IRS spent $4.4 billion on IT over past five years

posted at 2:01 pm on June 27, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

A nice catch by Mary Lou Byrd at the Free Beacon, and an instant rebuttal to claims that the destruction of e-mails related to the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS is a budget issue. When Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee haven’t busied themselves with obsequious apologies to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for the Republicans holding his agency accountable for abuse of power, they and other defenders of the IRS complained that the real lesson of the epidemic of hard-drive failures and data losses is that the IRS really needs more money. According to government records, though, the IRS has spent more than $4 billion on information technology over the last five years:

The IRS under the Obama Administration has spent over $4 billion on contracts labeled under information technology and software despite IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testifying this week that budgetary restraints prevented the agency from spending $10 million to save and store emails.

Koskinen said “declining budget resources” at the IRS caused the agency decided to reject spending the $10 million needed to ensure emails were properly secured.

A review of IRS spending by the Free Beacon shows the agency has spent a massive amount on what it labeled as IT/software and data processing contracts in the past five fiscal years. The official government’s spending website shows the IRS spent $4.4 billion during this time period.

That improves on the Bush administration funding for IRS’ IT efforts, but not by a huge percentage. Over eight years, the IRS spent $5.3 billion on IT during the Bush years, making for almost ten billion dollars spent over the last 13 years. That’s an average of $746 million a year over that period, and $880 million a year during the Obama administration. With that kind of money, it’s difficult to explain why the IRS could afford the kind of data storage that the federal government requires publicly-held corporations to use in Sarbanes-Oxley regulation, and indeed what the IRS is required to do under federal law as well. And this data makes it very clear that budget resources were not “declining” at all at the IRS, at least not in the IT budget, despite what Koskinen claims.

That’s not the only questionable claim from the IRS commissioner, either. Last night, Koskinen appeared on CNN to tell Wolf Blitzer that he’s expecting an interim report from the Inspector General soon, and that losing e-mails isn’t the same as losing official records:

Ahem. Koskinen still hasn’t read the IRS manual, it seems, because it’s quite clear that it considers all e-mail messages as “official documents”:

1.10.3.2  (08-30-2012)
Security/Privacy

  1. Email messages are official documents and should reflect this perspective. Email communications can be offered as evidence in court and can be legally binding. Before sending an email, you must consider how it reflects on the Service’s image and take into account privacy, records management, and security factors.

And there’s also this at 1.10.3.2.3:

  1. All federal employees and federal contractors are required by law to preserve records containing adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions of the agency. Records must be properly stored and preserved, available for retrieval and subject to appropriate approved disposition schedules.
  2. The Federal Records Act applies to email records just as it does to records you create using other media. Emails are records when they are:
    • Created or received in the transaction of agency business
    • Appropriate for preservation as evidence of the government’s function and activities, or
    • Valuable because of the information they contain

Maybe Koskinen should take the time to learn his own agency’s regulations, even before learning the law of spoliation. And perhaps Democrats should consider just how it looks to set themselves up as the chief defenders and apologists for the IRS and the painfully obvious arrogance coming from its chief bureaucrat. Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein reluctantly concurred with Mark Halperin on Morning Joe today that the optics of Democratic incuriosity about IRS abuse of power looks awful:

Democrats like having the IRS act as the speech police, but cheering for the IRS is a lot less prevalent among Americans outside the Beltway.


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Congressman Gohmert put out 1,5 million for anyone who finds Lois Learner e-mails.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Mr. Gohmert proposes to hold back 20% of all IRS employees, until the Learner e-mails surface.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:04 PM

IRS spent $4.4 billion on IT over past five years

Hey, it ain’t cheap to find systems that can selectively cause hard drive crashes at convenient times.

UltimateBob on June 27, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein reluctantly concurred with Mark Halperin on Morning Joe today that the optics of Democratic incuriosity about IRS abuse of power looks awful

To whom? Surely not Obama’s mind numbed voting base.

chris0christies0donut on June 27, 2014 at 2:08 PM

No wonder their evidence-packed hard drives keep failing….

