IRD's 20-year-old system needs upgrade
David Clark | Monday, October 1, 2012 - 12:55
IRD is celebrating a dubious anniversary this year – its computer system is now 20 years old and is a prime reason behind recent stuff-ups at the department, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson David Clark.
“The IRD’s FIRST computer system comes dead last in supporting a functioning tax agency. There is no way it should have lasted this long and it is in urgent need of an upgrade.
“The Revenue Minister seems to have no sense of urgency about this, despite being in the role for seven years. The plan is to upgrade IRD’s systems ‘over the next ten or so years’[i]. Who knows how many privacy breaches there will be in that period as the system creaks under the pressure.
“Everyone knows the problem - in February John Key said the agency is being ‘held hostage to a lack of technology’. This is putting pressure on a stretched organisation and it is showing.
“Last week there was a privacy breach of 30 people. In the two weeks ahead of the tax return deadline 70,000 phone calls to the IRD went unanswered. Embarrassingly it still has around $7 billion of tax yet to collect
“The systems are falling over. We can’t wait ‘ten or so years’, the IRD must be upgraded as a priority,” says David Clark.
[i] IRD Briefing to incoming minister2011 http://www.ird.govt.nz/aboutir/reports/briefing/briefing-2011/bim-11/bim-2011-administration.html