TIGTA Finds Problems with IRS Purchase Cards, Network Security

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) expelled a span of reports on Oct 11 anticipating problems with a confidence of a IRS Windows sourroundings and a miss of control over IRS squeeze cards (TIGTA Reports 2011-20-111 and 2011-10-075, respectively).

Purchase Cards

In Report 2011-10-075, TIGTA states that between Sep 1, 2007, and Mar 31, 2009, a IRS finished some-more than 174,000 purchases regulating squeeze cards. These purchases amounted to some-more than $80 million, though TIGTA pronounced a IRS does not have controls in place to make certain crude or violent purchases are not finished with a cards. It also has no controls to safeguard crude or violent purchases are rescued soon and no approach to safeguard visual movement is taken.

Under a General Services Administration’s SmartPay Program, IRS offices can use Citibank MasterCard squeeze cards to make central purchases within fixed limits, rather than carrying to contention a paperwork compared with a buying request. Under a Federal Acquisition Regulation, regulating a squeeze label is a elite process for creation and profitable for purchases of products and services adult to $3,000. During a duration TIGTA audited, there were 4,270 squeeze cardholders in a IRS.

The TIGTA review found several violations, including purchases that were finished though required approvals, purchases that were apart in dual to by-pass “micro-purchase” limits, and purchases finished from crude sources.

TIGTA recommends that a IRS stress to a cardholders that split-purchase exchange will not be tolerated and a significance of scheming an sequence record before to purchase. TIGTA also recommends softened slip reviews to brand split-purchase exchange and to weigh a requirement for purchasing bureau reserve from agreement vendors and elite suppliers.

The IRS agrees with TIGTA’s recommendations and pronounced that it skeleton to yield superintendence on slip and coercion responsibilities.

Network Security

In a apart audit, TIGTA reviewed either a IRS has structured a Windows sourroundings to yield fit and secure government of a Windows servers.

The review found that a IRS has not finished adequate to centralize a Windows environment, and therefore can't grasp unchanging temperament and authorisation management.

According to Report 2011-20-111, a IRS maintains a network of 6,000 servers and 110,000 workstations, that use a Windows handling system. However, TIGTA found that 3 organizations (Business Systems Modernization, Statistics of Income, and Integrated Submission and Remittance Processing) say groups of Windows servers outward of a IRS’ categorical centralized organisation of servers. TIGTA also found that a IRS spent $1.2 million to say archaic apparatus in a Business Systems Modernization group, that uses old-fashioned Windows 2000 servers that are not upheld by Microsoft.

The review also found that a IRS does not safeguard that all computers connected to a network are certified and agreeable with a confidence policies. The IRS has standards designed to forestall unapproved computers from being connected to a network, though has no determining management to make those standards.

TIGTA recommends (1) that a IRS settle an enterprisewide physique to make a Windows server organisation pattern criteria and safeguard unapproved server groups are not created; (2) that noncentralized server groups are close down; (3) that standards to safeguard that nonauthorized computers can't bond to a IRS network are implemented; and (4) that a IRS use network scanning collection to detect unapproved computers connected to a network and that procedures are grown and implemented to mislay those computers.

The IRS concluded with a TIGTA recommendations and pronounced it skeleton to take visual actions.

About Emil Estafanous, CPA
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Tax Professional committed in representing taxpayers and resolving their tax problems.

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