Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen said updates to the agency’s “antiquated” information technology system will need a budget of between $400 million and $500 million, Nextgov reported Friday.
“I fondly refer to our IT system as a Model T with a very nice GPS system and a sound system and a redone engine, but it’s still a Model T,” he said before a House Ways and Means Committee hearing last week.
Koskinen made the remark after revelations that the agency has been able to recover some of the lost emails subpoenaed in connection with an ongoing tax exemption probe.
He said around 24,000 of the missing correspondence were retrieved by copying and consolidating employee hard drive files and scanning their archived emails for the relevant ones.
Rebecca Carroll writes the two years worth of emails belonged to Lois Lerner, who was chief of Exempt Organizations Division during the period under investigation for unfair evaluation of several applicants for tax exemption.
According to Koskinen, Lerner’s computer hard drive crashed in 2011, rendering her files beyond recovery despite efforts from agency officials to retrieve them.
The IRS has seen an annual decrease in funding since 2009, according to committee member Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.).