You read that right. WTF, and that’s no fancy acronym there – it’s exactly the first thing that crossed your mind when you read the title. No more IRS. They’re now the WTF. ??
We’ve spoken to our IT folks (the tech guys) about the subject of email backup – regarding all the emails the IRS – sorry, the WTF – said they lost.
IT tells me that every email sent by every employee is stored locally on an email server and is also redundantly backed up to three offsite locations. If somebody dropped a nuclear weapon on our office and vaporized all of the hard drives and the email server, the only loss of information would be a few hours at the max.
Now then, back to our subject:
Two stories today highlight just how “F’d” up the WTF really is. The first one relates to the timeline of the destruction of hard drives. The second to the story about the email backups.
Full disclosure. We have a day job working for a firm that is in a highly regulated industry. Every employee of our firm has an email on file from our General Counsel admonishing us that under no circumstances are emails to be destroyed.
With respect to the destruction of the hard drives, you’ll recall that the WTF found out about Lerner’s hard drive being destroyed around January and they held off notifying the House Oversight Committee until many months later. Since then we’ve been treated to one Friday document dump after another where the WTF announces that more hard drives have been mysteriously destroyed. And then we have today.
Got that? Here’s another look.
Days after WTF officials said in a sworn statement that former top agency employee Lois G. Lerner’s computer memory had been wiped clean, the agency put out word to contractors Monday that it needs help to destroy at least another 3,200 hard drives.
The Internal Revenue Service (sorry, decorum prevents me from updating their name in long-form here) solicitation for “media destruction” services reflects an otherwise routine job to protect sensitive taxpayer information, but it was made while the agency’s record destruction practices remain under a sharp congressional spotlight.
Let’s get this straight. Hard drives are routinely destroyed to “protect sensitive taxpayer information.” [pausing to chuckle] That would be the perfect ploy to destroy any hard drive the WTF wanted to destroy, wouldn’t it? We wonder what the standard for destroying information is at the WTF. Just how long do they keep information and why don’t they encrypt it and back it up? Taxpayers are supposed to keep their tax information for seven years, does the WTF keep theirs for seven years? Or do they destroy everything after six months?
We understand we’re asking rhetorical questions, nobody is going to actually ask the IRS those questions, and if they did, the WTF wouldn’t answer them.
For our second little bit of fun today, we’ve got this little gem.
The WTF might not have lost the backups of former agency administrator Lois Lerner’s emails after all, according to a top WTF official.
In testimony released Monday, Thomas Kane, the WTF’s deputy associate chief counsel, told House Oversight investigators last week that the agency was examining whether all the back-up tapes which held the emails have been recycled.
the top WTF official in charge of producing documents for Congress, said on Thursday that: “I don’t know if there is a backup tape with information on it or there isn’t. I know that there’s an issue out there about it.”“It’s an issue that’s being looked at,” Kane also said.
We fall back to our opening disclosure. We know for sure, and we don’t inhabit the “land of deep carpets” at our employer, that not only would the Corporate General Counsel and the Chief Information Officer KNOW whether the email backups existed, so would the guys at the Help Desk. It would take maybe 48 hours (our guess, being generous) to produce the emails from backup.
This brings us back to WTF. The damned agency is too big, has too much authority, and absolutely no real oversight. If the IRS were a private business being audited by a Federal agency (like, maybe, the IRS), there would have been a perp walk a long time ago and your faithful Curmudgeon would be applying for one of the open positions in senior management.
It’s long past time for a Flat Tax. You gotta ask yourself, “IRS?”