The committee is heartened that there recently has been a shift to a discussion of “implementing,” but it is concerned that IRS executives are not yet coming to grips with how to make this happen. Thus, this chapter focuses on the postplanning issues of organizing, measuring, and controlling.

The IRS leadership has made much progress over the years in communicating to its staff the progress of TSM. The Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Modernization Executive (now Associate Commissioner), and others have actively participated in this endeavor. As TSM proceeds, an increased amount of effective communication is required at all levels in the IRS.

STRONG LEADERSHIP

IRS Commissioners change: the recent average has been a new one every 1 or 2 years. (The committee, for example, has worked with three different Commissioners during its 5-year tenure.) Therefore, continuity of leadership for TSM cannot be expected at the Commissioner level. The logical leader of TSM is the Deputy Commissioner, and this structure has been recommended previously to the IRS.1

There is a need to clarify roles and responsibilities, making the Associate Commissioner for Modernization responsible for TSM operations and for systems changes and implementation, with the intent that the Associate Commissioner be the overall program manager. The May 1995 advancement of the Modernization Executive to Associate Commissioner, with the CIO reporting to that person, is a step forward in the committee’s view. Further, it emphasizes the point made above, that the scope includes all operations, not just computer systems. The committee considers that the Associate Commissioner must be vested with the needed power and authority to manage TSM.

Recommendation 3.1. The committee recommends that the Associate Commissioner for TSM have responsibility for all aspects of TSM, reporting on these responsibilities directly to the Commissioner. This position should have all project managers accountable to it and should include responsibility for all personnel selections, transfers, demotions, and rewards for those charged with the tasks to make TSM happen.

The IRS Commissioner reported on November 29, 1995, that movement in this direction has occurred.2 Although the committee has not examined these changes, it appears that the consolidation of authority and responsibility for TSM under the Associate Commis-

1  

The Deputy Commissioner carries a grade level of ES6. See Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, National Research Council. 1993. “Letter Report to Commissioner Margaret Milner Richardson,” Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, Washington, D.C., July 30, p. 3.

2  

Following up on that communication and subsequent to the conclusion of the committee’s deliberations, the Associate Commissioner indicated in a December 12, 1995, fax that “upon completion of the rescoping [the IRS] fully expects to assign additional executives to the chief [officers] who will also be responsible to the Associate Commissioner for integrating the new business vision into the day-to-day operations of the IRS.” (See “The Roles and Responsibilities of the Associate Commissioner for Modernization,” an IRS internal use document dated December 11, 1995.)



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