The IRS and its Software Problem

It turns out that like normal everyday people, even the IRS gets audited on occasion. H/T to Eric Boehm over at Watchdog.Org on this one.

The big thing about this particular audit is that the IRS was unable to locate it’s licensing agreements for most of it’s software.

A new audit report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which oversees the IRS, found the agency was not keeping track of its software licenses and did not employ specialized tools to track and manage the multitude of licenses being used daily at the IRS.

This is a bit disturbing on several levels and the author expands on each different issue. This could lead to legal challenges for ToS (terms of service) violations which would waste tax payer money to defend/settle. But this issue is more indicative of potential larger management problems.

Mr Boehm asks an interesting question: If the IRS can’t track something as simple as what software it uses, how often, and by how many users, then what assurance level is there for the American people when it comes to the implementation of the PPACA aka Obamacare?

Full article here.


  1. Nah, that’s a dumb argument. For better or worse, they already keep track of everyone’s taxes each year. Healthcare compliance is just a few extra lines on the form. I’d guess at least 50% of corporations in America either willingly or unwillingly don’t do a good job of keeping track of software licenses – and yet no one thinks that means they’re incompetent in their core business.

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