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Backup Tape Could Be Key to IRS Debacle

by on July 3, 2014


Keeping information orderly and readily accessible are hallmarks of good backup tape management. When the system is not maintained or inappropriate software is in place though, the damage can become readily apparent as soon as an inquiry is made.

The case currently facing the Internal Revenue Service is indicative of these kinds of backup tape management blunders. According to the Wall Street Journal, the IRS is currently embroiled in an email scandal involving Lois Lerner and supposed targeting of conservative groups through the tax agency.

Back in 2011, the IRS was careful to help Lerner restore her laptop and hard drive, yet the organization took no record of her emails in terms of backup tape or data management. According to the source, the IRS reported it regularly refreshes its tapes every six months, yet no archive records are available for the missing emails either. This is causing a considerable amount of concern and legal trouble for the federal agency, as the lack of evidence and inability to respond to a White House audit could jeopardize those in leading roles within the IRS.

Without Lerner’s emails, the matter of whether the IRS was unfairly targeting certain groups could take a considerable amount of time to untangle.

The Daily Mail added that an IRS statement tried to explain away the issue by saying a hard drive crash had destroyed approximately 28 months’ worth of Lerner’s messages. Even if this is the case, it shows how critical assets like B&L’s Vertices can be in maintaining accurate records and adequate backup tape tracking. Had the IRS been using the proper backup and archive solutions, the emails in question would have been saved and easily retrievable for this federal case.

– Guest Editor

From → General

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