Documenting the skills of its information technology workforce will allow the Internal Revenue Service to more effectively manage its human resources, according to a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

A review was conducted of the IRS IT organization’s workforce planning efforts to ensure that it has the human capital needed to deliver IT services and solutions that drive effective tax administration.

TIGTA found that although the IRS IT organization has a process for identifying its resource needs for completing its priority work, the process relies on management’s knowledge and judgment about each employee’s skills and does not consider resource needs for other mission-related work. In addition, there is no system within the IRS IT organization that provides information about employee skills and competencies.

The IRS Human Capital Office developed, tested, and successfully implemented an automated tool that would help with assessing the employees’ skills and competencies and readily link that information with training. TIGTA believes that the IRS IT organization should use this tool to help with its overall skills management. The IRS IT organization would benefit from using the automated assessment toll because it would reduce management’s burden, it is a cost-efficient means for identifying skills gaps, and it allows for quick and easy access to employee data for development and training purposes.

IRS management agreed with the recommendations and is in the process of developing an IT Workforce Tool that will gather technical competencies, skills and areas of expertise, with proficiency-level ratings from the results of each employee self-assessment. The IT Workforce Tool, along with the IRS’s IT Integrated Release Plan, will provide expanded skills information by critical program areas related to future demand and detailed gap analysis assessments.

“We are collaborating with our IT leadership to provide policy direction and administration of essential programs including financial management services and human capital planning,” wrote IRS chief technology officer Terence V. Milholland in response to the report. “We are committed to continuously improving our processes.”