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Govt. IT losses unacceptable

Information Week editor says that IRS software snafu, poor health security is leading Americans to distrust government even more.
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Written by Richard Koman on

Revelations that the IRS gave up on an estimated $318 million in tax collections because the agency didn't get its fraud-detection software operating this year are giving Information Week's Tom Smith fits.

He writes on his IW blog:

This is just the latest in an often-repeated set of government IT blunders: poorly managed projects with unrealistic expectations that fail to deliver, causing them to be scrapped amid the havoc they wreak on a business. In one form or another, taxpayers foot the bill, and that bill keeps getting bigger. (Rhetorical question: How come these gaffes always seem to benefit crooks and not the legitimate taxpayers?)

And that's not the only news that has Smith seeing red:

The same day as the IRS report, another government oversight agency said over 40% of federal health insurance contractors and state Medicaid agencies reported experiencing a privacy breach involving personal health information in the past two years. How significant is the threat to your personal medical data? The contractors and agencies involved have access to such data for more than 100 million, or more than one in three, Americans.

These two reports indicate once again that we shouldn't have a high degree of confidence in our government's ability to protect data or run professional IT operations.

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