IRS Creates New Enterprise Digitalization and Case Management Office
The Enterprise Digitalization and Case Management office, which will spearhead IRS efforts to empower taxpayers and IRS employees to rapidly resolve issues in a simplified digital environment, has been created by the IRS.
The office’s efforts will support overall IRS modernization and implementation of long-term changes stemming from the Taxpayer First Act.
Serving as co-directors of the new office will be Hampden “Harrison” Smith, IV, currently the agency’s Deputy Chief Procurement Officer, and Justin Lewis Abold-LaBreche, who is the Director of Enterprise Case Management.
The new stand-alone office will focus on enhancing the taxpayer experience by improving business processes and modernizing systems. The office will apply agile, customer-centered thinking and draw on leading industry test-and-learn practices to rapidly identify what combination of business process and technology works best for the IRS’s customers and employees. In the digitalization space, a portfolio-based approach will be utilized for the challenges the IRS faces, in the form of multiple small pilot projects for business process changes and technology solutions. The pilots will be focused on a desired outcome instead of a prescriptive approach, and they will be scaled and funded as they demonstrate value and return on investment. In the case management space, the office has already procured a commercial-off-the-shelf platform, Pega Systems, and its first release is well underway.
The IRS has had a dedicated team focused on the Enterprise Case Management initiative, which is focused on standing up a consolidated enterprise case management approach to overcome the challenges the IRS currently faces from having case work taking place on more than 60 aging systems, most of which can’t talk with one another. As the team continued its work, it became clear that the digitalization of processes as well as paper, including items such as case files, was an integral part of improving overall case management and the mission of the agency.
“Ultimately, you cannot improve case management without improving the digitalization of paper records,” said Jeff Tribiano, Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support. “To reflect the importance of this area, we decided to establish this new office to help focus our efforts on moving forward.”
The office will report to both Tribiano and Sunita Lough, the Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. Staffing for the new office is still being determined, and employees currently working on case management issues will continue in their current roles.
“This new office reflects an agency-wide priority,” Lough said. “To help this effort, we turned to Harrison and Justin, who bring a variety of skills and expertise to help us navigate this challenging area that holds promise for improved service and efficiency for both taxpayers and the IRS.”