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IG Report: IRS Prematurely ‘Retired’ Data Storage Units

From the Daily Caller:

IRS Prematurely ‘Retired’ Data Storage Devices

By Patrick Howley | June 25, 2014

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) prematurely “retired” computer data storage devices worth millions of dollars and filed “disposal” documents for computer hardware that still existed, according to an internal inspector general report reviewed by The Daily Caller…

The IRS, which spent $44.1 million in information technology (IT) hardware maintenance in fiscal year 2011 and $47.8 million in fiscal year 2012.. Meanwhile, sophisticated data storage devices were being thrown away in the agency’s national IT offices in Maryland, even though the IRS was still paying for maintenance on the devices.

The IRS prematurely “retired” data-storage devices and filled out “disposal” documents for hardware that still existed and was supposed to still be in use, according to a Sept. 24, 2013 Treasury Inspector General (TIGTA) report entitled “Increased Oversight of Information Technology Hardware Maintenance Contracts Is Necessary To Ensure Against Paying for Unnecessary Services.”

“In another [maintenance] contract, 22 of 54 storage devices had been retired prior to the end of the service contract or were migrated to a separate storage contract as part of the IRS’s efforts to consolidate data storage,” according to TIGTA…

The IRS also filled out disposal documentation for IT devices that still existed.

“In another contract reviewed, we compared the asset listing to the information technology asset inventory system and identified four retired assets,” the TIGTA report stated. “The IRS provided the disposal documentation for these four retired assets showing that these assets were ‘written off’ because they could not be located during the inventory. However, as a result of our subsequent inquiries, the IRS confirmed that the assets existed and took steps to correct the information technology asset inventory management system by placing the assets into an ‘in use’ status.”

In other words, the IRS lost four storage devices and just wrote them off as ‘retired.’ But then, when somebody asked about them, they suddenly found them and decided to unretired them. Couldn’t that be the case with the seven missing hard drives?

In June 2012, the IRS “retired” ten hardware assets more than six months before the maintenance contracts on the devices were up, and continued spending $6,692 per month in maintenance costs…

It might be difficult to even figure out which programs the IRS has and which ones it doesn’t. The agency purchased IT devices that it did not add to its official inventory until prompted.

“In two contracts reviewed, the IRS purchased a total of 25 information technology assets and upgraded the maintenance coverage for these assets,” the TIGTA report stated. “However, none of the 25 assets were recorded in the information technology asset inventory management system.”

A separate Sept. 30, 2013 TIGTA report found that IRS “offices were not taking sufficient steps to recover assets placed in a temporary ‘missing’ status.”

TIGTA is currently conducting an investigation into Lois Lerner’s missing emails.

That’s reassuring, isn’t it?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Thursday, June 26th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

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