…they’re as bloated, irritable and etiolate as the Clintoons.

viking01 on June 27, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Yeah but four billion was apparently not enough.

Cindy Munford on June 27, 2014 at 2:08 PM

coolrepublica will fly by to “fu*k” us all, in 3, 2, 1.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

That $4.4 billion went entirely into the alogrithm of deciding who to audit and hard drives halt and catch fire on command. After all, getting hard drives to self-destruct at just the right time isn’t cheap.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:11 PM

coolrepublica will fly by to “fu*k” us all, in 3, 2, 1.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

I just spit out my Diet Pepsi LOL!

gophergirl on June 27, 2014 at 2:12 PM

I still want to know if Lerner or any other IRS political appointee has a “Richard Windsor” account.

Happy Nomad on June 27, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Years from now, people are going to look back at this scandal and say “yeah, when this was ignored by the mainstream you knew it was all over.”

WitchDoctor on June 27, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Over eight years, the IRS spent $5.3 billion on IT during the Bush years, making for almost ten billion dollars spent over the last 13 years. That’s an average of $746 million a year over that period,

That’s like creating a federal healthcare exchange each year. You can maintain, or have someone else maintain like they did, an email archiving system.

How about I do it for $5 million a year?

Look, I just saved the gubment $5 million! I’m great at gubment accounting practices.

Patriot Vet on June 27, 2014 at 2:12 PM

I know someone who works for a large software/hardware company, a $4 billion spend from a single customer over 5 years would have her sitting at the company headquarters deciding which corner office she wanted and how big the font will be on her “Vice President of Sales” business cards.

Bishop on June 27, 2014 at 2:12 PM

This dope was truly one of the most arrogant and despicable persons I have ever witnesses. I really think he was lying when he said that nobody have ever before accused him of lying.

rjoco1 on June 27, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Don’t forget the only reason that impetinent lizard is in that position.

Not even the IRS can have an apolitical hack at its helm.

Stop paying your taxes. Say the dog ate your records.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:13 PM

I just spit out my Diet Pepsi LOL!

gophergirl on June 27, 2014 at 2:12 PM

And I withheld the evidence.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:14 PM

$4.4 Billion on IT over the last 5 years…billion with a B?!? I just…I don’t even know how that’s possible, even for the size of the IRS. Did everyone get a brand new Mac with matching iPad and iPhone? Are all of their servers liquid cooled with AI security systems guarding access to the server rooms? It blows my mind to think of how someone could TRULY and HONESTLY spend $4.4B on IT in 5 years.

nextgen_repub on June 27, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Even the most incompetent moron in IT knows that the e-mails exist.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:16 PM

This dope was truly one of the most arrogant and despicable persons I have ever witnesses. I really think he was lying when he said that nobody have ever before accused him of lying.

rjoco1 on June 27, 2014 at 2:13 PM

If so, then one person, and only one person, prior to last week, told him he was lying, and then only one time.

Absolute power has its absolutely-corrupting perks, after all.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:16 PM

If government can’t live up to the law it’s a lack of funding.
If a business can’t live up to the law it’s a crime.

/leftards

gwelf on June 27, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

If it’s okay, I’ll pass on that.

Cindy Munford on June 27, 2014 at 2:16 PM

blah blah blah!

coolrepublica on June 26, 2014 at 10:04 PM

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Even the most incompetent moron in IT knows that the e-mails exist.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Unfortunately, they’re not incompetent at the IRS, just absolutely corrupt.

Those e-mails are gone. They took the time to destroy every single copy.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:18 PM

sharrukin on June 27, 2014 at 2:13 PM

I’ve had maybe one or two hard drives crash outright out of hundreds in the past 20 years. One of those was recoverable by temporarily swapping out a controller board from an equivalent drive.

