Inspector General: IRS noncompliant with federal electronic records requirements

Newswire: July 18, 2017.

Dateline: Washington.

The inspector general who oversees the IRS says the agency is not in compliance with federal electronic records requirements and regulations.

The finding came after the chairmen of the House Ways and Means committee and the Senate Finance committee asked for an audit to evaluate the IRS’ procedures for retaining records, and whether they comply with federal requirements. Of particular concern was how the IRS responded to requests under the Freedom of Information Act, litigation holds (where records are ordered preserved) and similar congressional requests to preserve and provide records.

The Inspector General for Tax Administration found that “repeated changes in electronic media storage policies,” has contributed in cases where electronic records were lost or unintentionally destroyed. “Examples from our case reviews show that it is especially difficult for the IRS to retain information from employees who have separated from the IRS,” the IG wrote.

Whatever the case, the IRS’ email system and record retention policies “do not ensure that e-mail records are saved and can be searched and retrieved for as long as needed,” the IG wrote.

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