Lois Lerner's Hard Drive Crashed, Then Her Hard Drive was Thrown Out, Then the IRS Cancelled its Email Archiving

At least the IRS has learned how to thoroughly destroy records.


Then a giant dog stuck its head through the window and ate all the servers.

You expect this kind of thing from Enron. You don't expect it from the IRS. But as it turns out, there isn't much difference.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) cancelled its longtime relationship with an email-storage contractor just weeks after ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s computer crashed and shortly before other IRS officials’ computers allegedly crashed.

Lois Lerner’s computer allegedly crashed in June 2011, just ten days after House Ways and Means Committee chairman Rep. Dave Camp first wrote a letter asking if the IRS was engaging in targeting of nonprofit groups. Two months later, Sonasoft’s contract ended and the IRS gave its email-archiving contractor the boot.

IRS official and frequent White House visitor Nikole Flax allegedly suffered her own computer crash in December 2011, three months after the IRS ended its relationship with Sonasoft.

Sonasoft was providing “automatic data processing” services for the IRS throughout the January 2009 to April 2011 period in which Lerner sent her missing emails.

But Sonasoft’s six-year business relationship with the IRS came to an abrupt end at the close of fiscal year 2011, as congressional investigators began looking into the IRS conservative targeting scandal and IRS employees’ computers started crashing left and right.

There should have been hard copies of the emails, but then the paper crashed.

The Internal Revenue Service is required by federal law to keep records of all agency emails and to print out hard copies of the emails to make sure they get saved in the event of a computer glitch.

The IRS’s own definition of the Federal Records Act makes clear that emails must be saved and documented, according to an instructional page for employees on the IRS website.

That's where the giant dog came in. At least the IRS has learned how to thoroughly destroy records. Finally one arm of the government can do something right. Unfortunately it's the wrong thing.