That says a lot for quality and reliability for Seagate. Western Digital and Quantum.

viking01 on June 27, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Why the IRS is still being funded by the House I just can’t understand…

Seven Percent Solution on June 27, 2014 at 2:21 PM

And another meme / excuse bites the dust….

Unfortunately, they’re not incompetent at the IRS, just absolutely corrupt.

Those e-mails are gone. They took the time to destroy every single copy.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Not only are they absolutely corrupt in the IRS, but so is our AG.

They learned well the lessons of Watergate.

Athos on June 27, 2014 at 2:23 PM

This guy needs to be in an orange jump-suit, taking his meals at the CO Super-Max.

Another Drew on June 27, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Those e-mails are gone. They took the time to destroy every single copy.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:18 PM

No way

Btw, I loved what you said about the RINOs being busy courting their future constituents, here…but, especially here

Er, leadership hates its (current, and soon-to-be-former) base, and its active search for a new base that doesn’t include its soon-to-be-former base is why the base hates the leadership.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Hard drives do not make a data base…

… Servers do.

Subpoena the Servers…

Seven Percent Solution on June 27, 2014 at 2:25 PM

I’ve had maybe one or two hard drives crash outright out of hundreds in the past 20 years. One of those was recoverable by temporarily swapping out a controller board from an equivalent drive.

That says a lot for quality and reliability for Seagate. Western Digital and Quantum.

viking01 on June 27, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Unfortunately, the IRS had contracted with Fisher-Price to supply all of their IT hardware.

Fenris on June 27, 2014 at 2:25 PM

I’ve had maybe one or two hard drives crash outright out of hundreds in the past 20 years. One of those was recoverable by temporarily swapping out a controller board from an equivalent drive.

That says a lot for quality and reliability for Seagate. Western Digital and Quantum.

viking01 on June 27, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Even if you assume the very worst quality their story is total nonsense.

http://kenhoma.wordpress.com/2014/06/24/what-are-the-odds-of-7-specific-irs-hard-drives-crashing/

Let’s cut the IRS even more slack ….

Assume that the failure rate is 50% … about double the worst drive in BackBlaze’s sample.

Then, the probability of the 7 “of interest” hard drives crashing in .78% (50% raised to the 7th power)…. still less than 1% … with odds of about 1 in 128

The worst part is the GOP who are too gutless to order Lois Lerner arrested and jailed. They are part of the dog and pony show. Lois Lerner plays the ‘bad cop’ and the Republicans are playing the ‘good cop’. Those watching are the suckers being taken for a ride.

sharrukin on June 27, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Federal contractors, IT or otherwise, are sometimes called beltway bandits. Though in this case, it’s more likely that IRS was “here, take the taxpayers money and STFU”.

SteveInRTP on June 27, 2014 at 2:28 PM

somebody needs to go to jail. an object lesson needs to be made to stop lying and lawbreaking. Go to the top and throw the book at him/her. It may not be fair but the point needs to be made. Right now? no consequences.

warmairfan on June 27, 2014 at 2:29 PM

and indeed what the IRS is required to do under federal law as well

Fascist-Democrats don’t have to comply with the laws they write for the rest of us.

We are supposed to believe the head of a pwerful agency doesn’t have a $100 one terabyte external hard drive?

rbj on June 27, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Congress on its own can arrest and jail Lois Lerner until she testifies on IRS scandal

Yet most Capitol Hill discussion shies away from even acknowledging that this power exists. This reflects a misplaced timidity among some House Republicans who prefer to avoid political heat. And it reflects most Democrats’ disregard for accountability.

Ms. Lerner showed no such timidity when she supported imprisoning political foes of President Obama. She was not responding to proven wrongdoing; she was describing her unproven belief that conservative non-profits surely must be engaged in illegal politicking. As Ms. Lerner wrote in her email to the Justice Department, “One prosecution would make an impact.”

sharrukin on June 27, 2014 at 2:33 PM

They managed to figure out my tax payment was sent a day late this year, figure out my penalty, and send me a notice for the late fee and interest, all in less than a week.

