The IRS will have a permanent CIO for the first time since March with the appointment of Rajiv Uppal, who previously served as acting CIO at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Kaschit Pandy had been serving as IRS CIO in an acting capacity since June after prior CIO Nancy Sieger took a new role at the Treasury Department.
Uppal has served in various roles at CMS since 2017. Before CMS, Uppal was on a U.S. Digital Service team at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He had previously worked in the private sector, according to his LinkedIn profile.
During Uppal’s CMS tenure, he helped stand up an upskilling summit for the agency’s IT workforce in 2020.
“What we focus on is how do we enable our office and centers to be able to deliver on the mission?” Uppal told GovCIO Media and Research in 2021. “There’s a lot of investment going into systems and infrastructure, but the other investment that we’re making is into our workforce — how do we help our workforce reskill and upskill?”
The IRS is facing a large-scale modernization journey in its Office of Information Technology. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) brought nearly $80 billion dollars to the agency in supplemental funding. In August, IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said the agency is looking to “achieve paperless processing, which means digitizing all paper-filed returns as soon as they are received” and that the IRA funding will enable the IRS to “envision and realize the future of tax administration.”
According to an IRS Inspector General Office report, IRA funding has added to IRS partnerships with industry and contractors. The report noted that the agency spent nearly $625 million on modernization efforts in contracting, with “Operations Support and Business Systems modernization budget activities totaling approximately $299 million and $337 million, respectively.”
Treasury Department Secretary Janet Yellen said last week that IRS is “ahead of schedule” on its digitization efforts spurred by IRS funding. The modernization efforts toward paperless taxpayer processes “will reduce errors and storage costs" for IRS, Yellen said.