Next CADE aimed at January

The current version of the IRS' Customer Account Data Engine is running smoothly, W. Todd Grams says.

The next version of the Internal Revenue Services' modernization effort centerpiece is scheduled for a January 2005 release, according to the IRS' chief information officer.

W. Todd Grams, CIO for the tax agency, spoke during a closed-door meeting of the IRS Oversight Board Sept. 22. The Customer Account Data Engine (CADE), which the Board has called the linchpin of IRS modernization, is the database replacement for the decades-old magnetic tape system used to process tax returns. The first version of CADE was delivered by IRS contractor Computer Sciences Corp. seven weeks before the August deadline and has operated smoothly since then, according to a board summary of Grams' remarks.

The overall business system modernization program is showing steady progress, Grams reportedly said. In the past, the IRS' $10 billion effort to replace its Kennedy-era technology has suffered cost overruns and schedule delays.

According to the board's 2004 annual report, issued in August, the modernization program still requires "the highest level of management attention" and "ample room for concern" remains.

Additionally, board members elected Raymond Wagner to succeed Nancy Killefer as board chairman. Killefer's term has expired but her five-year term as a board member continues until September 2005.

The Senate confirmed Wagner as an Oversight Board member last year. He is legal and legislative vice president at Enterprise Rent-A-Car Co. in St. Louis.

President Bush also recess-appointed Paul Jones, a senior vice president for Time Warner Telecom, in Littleton, Colo., as a new board member.

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