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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Who uses 56-year old technology?

Who uses 56-year old technology?  The IRS!! 

A GAO report released in May 2016 says a lot just by its title - Information Technology: Federal Agencies Need to Address Legacy Systems (GAO-16-696T; 5/25/16). Per the GAO:

"Individual Master File - The authoritative data source for individual taxpayers where accounts are updated, taxes are assessed, and refunds are generated. This investment is written in assembly language code—a low-level computer code that is difficult to write and maintain—and operates on an IBM mainframe."

Here are photos of the IBM 1401 mainframe - perhaps this is what the IRS still has. And check this out from the Computer History Museum - here.

No surprise, the GAO recommends that government agencies update their technology.


What do you think?  How can the IRS get its systems updated given all of the data it has and the continual processing it engages in and the tremendous security issues it faces? And insufficient funding?

btw - the photo above is something I used in elementary school. All of the students had them. AND - it's newer than the IRS technology!!

1 comment:

Eric said...

There is apparently little incentive to risk doing upgrades, since the taxpayers will continue to pay for high costs of operations and maintenance. Eventually these organizations will have to purchase replacement computer parts on EBAY.