People assume the IRS has modern computer systems. It doesn’t. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says IRS computer systems are akin to a Model T car. When Lois Lerner was an employee there were no system-wide emails backups done, and probably still aren’t. Each user could keep 1,800 emails. Additional email had to archived to the user’s local hard disk. Her hard disk crashed. Forensic experts could not retrieve the data.
At the moment, to search archived emails, IRS must pull the accounts and the employees’ hard drives and load them into another device to search them. “That’s an antiquated system,” Koskinen said.
That’s not antiquated, that’s prehistoric, which is what happens when budgets are reduced year after year. Ancient computer systems that no one really understands have been cobbled together for decades because Congress won’t fund improvements. The IRS is not the only agency with these problems.