IRS launches office to help make issue-resolution digital

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“Improving business processes” and “modernizing systems” are two mandates for the IRS’s new Enterprise Digitalization and Case Management Office, which it claims will spearhead empowering taxpayers and IRS employees to resolve issues digitally.

The office’s efforts will support overall IRS modernization and implementation of long-term changes stemming from the Taxpayer First Act.

The office will apply “agile, customer-centered thinking and draw on leading industry test-and-learn practices to rapidly identify what combination of business process and technology works best,” the agency said in an announcement.

The IRS said that its challenges include having casework take place on more than 60 aging systems, most of which can’t talk with one another.

“Ultimately, you cannot improve case management without improving the digitalization of paper records,” added Jeff Tribiano, deputy commissioner for operations support.

The co-directors of the new office will be Hampden “Harrison” Smith, the agency’s current deputy chief procurement officer, and Justin Lewis Abold-LaBreche, director of enterprise case management.

Smith has served as the deputy in the IRS procurement office since July 2019 and has recently been focused on the application of automation and machine learning technologies in the procurement space. Prior to joining the IRS, he served as the industry liaison for the Department of Homeland Security. Smith has also held executive positions in each of the IRS’s business operating divisions.

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