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Connolly Statement on GAO Report on Legacy IT and Cloud Computing at IRS

Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation, released the following statement on today’s Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on legacy IT systems and cloud computing and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Connolly requested the report as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations in the 117th Congress. 


“As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, I made the funding and reform of IRS operations one of my top priorities. Years of Republican Congresses starving the agency have left it understaffed and under-resourced. The subcommittee held hearings to identify areas of oversight focus that would best serve taxpayers and successfully advocated for several rounds of additional funding for the IRS. The American Rescue Plan and Inflation Reduction Act, which both passed the House and Senate without a single Republican vote, will provide the IRS with more than $30 billion in funding for operations support and business and IT systems modernization.


This report from the Government Accountability Office is a product of the subcommittee’s IRS oversight work. The report reaffirms that the IT challenges at the IRS are substantial and it provides further detail on where we can focus our oversight. First, the IRS does not even have its arms around its legacy IT problem. Legacy IT costs are still unknown, modernization plans lack timelines for the disposition of legacy systems, nearly a quarter of the agency’s software inventory is legacy software, and the effort to replace the 60-year-old Individual Master File is on hold with no definitive end in sight. While IRS cloud computing efforts are a somewhat brighter spot for the agency, it is beyond frustrating that customer experience is not being adequately assessed for new cloud solutions. We all know that customer experience should be a top priority for an agency with a nearly ubiquitous public footprint. Our tax system is complicated enough. IRS IT should be solving, not contributing to, the problem.


I look forward to continuing close and steady oversight of IRS IT operations as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation. This work will include demanding the IRS produce a plan to implement each of the recommendations in the report as well as getting major modernization projects back on track using new funding provided by Congress and flexible funding opportunities, such as the Technology Modernization Fund.”


The full GAO report is available here.

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