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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > IRS

TIGTA: IRS delayed sending PPACA delay data

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How slow are the project trackers helping the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) keep tabs on Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) administration system projects?

So slow, according to officials from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), that even TIGTA investigators had trouble getting information from the project trackers.

TIGTA officials talk about IRS promptness problems in a report on the IRS Information Sharing and Report (IS&R) Project system.

The IRS is responsible for administering about 50 PPACA provisions, including the PPACA health insurance exchange premium tax credit program. The IRS set up the IS&R system to keep track of PPACA administration system requirements and project risks. 

See also: 3 IRS PPACA compliance weaknesses

TIGTA investigators visited IS&R offices in Lanham, Md., and Farmers Branch, Texas, from December 2014 through April 2015 to see how the IS&R system was working.

“During the review, we experienced consistent delays in receiving information requested from IS&R Project personnel,” officials say. “For example, 48 of 102 formal information documents requested took longer than two weeks to obtain.”

TIGTA investigators looked at how the IRS handled nine potential PPACA system risks. The IRS IS&R system managers took between 29 and 79 days to start talking about six of the risks, TIGTA officials say.

In three cases, getting potential risks into the tracking system took between 15 and 22 days, TIGTA officials say.

Efforts to handle risks often went past deadline, officials say. In one case, project trackers learned about a problem with monitoring disk space in a file system Feb. 25, 2014. The team was supposed to resolve the risk by April 18, 2014. The team actually resolved the risk Nov. 13, 2014. 

TIGTA officials also found that the IS&R team had trouble with even counting the system requirements. In November 2014, for example, officials said the system was tracking 470 requirements. Later, workers said they had counted the requirements incorrectly and said they were actually tracking 371 requirements.

It is not clear whether IRS system testers could connect system requirements with errors that came up during testing, TIGTA officials say. They say requirements tracking problems may have contributed to log file problems that made the IRS e-File system run slowly in January 2015.

See also: IRS may turn in PPACA fraud plan a year late


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