June 27 2014
IRS Spends $4 Billion on IT – What’s the Next Excuse?
Patrice J. Lee
Last week, the IRS claimed that a computer ate Lois Lerner’s emails. Furthermore, her computer had been destroyed and because the IRS lacked software to save and store messages, the emails were utterly unrecoverable. No one outside of the IRS and the White House believes that excuse will fly and new evidence confirms some of our suspicions.
Under the Administration, so far the IRS has spent $4.4 billion on contracts labeled information technology and software, more than what was spent under the entire George W. Bush Administration. Over 12,500 contracts were awarded over the past five years and the agency has already spent $642 million in IT contracts this year alone.
That puts in question the testimony of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen who claims the agency was broke and could not afford to spend $10 million to save and store emails.
Perhaps the most direct evidence is that the IRS spent tens of millions of dollars in contracts with at least two companies for securing and maintaining email data. There should’ve been no reason then for the data loss.
The Washington Free Beacon reports:
The IRS contracted with Unisys Corporation for $11.8 million, which included $4 million for “critical operation and maintenance of the files informational retrieval system” and $4.9 million for what the contract describes as “critical-exercise files information retrieval system (Exfirs) Operations and Maintenance.”
The agency also awarded a total contract worth $5.9 million to Immixtechnology Inc. in 2010 for what was described as an “encase enterprise forensics suite.”
The company website says the “EnCase® platform provides the foundation for government, corporate and law enforcement organizations to conduct thorough and effective computer investigations of any kind, such as intellectual property theft, incident response, compliance auditing and responding to eDiscovery requests—all while maintaining the forensic integrity of the data.”
The IRS also contracted with Chicago-based Softchoice Corporation for ADP software; that contract amounted to $108 million. Records show the contract was signed in March of 2010 and completed in December 2012—the time frame during which Lerner’s emails were lost.
So what’s the next excuse? The IRS contracted services to ensure that Lois Lerner’s emails (among the emails of all other agents) would be secured and redeemed. Given that taxpayer funds were spent to ensure that all data was secured, we have a right to investigate if indeed that information is gone.
The IRS should be answering a host of tough questions to investigate the cover-up of Lerner’s collusion with other agencies and direction to IRS agents to target conservative groups for scrutiny. If there was no wrong-doing, the IRS should want to go to every length to reproduce evidence to clear their name.
The President and Democrats want to call this a phony, Washington-contrived scandal. The real scandal is the length to which the IRS and the Administration are going to bypass congressional investigation and covering up for the horrible actions of Lerner and others.
If this is starting to feel like another famous scandal in Washington involving the highest office, it’s because it is similar but worse.