IRS Donates/Recycles Over 100K Computers in 2009-2012.9:10 AM, Jun 18, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The results of a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) audit released Tuesday found that "[w]hile the IRS is complying with GSA requirements to recycle or donate used information technology (IT) equipment, TIGTA found several areas for improvement." The IRS got rid of more than 100,000 computers between 2009 and 2012 by recycling or donating to schools. However, the agency does not "effectively track which equipment is recycled or donated," which made it difficult for TIGTA to measure compliance to General Services Administration (GSA) requirements.
The press release from TIGTA reads as follows:
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) needs to improve its processes for disposing of unneeded computers, printers, and servers, according to a report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
TIGTA reviewed the accuracy of the disposal asset inventory and the IRS’s actions taken or planned to fulfill General Services Administration (GSA) requirements.
While the IRS is complying with GSA requirements to recycle or donate used information technology (IT) equipment, TIGTA found several areas for improvement. According to the report, the IRS needs to: improve documentation to ensure compliance with media sanitization guidelines; report any IT equipment that cannot be located to the Computer Security Incident Response Center as required; and improve documentation of disposal actions.
The IRS disposed of 63,031 desktop computers and 44,734 laptops between 2009 and 2012 through a combination of recycling and donating to schools. However, it does not effectively track which equipment is recycled or donated, making it difficult to measure compliance with GSA requirements.
TIGTA made eight recommendations to improve documentation of the removal of all data from IT equipment before it is donated and the equipment’s final destination, and the reporting of lost or stolen equipment. The IRS agreed with TIGTA’s recommendations and is taking actions to implement them.
The report is dated April 25, 2014, but was released publicly Tuesday.
The IRS has been under scrutiny lately for missing emails of former Exempt Organizations Unit director Lois Lerner, whose laptop hard drive crashed in 2011. The IRS released a statement on Tuesday saying that through other methods of recovery, "the IRS has or will produce 24,000 Lerner emails from this 2009-2011 time period, largely from the files of the other 82 individuals. The IRS’s production to Congress of the 67,000 Lerner emails is nearly complete."
2:01 PM, Jun 6, 2014 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
A buddy of mine who works in tech has been telling me for years that we're all doomed. The problem, he says, is that there are too many systems that are too unsecure.
Victorino Matus finds anachronism is relativeJun 2, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 36 • By VICTORINO MATUS
With growing amusement (and only mild alarm), my wife and I have been noticing how our parents’ quirks have gotten, well, quirkier. My mother and father, for instance, steadfastly refuse to text-message. “I don’t want to get charged,” my mother says. And besides, “Why do you need to text when you can just call me?” Of course, this assumes she hears her flip-phone at all—it’s often buried deep inside her handbag. She also has a habit of turning the phone off.
8:09 AM, Apr 24, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama met some Japanese robots and didn't like it. "I have to say that the robots were a little scary, they were too lifelike.
In theory . . .12:00 AM, Apr 12, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
Employers’ requests for the limited number of H1-B visas that allow foreign skilled workers to work and live here has wildly exceeded the supply. After all, the visas allow employers to hire foreigners, rather than bid up wage rates to attract American citizens, or incur the cost of training Americans to do the job. And the visas are free.
7:05 AM, Mar 18, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Healthcare.gov has eliminated the web chat customer service option. Sometime around the beginning of March, the online chat feature that has been present since Healthcare.gov was launched disappeared.
8:39 AM, Feb 6, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The CEO of AOL, Tim Armstrong, said on CNBC this morning that "Obamacare is an additional $7.1 million expense for us as a company."
"We have to look at our benefits programs very seriously," said Armstrong. "In the CEO chair, let me give you an example of the decisions we have to make as a company: Obamacare is an additional $7.1 million expense for us as a company. So we have to decide whether or not to pass that expense to employees or whether to cut other benefits."
No Limitations to Nuke Technology11:22 AM, Jan 23, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Iranian president tells Fareed Zakaria of CNN that, under the nuclear deal, there will be no limitations to nuclear technology and no destruction of centrifuges:
Courtesy of the U.N.Dec 30, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 16 • By CLAUDIA ROSETT
It's well over a year since the United Nations intellectual property agency got caught undermining the U.N.’s own sanctions—shipping U.S.-origin computers and related high-tech equipment to North Korea and Iran. In classic U.N. fashion, the World Intellectual Property Organization, known as WIPO, stiffed congressional inquiries and arranged its own narrow and “independent” investigation of itself. Thanks to U.N. privileges and immunities, WIPO was ultimately judged by the U.N. to have stayed within the letter, if not the spirit, of U.N. sanctions.
Dec 16, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 14 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Michio Kaku is a sort of pop physicist who makes a specialty of glibly forecasting future technology. He had a piece in the New York Times recently making 10 “predictions for the future,” and they’re about as facile as one would expect from a stalwart of the TED Talk circuit. Take just two examples: Kaku says that “Augmented Reality Will Become Everyday Reality.” (Actual quote: “Remember the movie ‘The Matrix,’ where virtual information popped up to help inform physical day-to-day reality?
6:36 PM, Aug 7, 2013 • By MICHAEL ASTRUE
In my recent WEEKLY STANDARD essay, “Privacy Be Damned,” I warned about the operational problems and privacy issues raised by the “health exchanges” that HHS will force tens of millions of Americans to use as of October 1 of this year. In that essay, I noted that “the HHS inspector general and the GAO have been snoozing on their watches.”
4:27 PM, Aug 6, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Reuters reports that the federal government is "months behind" its efforts to set up data security measures for the state health insurance exchanges, set to open on October 1, as created by Obamacare:
1:25 PM, May 9, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
Just this week, news broke that the "world’s first entirely 3D-printed gun" was successfully built and test-fired by an engineer in Texas. The technology involves a special printer that uses melted polymers to generate plastic components for a variety of uses, now including working firearms. Today, in a press release announcing a $200 million program for a "Competition for Three New Manufacturing Innovation Institutes," the White House also touted a $30 million award in a similar competition in August 2012 for the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute.