IRS E-Crimes Program Needs Better Controls
Web CPA May 7, 2008
Who would have thought that forensic experts, such as those at the Internal Revenue Service’s Electronic Crimes Program, is in need of better program controls. According to a report, [http://www.treas.gov/tigta/auditreports/2008reports/200810106fr.html], as more and more electronic records become populated, the Program desperately needs to get policies and procedures in place in order to properly manage them all.
“The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration noted in its report that the IRS’s E-Crimes Program enjoys an excellent reputation throughout the law enforcement community for digital evidence forensics, but warned that the absence of some program-level processing controls has created risks that could compromise investigations in worst-case scenarios,” the report said.
According the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration who conducted the review, many red flags were raised when the Program was investigated. Some of the many include the failure of backing up digital evidence offsite, not requiring computer investigative specialist agents to record their activities and not validating evidence that’s in the possession of agents. With that said, it’s no wonder that the IRS’s Electronic Crimes Program is being held responsible for its lack of controls. If the IRS isn’t taking electronic evidence seriously, than how are we expected to?