GOP lawmakers ask IRS to explain $12M wasted on unusable email system

  • by:
  • Source: The Hill
  • 04/09/2021

Top Republicans on the tax-writing committees are asking the IRS to explain itself after a watchdog found that the agency wasted $12 million on subscriptions to an email system that it couldn't use.

"As a result of the IRS’s carelessness, the Service will not meet OMB's [the Office of Management and Budget] December 31, 2016, deadline to modernize its email system, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars and further delaying full IRS transparency and accountability," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Commissioner John Koskinen Wednesday.

The letter was signed by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), chairman of the Ways and Means oversight subpanel.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found in a report made public last week that the IRS had wasted money on the software subscriptions and has not implemented a modernized email system. The OMB has directed federal agencies to modernize their systems by the end of 2016.

The inspector general also found that the IRS may have violated its internal guidance and a federal contracting law requirement because it did not acquire the contract for the subscriptions through a full and open competitive process. The IRS also may have broken federal appropriations law, according to the inspector general, since it used money Congress appropriated to the IRS in 2014 and 2015 to purchase the subscriptions but did not use the subscriptions during those years.

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