Security tops IRS challenges in 2011

Monday - 12/20/2010, 5:19pm EST

Russell George, Treasury Inspector General, Tax Administration

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What are the big management challenges facing your agency?

For the IRS, the big challenge for years has been its modernization effort. But in 2011, security tops the list of challenges the IRS will face in 2011 in TIGTA's report.

So why the change?

Russell George, Treasury inspector general for Tax Administration, said security became a big issue in February when a man angry with the IRS plowed his small plane into an IRS building in Austin.

Prior to the crash, the Treasury Inspector General's office was having a debate about whether modernization or security should be the agency's top priority, George said in an interview with the DorobekINSIDER.

"This year, after Austin, there was no more argument," George said.

Modernization, number two on the list, still remains a "major concern," George said.

TIGTA's report highlights the growing international nature of IRS challenges. For example, many of the external attempts to infiltrate the IRS computer systems came from foreign countries, George said. IRS' examination of overseas accounts to ensure people pay what they owe is yet another example of the effects of globalization on the agency.