modernization is intended to implement IRS' modernized business practices; (5) IRS developed the first two levels of a four-level modernization blueprint in May 1997, which was a good first step in defining the level of detail and precision needed to effectively and efficiently build modernized systems; (6) however, because the blueprint was developed before the Commissioner's restructuring initiative, questions exist about its validity; (7) IRS acknowledges these questions and, in addition to completing the blueprint, plans to validate it in light of the restructuring initiative; (8) further, IRS is working as a partner with a systems integration services contractor to complete the final aspects of the blueprint; (9) the success of systems modernization will depend on whether IRS can effectively partner with and manage its contractors; (10) the sheer magnitude of undertaking both business and systems modernization will strain IRS' management and staff; (11) such an ambitious undertaking, along with the need to stay in business, makes the restructuring initiative a high-risk venture that will take years to fully implement; and (12) the Commissioner acknowledges that the restructuring initiative is a high-risk venture and plans to manage it accordingly.

Dec 23, 2020

Dec 15, 2020

Oct 13, 2020

Oct 7, 2020

Sep 30, 2020

Sep 29, 2020

Sep 28, 2020

Sep 14, 2020

Sep 9, 2020

Sep 8, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here