But yeah, they lost thousands of emails. Sure thing.

Lance Corvette on June 27, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Want a losing position? I will tell you what a losing position is…defending the IRS even in “good” times, let alone now.

Not an agency is more feared or hated than the IRS…

Yeah dems, keep defending the IRS, keep telling all the American’s how great they are…and the only ones, the only ones, who will applaud you are the ones who are on the Government dole, the ones that the IRS supports by taking money from the productive American’s.

It’s the IRS stupid…

right2bright on June 27, 2014 at 2:36 PM

coolrepublica will fly by to “fu*k” us all, in 3, 2, 1.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Wonder how she’ll spell that, this time.

pambi on June 27, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Lance Corvette on June 27, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Tell them you weren’t late…it was Bush’s fault, budgetary cuts fault, lost emails, lost mail…use the same excuses they use, and don’t apologize.

I am sure they will understand, I mean, it’s happened to them hasn’t it? And they expect not to be held accountable.

right2bright on June 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

No way

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:24 PM

In a properly-deployed business/government e-mail system, if the IT staff with access to the mail server and its backups wishes to destroy an e-mail to the point that it is unrecoverable, it actually is rather easy to do so (DOD-level wipe of the “free” space on the media, a function that actually is in most operating systems). In that system, it is impossible for the end-user to do that because the end-user doesn’t have that level of access to the mail server and no access to the backups.

In an improperly-deployed business/government e-mail system, one where the ultimate storage is on a machine controlled by the end-user, there are no effective backups, and the mail server itself is of a sufficiently-small capacity that it constantly recycles hard-drive space, it is possible for that end-user to also be able to destroy an e-mail to the point that it is unrecoverable. While Lerner probably doesn’t have that level of expertise, the IT department sure as hell does.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Advice to beleaguered taxpayers: Next April, let’s everybody e-file and after the IRS loses our records, we pay no taxes.

Steve Z on June 27, 2014 at 2:40 PM

Even if you assume the very worst quality their story is total nonsense.
sharrukin on June 27, 2014 at 2:27 PM

I agree. The IRS corruption is entire.

Even before S.M.A.R.T. hard drive status reporting it was fairly easy to spot a hard drive which was getting loopy. Besides the mechanical sounds getting louder and seek times getting longer one could watch the old defrag programs (which looked like a linear pachinko machine) and “see” the blooming bad sectors. The check disk and disk verify programs also were helpful enough.

I also agree that do-nothing Broken Arrow Boehner the Timid is part and parcel to IRS boldness. Too busy trying to screw over non-Beltway McDaniel in MS, I guess…

viking01 on June 27, 2014 at 2:40 PM

That’s $4.4B with outside contractors. I would bet they’d spent at least twice that internally. Here is the lead-in to their IT employment section:

Information Technology

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) boasts one of the largest and most ambitious Information Technology (IT) organizations in the world – the Modernization and Information Technology Services (MITS) Division.

Our IT modernization program is one of the federal government’s most complex initiatives. We develop mission-critical IRS information systems that support our nation’s tax administration system and reduce the administrative burdens on American taxpayers for generations to come. We are proud of our public service to the United States.

MITS offers both entry-level and mid-career IT professional positions, and a wide range of GS-grade/pay levels, depending on your education and experience. Supervisory positions are also available in many occupations.

Earn while you learn. We offer outstanding training and a wealth of opportunities for growth and advancement on top of our exceptional benefits and pay. Put your IT skills and experience to work from Day One in a challenging occupation.

Here is the link: http://jobs.irs.gov/student/information-technology.html

levi from queens on June 27, 2014 at 2:41 PM

the IT department sure as hell does.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Criminal…and her azz ain’t worth saving.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:42 PM

7 Hard Drives Failing: What are the odds? These are the odds.

sharrukin on June 27, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Lemme guess. The chances of me being hit by lightning while being chased by a T-Rex after cashing in a powerball winning ticket are BETTER.

dogsoldier on June 27, 2014 at 2:43 PM

the IT department sure as hell does.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Criminal…and her azz ain’t worth saving.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:42 PM

NSA ring a bell. Somebody has them……………….

