Thursday, July 7, 2011

GAO Briefing Regarding IRS's Responsibilities Under Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) on June 29 formally submitted to a Senate Appropriations Committee panel the details of a briefing regarding IRS's responsibilities under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). (GAO-11-719) According to GAO, IRS is responsible for the implementation of 47 PPACA provisions. “In planning to implement these provisions, IRS has generally followed leading practices,” GAO said. Positive steps taken by IRS include the involvement of top agency leadership, work done regarding cost estimates for information technology projects, compliance control efforts, and the identification of possible risks. “However, IRS could improve aspects of its planning, particularly at an agency-wide or strategic level,” GAO said. Among GAO's concerns were the following: IRS has not integrated strategic-level goals and plans in numerous documents; the agency has not created a timeline for developing performance measures; there is no overall cost estimate for the PPACA program; and there is no assurance that IRS's risk management framework will identify and analyze all risks, especially strategic-level risks. “While implementation for some provisions is years away, making improvements to the planning process now would reduce risks and might minimize future problems,” GAO said. The congressional watchdog agency recommended that IRS take four specific actions. The GAO report and briefing is located at

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