The Tax Man Cometh!
Everyone always wants the latest technology, but a government auditor said Tuesday that the IRS wasted millions of dollars on BlackBerrys and
wireless modem aircards that employees don’t need or even use.
In 2011 alone the tax service paid $1.1 million for nearly 14,000 aircards and 754 BlackBerrys that weren’t used for at least three straight months,
and 45 of those aircards and 68 BlackBerrys were never used the entire year, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration said in a
More than 2,500 employees may have gotten their technological gadgets without ever getting a manager’s approval, the auditor said. The IRS agreed
has agreed to review employees’ technology use, but rejected the idea of pooling aircards for workers to share. IRS employees have been assigned
35,000 taxpayer-funded aircards and 4,400 BlackBerrys, at a cost of $11.4 million in 2011.
“The processes for assigning and monitoring the use of aircards and BlackBerrys are not effective,” the auditors said. “We found that assignment
of these devices is generally based on job series classifications without adequately ensuring a business need exists.”
Under an agreement between the IRS and a labor union, those employees who are eligible for aircards are set out in the rules, based on factors such as
business travel and the need to work outside the office.
In its official response, the IRS said it believes that process is working and rejected the auditor’s calls to re-evaluate the situation.
The auditor said that the rules call for BlackBerrys generally to go to senior executives, but said many of them are held by employees outside that
description. Of the 5,124 BlackBerrys IRS had in May 2012, auditors said 2,123 — 41 percent — were assigned to employees whose jobs didn’t
automatically qualify, and of those, 1,000 employees didn’t get a manager’s approval for an exception to the policy
The IRS is happy that you can pay them so much of your hard earned money, they are so happy in fact they decided to splurge on getting some
blackberrys and aircards! You may think, well "so what?"
It would be fine and dandy if they purchased them, and used them. But an audit done on Tuesday concluded that the IRS has wasted millions on
blackberrys and wireless modem aircards. They don't actually NEED these items, nor did they ever use them when they had them.
In 2011 the IRS paid a whopping $1.1 million for 14,000 aircards and 754 blackberrys, that sat idle for atleast 3 months, and 45 aircards with 68
blackberrys that never even got used for the entire year of 2011.
The audit claims over 2,500 employees received these fine gifts without manager approval.. So did they just buy whatever they wanted and say "Hey put
it on the taxpayer's tab!" ? The IRS now claims it will "review" the technology use by employees, but won't jump on board with the idea of pooling the
aircards for workers to share.
So, 2011 gift results:
35,000 taxpayer-funded aircards, and 4,400 blackberrys at a cost of $11.4 million for the entire year.
Normally, these devices are reserved for senior executives, but about 41% of the blackberrys purchased were going to just normal workers, that didn't
even require the use of these devices.
Lets take a look at another example of IRS waste.
The IRS planned to launch two new projects, the My IRS Account project and a new release of the Modernized e-File project, in the new portal
environment. However, because the New Portal Implementation Project was cancelled, the IRS had to expend $9.7 million for new equipment and upgrades
to the existing portal capacity to operate projects dependent on the portals, including the My IRS Account and Modernized e-File projects. In addition
to extraneous expenses, purchasing new equipment for portal capacity upgrades prior to development of an enterprise portal business strategy increases
the risk that new equipment may not integrate with the new portal environment once it is developed.
Here we have a project the IRS had planned to set up, a modernized e-File project, and a new website. But decided it would be too costly. But they
ended up spending $9.7 million dollars to upgrade their existing portal. After it was all said and done, the IRS had invested $19.5 million of
This is only 2 examples right off the top that can be looked at, we all know the government wastes a lot of our hard earned money, but after reading
the waste on phones and failed projects, it annoys me. I think America needs an opt-out option for this Tax BS, Imagine how much could've been done in
the way of fixing bridges, roads.. improving bad neighborhoods, invested in new clean energy technology, the list can go on and on.
I thought I'd bring this story up so ATS can get a glimpse at another example of taxpayer funds being wasted on a whim.
edit on 2/19/2013 by eXia7
because: (no reason given)