Lessons to Take From the IRS Email Disappearance Scandal

IRS EmailConflicts in the IRS began May of 2013. Ex-IRS tax-exempt chief Lois Lerner felt the agency was unjustly scrutinizing applicants seeking tax breaks. Lerner stepped down, and is now in the center of a current scandal regarding a lost two years worth of emails.

In June, the IRS told Congress that two years’ worth of Lerner’s emails were erased in 2011 during a computer crash. Congress is now conducting an investigation into alleged misconduct at the IRS and a potential that the emails were destroyed. The IRS responded to Congress that all emails and any archive or backup of the emails was erased and are no longer available.

Barbara Rembiesa, President and founder of IATAM (International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers) stated in a blog post “The notion that these emails just magically vanished makes no sense whatsoever. That is not how IT asset management at major businesses and government institutions works in this country.”

Rembiesa notes the importance of IT asset management procedures. She stresses that it is crucial that there are documented records made of hard drive wiping or destruction, especially for a large agency like the IRS that may potentially contain private and sensitive information.

Lessons other businesses can take from this include:

  • IT assets must be properly maintained and managed
  • Any decision to destroy data or hardware should be justified and documented
  • Ensure data is properly backed up

Congress and the IRS are working on sorting out the explanation to this data loss, but don’t stand idle. Make sure your company has the proper procedures in line to prevent any type of data destruction from taking place. Follow procedures to ensure the safety of your business and its information.

For more information on how to keep your business safe from destroyed data and information loss contact us at NY (845) 664-4357, NJ (201) 785-7800 or send us an email at info@nynja.com. Our team at NYNJA is dedicated to assisting your company in ensuring you have the right policies in place during potential disaster situations.