VegasRick on June 27, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Attachments aside… emails tend to be small files. Backing up the text portion of those wouldn’t take much space and redundancy of backups would be easy.

But this is DNC big contributor Koskinen and Lyin’ Lois we are talking about here. Of corruption on a par only Sleazy Eric Holder and Janet “Barbecue” Reno can rival.

viking01 on June 27, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Criminal…and her azz ain’t worth saving.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Who told the IT department to render the e-mails of the IRS Scandal Seven unrecoverable?

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:44 PM

NSA ring a bell. Somebody has them……………….

VegasRick on June 27, 2014 at 2:44 PM

I’ll bet that NSA had them at one point (past tense), then rendered their copies completely unrecoverable.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Go to the top and throw the book at him/her. It may not be fair but the point needs to be made.

warmairfan on June 27, 2014 at 2:29 PM

In the case of Koskinen (as well as his immediate three predecessors), fair has nothing to do with it. He’s committed perjury in his sworn testimony to Congress. He’s worked to obstruct justice and mislead Congressional investigators. He should not only be charged, but impeached.

The problem remains that the AG will continue to refuse to press criminal charges against ANY Administration official when those charges are in conjunction with an Administration scandal. Just as the Administration will not fire any person who is part of an Administration scandal – ticking them off to the point where they testify in order to gain revenge against those who fired them.

And the GOP leadership, knowing the 2/3rd requirement for conviction in the Senate is an impossible threshold, will not push to impeach anyone.

All that will happen is that Koskinen will continue to lie, the majority of the mainstream media will either ignore or justify the IRS abuses of power, and the Administration will continue to abuse it’s power until the clock runs out on 1/20/2017.

Athos on June 27, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Lemme guess. The chances of me being hit by lightning while being chased by a T-Rex after cashing in a powerball winning ticket are BETTER.

dogsoldier on June 27, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Yeah, pretty much.

And the GOP will sit on their hands about this as well.

sharrukin on June 27, 2014 at 2:47 PM

IRS spent $4.4 billion on IT over past five years

Obviously we haven’t converted taxpayers to welfare queens fast enough…

Electrongod on June 27, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Who told the IT department to render the e-mails of the IRS Scandal Seven unrecoverable?

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:44 PM

Not sure who that guy was but he was black and had big ears. Oh, and a sh!t eating grin on while he was instructing them to do it.

VegasRick on June 27, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Exchange servers setup with backup make that pretty tough. They may think they have erased those emails, but they are going to look pretty upset when they show up. I am expecting attacks about the provenance of the recovered emails.

I’m of the opinion Koskinen is just a bald faced liar or he’s ignorant or both.

dogsoldier on June 27, 2014 at 2:48 PM

somebody needs to go to jail. an object lesson needs to be made to stop lying and lawbreaking. Go to the top and throw the book at him/her. It may not be fair but the point needs to be made. Right now? no consequences.

warmairfan on June 27, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Change the rules for federal workers to IRS rules for taxpayers.Guilty until you prove your innocence. Bet hard drive crashes would become a thing of the past.

wifarmboy on June 27, 2014 at 2:49 PM

I’ll bet that NSA had them at one point (past tense), then rendered their copies completely unrecoverable.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:46 PM

We need a more recent Snowden.

VegasRick on June 27, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Who told the IT department to render the e-mails of the IRS Scandal Seven unrecoverable?

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:44 PM

My bet – Nikole Flax.

Athos on June 27, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Don’t you guys know how big the IRS is???
Drop in the bucket.
/

CW on June 27, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Exchange servers setup with backup make that pretty tough. They may think they have erased those emails, but they are going to look pretty upset when they show up. I am expecting attacks about the provenance of the recovered emails.

