Washington (August 19, 2002) -- The latest group of government computers to be lost, stolen or otherwise missing could hold private taxpayer information.An audit released by the Treasury Inspector General reveals that the IRS cannot account for thousands of computers used last year by tax assistance volunteers, and the IRS did not ensure that sensitive taxpayer information was removed from these computers after last year's filing season.

"I'm worried that just as clothes dryers have the knack of making socks disappear, the federal government has discovered a core competency of losing computers," said Sen. Chuck Grassley. In a letter to commissioner Rossotti, Grassley asked to be informed of corrective actions and offered to help with necessary legislative changes to maintain the integrity of the volunteer programs which assist lower-income taxpayers and senior citizens.

In a separate letter to the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Grassley called for aggressive action to control government inventory purchased with taxpayer dollars, along with the sensitive information, related both to national security and individual privacy, contained on government computers. During the last month, inspectors generals have found thousands of missing computers at federal law enforcement agencies.

--Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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