Information Technology: IRS Needs to Improve the Reliability and Transparency of Reported Investment Information, Report to Congressional Committees [open pdf - 537KB]
From the Highlights: "IRS [Internal Revenue Service] relies extensively on IT [information technology] systems to annually collect more than $2 trillion in taxes, distribute more than $300 billion in refunds, and carry out its mission of providing service to America's taxpayers in meeting their tax obligations. For fiscal year 2014, the agency's budget request is $2.6 billion for IT. Given the size and significance of IRS's IT investments, and the challenges inherent in successfully delivering these complex IT systems, it is important that Congress be provided reliable cost, schedule, and scope information to assist with its oversight responsibilities. Accordingly, GAO's [Government Accountability Office] objectives were to (1) summarize the reported cost and schedule performance for IRS's major IT investments and assess the reporting of the performance information (2) for selected investments, evaluate the reliability of reported cost and schedule variances; and (3) determine IRS's progress in implementing a quantitative measure of functionality delivered for projects. To address these objectives, GAO reviewed documentation, including monthly cost and schedule variance reports, and interviewed staff, including those from selected investments which are critical to IRS's mission. […] GAO is making recommendations for IRS to report more comprehensive and reliable cost and schedule information and improve the transparency of reported scope information for its major investments. IRS agreed with GAO's recommendations and stated it believed it had addressed one of them. GAO continues to believe further actions are needed."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/