The Internal Revenue Service treasures taxpayers’ dollars. What else is new? This time, the IRS wasted $12,000,000 dollars on an email service it couldn’t use, according to the Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration (TIGTA). Talk about IRS tax problems…
This project was launched without verification of project needs or understanding of whether or not the technology was feasible. As a result, $12,000,000 of taxpayers’ hard earned tax dollars was wasted on a dysfunctional email service.
These Microsoft email service subscriptions, according to the TIGTA, were not even compatible with their current email system.
The TIGTA seems to believe that the IRS didn’t follow the routine acquisition process when investing into the service. Instead, they labeled this purchase as an upgrade to their current system, rather than an entirely new system within itself. They failed to perform a cost analysis, did not take business goals and requirements into consideration, did not focus on integration requirements and security assessments, and ignored many other deciding factors that needed to be made prior to making the huge purchase.
As you probably guessed, the IRS tends to disagree with these allegations. Chief Information Officer S. Gina Garza states that it wasn’t a “waste of tax dollars”. She believed that the IRS could save tons of money by purchasing subscriptions, rather than licenses from Microsoft.
However, the fact that the IRS purchased an email system that it couldn’t utilize over a 2-year period, is considered a waste of tax dollars.
In fact, they even violated the Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements by “not using full and open competition in its acquisition of Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus and Exchange Online monthly subscriptions,” according to a report.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time the IRS has been careless with technology management and acquisition. Last year, the IRS failed to upgrade its Windows software and servers by the deadline given, which resulted in more taxpayers’ funds going to waste. In 2015, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch also criticized the IRS for ‘wasteful spending’.