The IRS Spent $4 Billion on IT Over the Past 5 Years?

The reason the IRS had computer problems – where emails miraculously disappeared, and hard drives crashed conveniently – is that they had budgetary constraints. I guess they were spending too much on lavish conferences to be able to budget just a little more to electronic data storage. At least that was what IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said.

But records indicate that over the past 5 years or so, the IRS spent $4 billion on IT services. The Washington Free Beacon reported:

A review of IRS spending by the Free Beacon shows the agency has spent a massive amount on what it labeled as IT/software and data processing contracts in the past five fiscal years. The official government’s spending website shows the IRS spent $4.4 billion during this time period.

A total of 12,543 contracts were awarded under this product code.

Records show the IRS under President George Bush spent a total of $5.3 billion in eight years for the same contractive services. If the IRS spending trends continue as they have thus far, the IRS under Obama is on track to far exceed what was spent during the Bush presidency.

Koskinen also said “continuing financial constraints have meant that this fiscal year, the IRS is spending minimal amounts supporting its $1 billion IT infrastructure.” Records show the agency has already spent $642 million on IT contracts this fiscal year.

The IRS commissioner said Lois Lerner’s emails could not be retrieved due to a hard drive crash. However, records show his agency has spent tens of millions of dollars in contracts with at least two companies for information retrieval systems and a forensics program touted as securing and maintaining the integrity of data.

They probably ran out of money when they decided to pay someone to destroy Lerner’s and others’ electronic data. They should have paid a little more to have them make it look like an accident.