I’m of the opinion Koskinen is just a bald faced liar or he’s ignorant or both.

dogsoldier on June 27, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Anything can be irretrievably erased if one has access to the media. True, it might not be easy to do a selective erase if one has to remove the media from its system, but that’s why the IRS claims its backup systems were on a 6-month loop with full “recycling” of the media.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:55 PM

We need a more recent Snowden.

VegasRick on June 27, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Beat me to it.

viking01 on June 27, 2014 at 2:56 PM

For Ed Morrissey

and anyone else who would like a peek into the IT structure for the IRS and what they were doing to keep things running I present the IG report for the Treasury from 2007.

FY2008 audit report for IRS IT

Here is a FY2011 report of the IG, reporting on mainframe and other software issues.

FY2011 audit report on mainframe IRS IT

ENJOY!!

Ronaldusmaximus on June 27, 2014 at 2:56 PM

This guy needs to be in an orange jump-suit, taking his meals at the CO Super-Max.

Another Drew on June 27, 2014 at 2:23 PM

I’m sure Martha Stewart could provide some homey tips for accessorizing his jumpsuit with a glue gun and some fabric paint.

kringeesmom on June 27, 2014 at 3:03 PM

With that kind of money, it’s difficult to explain why the IRS could afford the kind of data storage that the federal government requires publicly-held corporations to use in Sarbanes-Oxley regulation , and indeed what the IRS is required to do under federal law as well.

Ed, don’t you mean to say “its difficult to explain why the IRS couldn’t afford the kind of data storage…..”

jim56 on June 27, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Let’s see…$4.4B over five years. $4.4B divided by 89,500 (the number of IRS employees) divided by 5. That comes to $9832.40 per year per employee. For $9832.40 they could have bought every employee a new state-of-the-art computer every year, an iPad every year, an iPhone every year, and the best software in existance. And still have about $7,000 left over for every employee, every year.

Yea, I know, they also had to pay for routers, servers, replacement monitors, etc. But really, you expect us to believe you couldn’t keep your employees supplied with adequate IT equipment for $9832.40 per year per employee?

I’d like to see a line by line report on what they received for the $4.4B.

GAlpha10 on June 27, 2014 at 3:09 PM

First of all, there’s 2 basic types of hard drive “crashes” – software and hardware.

The most common software crash is corruption of the partition table, effectively erasing all file/folder physical location addresses. Personally, I’ve never been prevented from retrieving almost all (if not all) data when this type of crash happens.

A hardware crash gets more complicated. It could be head/platter damage, blown component on the controller board, or systemic media failure resulting in running out of spare sectors. The first happens when the drive experiences physical forces such as being dropped, the second happens when power is improperly applied (surge, power connector plugged in wrong, etc.), and the third happens because the magnetic media has a finite life.

Out of the three hardware crashes I listed, bad sectors are more likely to happen before physical damage or electrical failure.

Bad sector failure is almost as easy to recover from than partition table corruption.

This is why every IT Pro in the country world knows the IRS is lying.

UnstChem on June 27, 2014 at 3:21 PM

I’d like to see a line by line report on what they received for the $4.4B.

GAlpha10 on June 27, 2014 at 3:09 PM

$9832 per employee/ year for IT budget for an organization that big is actually under industry averages, which are between $10 – 12K.

Of course you are right, without seeing the line by line costs, you don’t know what is included in those costs. Typically, IT staff costs, outside programmer, licensing fees and others are all included in that figure

Either way, at a minimum, full email archiving and disaster recovery best practices should have been included in that budget as a top priority.

can_con on June 27, 2014 at 3:21 PM

$9832 per employee/ year for IT budget for an organization that big is actually under industry averages, which are between $10 – 12K.

can_con on June 27, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Well, with that budget, the poor b@st@rds must still be using punch-cards. I honestly feel bad for them.

