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IRS dropped $12 million on an email system it never used which helped Lois Lerner go unpunished

Published in Blog on July 17, 2017 by Convention Of States Project

The corruption within the IRS is boundless, and the latest revelations from the Lois Lerner lost e-mails scandal is downright sickening.

Lerner, the former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations, testified before Congress that she “lost” e-mails related to her targeting Tea Party and other conservative non-profits despite the fact that the IRS dolled out $12 million for an e-mail backup system meant to prevent e-mail data loss. However, the software was never activated and was therefore rendered useless to the investigation. As a result, Lerner was never held accountable for her illegal actions.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) detailed this failure in his most recent Wastebook edition:

The IRS spent $12 million on an e-mail archiving system that it could not and did not use.

While the IRS has been paying subscription and renewal fees over the past two-years beginning in June 2014 for the service, the software to activate the program was never even deployed, according to a review by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

TIGTA says the purchase of the unused system “was made without first determining project infrastructure needs, integration requirements, business requirements, security and portal bandwidth, and whether the subscriptions were technologically feasible on the IRS enterprise.”

“In addition to wasting taxpayer money,” the report continues, “the IRS violated a number of federal procurement rules with the purchase of the e-mail archiving system.” That includes the Federal Acquisition Regulation requirements, and the “bona fide needs rule,” violated by purchasing it in the Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015 but not actually using it in those same years.

And yet, the tax agency’s Chief Information Officer said, “[W]e strongly disagree that the IRS wasted taxpayer dollars.”

Meanwhile, IRS support staff is overworked trying to fix the IRS’s current e-mail system which lacks the capability of archiving messages and “is experiencing numerous failures.”

And as if $12 million isn’t wasteful enough, one audit uncovered that taxpayers also covered fancy hotel stays for IRS officials who didn’t live in Washington and paid out even more for the software licenses for the unused system. From The Daily Caller:

The amount wasted because of the inadequate management of server software licenses is in the range of $81 million to $114 million based on amounts spent for licenses and annual license maintenance that were not being used,” the audit said.

That amount was on servers alone. Desktop computers are a different story. The IRS had to pay Microsoft for special support because it was still using Windows XP in 2014, long after technical support had been discontinued.

A lawsuit revealed that IRS programmers wrote an average of 473 lines of code per month, an amount that could be done in about a day by most private sector programmers.

Has there ever been a clearer example of government abuse and the need to dismantle it from the ground up?

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