Pilot IRS awards five scanning contracts

The IRS is using an innovative procurement program to test and deploy experimental solutions to digitize paper files as part of an agencywide effort to reduce the reliance on non-machine-readable documentation.

shutterstock ID 566834872;  By faithie

The IRS has awarded five $7.5 million contracts through an experimental procurement vehicle for a multiple solution challenge to digitize paper files.

The request for proposals released in July indicated the agency was looking to use the Pilot IRS program to test innovative solutions it could deploy to "receive, prepare, reproduce, sort, validate, store, return and transfer" digital copies of various IRS documents and records.

According to the RFP, "the volume contemplated is significant, with the initial potential use case having upwards of 1 billion pages." The tax agency is looking for solutions that cover the scanning of paper documents and in some instances the extraction of machine-readable data.

The five contractors who received awards this week include Xerox, Brillient Corporation, Ripcord Inc., Government CIO LLC and Resultant / KSM Consulting.

Scanning as a service (SCaaS) is the sixth iteration of the Pilot IRS program, and part of an agencywide effort to reduce the reliance on non-machine-readable documentation. The procurement program was launched in late 2018 to help the agency identify innovative solutions and technologies that help achieve IRS missions, while employing a three-phase approach to determine which contracts provide desired results and best outcomes.

A successful contract focusing on SCaaS may also help the IRS meet a December 2022 deadline for agencies to go paperless.

The most recent IRS challenge released earlier this week focuses on leveraging augmented reality to improve digital services on mobile devices. Previous iterations of the program have also focused on high-speed scanning and image recognition, as well as robotic process automation to reduce manual data entry requirements.