UnstChem on June 27, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Tattoo Barney the Dinosaur on Koskinen’s cheek and shove him in with the general prison population.

viking01 on June 27, 2014 at 3:31 PM

This is why every IT Pro in the country world knows the IRS is lying.

UnstChem on June 27, 2014 at 3:21 PM

It’s far simpler than even the technical issues….

When Lois Lerner’s hard drive crashed, and she appealed to the IT Department for assistance – there was not one mention regarding lost or missing emails. Not one. The only reference was to lost ‘personal files’ that she had stored on the computer. And even with these lost ‘personal files’, she was far from anxious or overly concerned when it turned out that they could not be recovered through normal means.

That’s the biggest smoking gun to me that the emails were destroyed via a deliberate action to obfuscate and hide the illegal abuses of power conducted by the IRS – and the links outside the IRS – which didn’t take place until Congressional investigators demonstrated in 2013 that they were serious in conducting their investigation.

One could destroy the evidence, but one couldn’t go back to rewrite the emails in the wake of the hard drive crash sent by Lerner.

Athos on June 27, 2014 at 3:33 PM

That $4.4 billion went entirely into the alogrithm of deciding who to audit and hard drives halt and catch fire on command. After all, getting hard drives to self-destruct at just the right time isn’t cheap.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 2:11 PM

I dunno: how much does it cost to have someone remove the drive and drill a hole clear through it halfway between the center and the edge of the drive?

Or maybe this is how the IRS is using some of the government’s half-billion bullets they just bought…

landlines on June 27, 2014 at 3:33 PM

And, the IRS is going to take over the implementation of the unAffordable Care Act. May God help us all.

SC.Charlie on June 27, 2014 at 3:34 PM

With that kind of money, it’s difficult to explain why the IRS could afford the kind of data storage that the federal government requires publicly-held corporations to use in Sarbanes-Oxley regulation, and indeed what the IRS is required to do under federal law as well

*couldn’t afford* ??

davidk on June 27, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Yes, but they didn’t get enough.

Kind of like the New Deal.

formwiz on June 27, 2014 at 3:50 PM

I dunno: how much does it cost to have someone remove the drive and drill a hole clear through it halfway between the center and the edge of the drive?

Or maybe this is how the IRS is using some of the government’s half-billion bullets they just bought…

landlines on June 27, 2014 at 3:33 PM

The price has drastically gone up in recent years due to Jugears.

UnstChem on June 27, 2014 at 3:52 PM

Unfortunately, the IRS had contracted with Fisher-Price to supply all of their IT hardware.

Fenris on June 27, 2014 at 2:25 PM

When I qualified at the firing range during boot camp, the stock of the rifle was stamped “Mattel™.”

davidk on June 27, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Unfortunately, the IRS had contracted with Fisher-Price to supply all of their IT hardware.

Fenris on June 27, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Fisher-Price doesn’t make servers. It was the Acme Server Co.

The IRS got a hot tip from Wile E. Coyote.

trigon on June 27, 2014 at 4:08 PM

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that Mr. Koskinen is lying. That Koskinen lies all the time. That Koskinen lies even when he doesn’t have to but in this case he needs to lie.

Is it wrong that when ever Koskinen is in a story my brain initially see Kockskinen?

jukin3 on June 27, 2014 at 4:15 PM

The $4.4 Billion reported by this right wing outfit is way overstated. Speaking as Linux Sysadmin who is currently working with a huge team to clean up Healthcare.gov and the IRS servers, my current pay check doesnt reflect this overstated figure.

And please dont post any childish comments asking if i can retrieve the lost emails. The hard drive was destroyed. Case closed.

farleftprogressive on June 27, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Athos on June 27, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Very few are privy to these facts, hence why I posted the more general reasoning.

UnstChem on June 27, 2014 at 4:36 PM

I dunno: how much does it cost to have someone remove the drive and drill a hole clear through it halfway between the center and the edge of the drive?

Or maybe this is how the IRS is using some of the government’s half-billion bullets they just bought…

landlines on June 27, 2014 at 3:33 PM

A single hole through the platters isn’t going to stop a successful recovery of most of the drive.

