IRS News Release  
March 09, 1993

IRS Announces R&D Center &
New Architect Office for TSM

WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service today announced that it is taking two steps to ensure that the best available technical expertise is applied to its tax systems modernization (TSM) program.

IRS said it awarded a contact to IIT Research Institute, of Chicago, for a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) to provide high level technology assessment and strategic planning for TSM.

IRS also announced the creation of an architect office to make certain that IRS' architecture, or "blueprint", for TSM incorporates correct application of technology, including software, telecommunications and security.

Together, the FFRDC and the TSM architect office will provide the high level technical expertise and direction identified by Congress and the National Academy of Sciences as needed to successfully implement TSM. Both will report to IRS' assistant commissioner for information systems development, who is responsible for the technical aspects of TSM.

The FFRDC, called the Tax Systems Modernization Institute, will be a not-for-profit consortium that includes the University of Maryland and George Mason University as subcontractors of IIT Research Institute.

IRS said it chose to use FFRDC because it maximizes objectivity in assessing and validating IRS' TSM plans. By federal regulation, FFRDC's are chartered to serve the public interest independent of influences or conflicts of interest that can arise in the commercial marketplace.

IRS said its new TSM architect office will be staffed with technologists from inside and outside the IRS who have large scale systems design experience needed to make certain that the design of the TSM architecture is complete and correct. The Architect office will also serve as primary technical advisor in defining the work to be performed by the FFRDC.

The FFRDC will conduct continuing review, research, testing and analysis, and advise IRS in the following areas: -- evaluating the suitability of new and emerging technologies for tax systems modernization (TSM), -- assessing TSM implementation plans and strategies, -- reviewing TSM acquisition plans to make certain they conform to TSM standards and designs.

IRS said its FFRDC contract with IIT Research Institute will be in effect for up to five years through annual options and has a maximum value of $78.5 million. Although not required by federal regulation, IRS said it used competitive procurement procedures in awarding the FFRDC contract.

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