IRS/Department of the Treasury responses to the committee’s questions on telecommunications have been as follows:
The Consolidated Data Network (CDN) is currently serving the needs of the IRS and can be extended as long as necessary to effect a transition to the new TCS;3
TCS schedule slippages (now cumulatively 3 years) have been unavoidable, as have organizational changes in the TCS Executive Agent and TCS procurement;
Detailed response time planning and IRS operational security service requirements will be satisfied by TCS and other mechanisms, as needed. The requirements to which TCS was bid may have been overtaken by the 1994 reorientation of the TSM program, but the TCS program when awarded will (easily) adjust to the new requirements.
The TTP of August 1994 lays out, at a general level, current and target telecommunications architectures, site planning needs, and a migration path to the target architecture. It also contains “tool kits” for requirements analysis and acquisition. Telecommunications requirements of applications are usually discussed at a functional level only.
The very general nature of the IRS/Department of the Treasury responses cited above and the level of discussion in the TTP, particularly in light of the committee’s comments in its interim report, have increased the committee’s level of concern about TCS schedule and scope, TSM telecommunications management, response times, and security.
The TCS procurement is a critical part of the infrastructure needed to support TSM systems and applications. The TCS contract will provide many telecommunications services that either are not provided currently by the existing Department of the Treasury CDN contract or are too expensive for wide use. These services will provide a data communications basis for TSM well into the next century.
Unfortunately, the scope of TCS appears to be growing, partially in light of the national information infrastructure (NII) initiative and the reinventing government initiative, to support agencies other than the Department of the Treasury. Since TCS is an essential aspect of the IRS modernization plans, any increase in the scope of TCS impinges on TSM planning. The IRS must be prepared to alter its TSM telecommunications plans if the TCS contract is modified to the extent that it no longer satisfies TSM needs.
The IRS does not appear to treat telecommunications as a critical aspect of TSM. Most private sector concerns have a department clearly identified and operating at a high level within the information systems organization to handle planning for and operation of