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 4:56 PM

With that kind of money, it’s difficult to explain why the IRS could not afford the kind of data storage that the federal government requires publicly-held corporations to use in Sarbanes-Oxley regulation, and indeed what the IRS is required to do under federal law as well.

I fixed it for you.

Theophile on June 27, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Someone check my math…$746 million / 95,000 employees:

$7852 spent per employee, per year!

They must have some really, really nice computers, that keep crashing.

elowe on June 27, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Even the most incompetent moron in IT knows that the e-mails exist.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 2:16 PM

But Schad, we have very competent morons at HA.

Closet Optimist on June 27, 2014 at 5:03 PM

The $4.4 Billion reported by this right wing outfit is way overstated. Speaking as Linux Sysadmin who is currently working with a huge team to clean up Healthcare.gov and the IRS servers, my current pay check doesnt reflect this overstated figure.

And please dont post any childish comments asking if i can retrieve the lost emails. The hard drive was destroyed. Case closed.

farleftprogressive on June 27, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Wow, smells like Open Reg Teen Spirit in here.

If you actually read the post, it mentions that said $4.4 billion was over a five year period.

And when you click the link in the Hot Gas story above, it goes to a website that doesn’t appear to have come from a “right wing outfit”. They cite their sources, and all of them are actual documents provided by the Feds.

But your biggest problem is that the IRS themselves claim their IT budget is $1.8 billion per year.

http://www.irs.gov/PUP/newsroom/FY%202014%20Budget%20in%20Brief.pdf

So according to the IRS’s own accounting, that “right wing outfit” claim was less than 50% of what the IRS themselves actually admitted spending on IT each year. Their claim works out to less than a billion a year for IT.

Your next problem? Ever hear of the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM)?

Here’s their President, Dr. Barbara Rembiesa:

When the hard drive in question was destroyed, the IRS should have called in an accredited IT Asset Destruction (ITAD) professional or firm to complete that process, which requires extensive documentation, official signoffs, approvals, and signatures of completion. If this was done, there would be records. If this was not done, this is the smoking gun that proves the drive or drives were destroyed improperly – or not at all.

F-

Del Dolemonte on June 27, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Someone check my math…$746 million / 95,000 employees:

$7852 spent per employee, per year!

They must have some really, really nice computers, that keep crashing.

elowe on June 27, 2014 at 5:02 PM

After a rigorous schedule of off-site and off-shore meetings to build morale along with entertainment for the entire IRS-IT department, there’s not that much left for actual equipment.

slickwillie2001 on June 27, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Flat tax. Fire 90% of these cockroaches and file taxes on a postcard. Effing vermin.

Jaibones on June 27, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 27, 2014 at 5:13 PM

tasty beatdown of a scummy leftist troll.

silence for over 2 hours.

OFA don’t have that kinda money no mo’

renalin on June 27, 2014 at 7:24 PM

The hard drive was destroyed. Case closed.
 
farleftprogressive on June 27, 2014 at 4:21 PM

 
We agree 100%

rogerb on June 27, 2014 at 8:06 PM

I’m late to the party.
Hasn’t criminal activity been established, i.e. loss of government assests? How about some sentencing in the midst of the hearings? Or do the hearings just have to go on until everyone is exhausted and goes home?

hertfordkc on June 28, 2014 at 6:52 AM

Has anyone instructed IRS employees what the(circle with the line in it) represents?

MSGTAS on June 28, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Correction to last enty. The symbol(circle with line from outside to middle of circle) is on all computers and all users know its function.

Maybe the IRS has forgotten to remind its employees that it represents the ‘Is it On” button and you have to push it to turn the equipment on/off.

MSGTAS on June 28, 2014 at 10:30 AM

4.4 BILLION?
On IT?

What did the Interstate Highway System cost?

TimBuk3 on June 29, 2014 at 12:14 PM