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GAO removes IRS modernization from high-risk list

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The Government Accountability Office has removed the Internal Revenue Service's decades-long effort to transform the technology it uses to process tax returns from its list of federal high-risk programs.

The list, which GAO updates biennially, has included IRS modernization since 1995; programs make it onto the list because auditors believe they are at high risk for waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement, or are in need of broad reform.

Among the reasons why IRS no longer need be kept on the list is the tax agency's March 2012 establishment of a relational database to house individual taxpayer data and the daily processing of some individual tax returns with the initial phase of the Customer Account Data Engine 2 system starting in January 2012.

In May 2012, the IRS initiated plans for a phase 2 of CADE, the 2013 high-risk series update notes. In September, the IRS's application development organization also attained the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model Integration maturity level 3, "a high achievement by industry standards."

Since July 2011, the GAO says the IRS has had in place close to 80 percent of the practices needed for an investment management process (as the GAO defines it), "including all of the practices needed for effective project oversight."

The GAO also cites better cybersecurity, as well as improvements in recent years of its financial management systems.

For more:
-  go to the GAO high-risk list webpage

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