Monday, September 15, 2008

IRS cancels Outsourcing contract with IAP

IRS has decided that it will cancel a multi million documents-management contract which is expected to bring more than 700 outsourced IRS jobs in house. The agency announced last week that it will no longer contract with IAP Worldwide to manage and store taxpayer files. The Federal employees will resume performing those duties from Oct. 1. It is expected that IRS will take three months to fill the needed positions with seasonal and full-time employees.

The company has won a $103 million contract for the work after a controversial public-private jobs competition was held which was won by the IRS employees and then successfully challenged by IAP. IAP at present is well known for storing and managing taxpayer files at seven regional tax return processing centers since last two years. Arlene Mellinger, a IAP spokeswoman told that IAP will continue to perform the work throughout the transition to the in-house team.

According to Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union,'This marks the first time since this administration launched its aggressive contracting out program that I have seen a major contract ‘in-sourced.’ He further added “Turning over the sensitive work of filing and maintaining tax returns and their related documents and correspondence was a bad idea from the start.”

“Federal agencies should take a long look at the private-sector companies doing the work of the federal government and bring that work back in-house,” Kelley said and further added, “When federal employees are given the tools and resources to do their jobs, there is no one who can do the work of the federal government better than federal employees.”

According to NTEU, IAP failed to meet two deadlines to begin managing the documents, leaving IRS to staff the centers with federal employees for part of 2007. After IAP took over the work, there were lengthy delays in retrieving the information stored in those facilities.

However the IRS declined to comment on why it canceled the contract with IAP.