On June 12th, REI Systems and Johns Hopkins University’s Advanced Academic Programs hosted a Government Analytics Breakfast (GAB) Forum. This event brings together professionals from academia, government, and industry to discuss advances in data-driven decision-making in the public sector, strengthening the community that works to improve government by using analytic methods.
At this event, guest speaker Tom Brandt, Chief Risk Officer (IRS) presented on “Applying Analytics to Enterprise Risk Management: Opportunities and Challenges.” Brandt explains how IRS’s Enterprise Risk Management Program gathers data using advanced data analytic tools to address key categories in its risk management:
- Risk Identification to inform taxpayers and corporations of the risks internally and externally that would not be easily visible
- Risk Assessment to provide insight based on an assessment of risks, such as the likelihood and impact
- Risk Response to allow for an informed response and provide understanding in order to focus resources on having the greatest effect on the risk
- Risk Reporting to tailor reporting and provide relevant information and action
- Monitoring and Escalation to signal when occurring risk is beyond the company’s risk appetite, or when the company is not taking enough risk to achieve the desired performance
- Information and Communication to communicate the significance of specifics across the agency and to identify opportunities to improve communication
Since 2015 the agency stated that cases of identity theft have reduced by 64%. However, refund fraud continues to be a challenge because of the difficulty in authenticating taxpayers due to extensive personal information on the internet.
The IRS launched its five-year (FY18-22) strategic plan for agency modernization. One of the six points in the plan addresses the ERM program in its goal of advancing data access, usability, and analytics. The agency is considering the usage of blockchain and other emerging technologies to fight fraud and reduce operational risks.
You can watch a recording of the event below.