1.18.4  Knowledge Services

1.18.4.1  (02-17-2009)
Introduction

  1. The overall knowledge services and systems management support for publishing and distribution programs resides with the Director, Media and Publications (M&P)/ Distribution (D)/ Distribution Requirements (DR)/ Knowledge Services Branch (KSB). Knowledge Services Branch works closely with Modernization and Information Technology Services (MITS) to make sure that all publishing and distribution electronic systems function to provide the highest quality electronic product and services available. There are 3 sections in the Knowledge Services Branch;

    1. The Business Requirements and Systems Integration (BRSI) section.

    2. The Electronic Distribution Section (EDS), and

    3. The Alternative Media Center (AMC) section.

1.18.4.1.1  (02-17-2009)
Business Requirements and Systems Integration (BRSI)

  1. The BRSI section responsibilities include;

    • Information Technology Budgeting,

    • Information Technology Program Management,

    • Computer Assisted Publishing Systems (CAPS) Management,

    • Applications Development and Maintenance,

    • XML and SGML Support,

    • Distribution System Support, and

    • IRS.gov Help Desk Comments Processing.

1.18.4.1.1.1  (02-17-2009)
Information Technology Budgeting

  1. BRSI Analysts are responsible for the management of the IT budget for the M&P organization. In this capacity they

    1. gather and monitor IT requirements,

    2. meet with management to review IT requirements and budget

    3. work with MITS, Business Systems Planning (BSP) and Division Information Office(DIO) representatives to ensure that IT requirements are properly communicated and that funds are available for annual maintenance costs and new purchases.

    The Analysts are also responsible for oversight of the M&P Stewardship contract budgets.

  2. They work closely with members of other organizations (e.g., Procurement, Accounting, MITS) to resolve IT issues and problems using a combination of spreadsheets and online applications (including the MITS Project Tracking System (PTS), and the web based Requisition Tracking System (webRTS)).

1.18.4.1.1.2  (02-17-2009)
Information Technology Program Management

  1. BRSI Analysts are responsible for the coordination of all IT procurements for the M&P organization, including new hardware, software and services, and ongoing maintenance contracts for existing hardware/software components. They create requisitions in webRTS and prepare any required supporting documents such as:

    • Acquisition Life Cycle Document

    • Section 508 Determination and Findings

    • Sole Source Justifications

    • Statements of Work

    • Mission-Critical Justifications.

    For some smaller IT purchases, a Small Purchase Credit Card is used. The Analysts also assist and support all new requestors within M&P.

1.18.4.1.1.3  (02-17-2009)
CAPS Management

  1. BRSI Analysts are responsible for the management of the Computer Assisted Publishing System (CAPS). This includes hardware installation, upgrade and maintenance, and operating system, database and application software installation, maintenance and administration, including security administration and monitoring. CAPS hosts the Core Repository of Published Products (CROPP), and the Electronic Publishing web site and "Page 1" (M&P Internal) web pages.

  2. The majority of the technical work on CAPS is performed by contracted staff. The Analysts, who become Contracting Officer’s Technical Representatives (COTRs) by designation, provide contract support and oversight to CAPS contracts.

1.18.4.1.1.4  (02-17-2009)
Application Development and Maintenance

  1. BRSI Analysts are responsible for providing IT solutions to serve the business needs of the M&P user community. They collaborate with business representatives to collect data and manage business, functional, and technical requirements. The Analysts identify and resolve application issues and monitor the progress of all application development. The Work Request system is used as a communication tool to facilitate these tasks.

1.18.4.1.1.5  (02-17-2009)
XML/SGML Support

  1. Through contracted staff, BRSI provides Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Standard Government Markup Language (SGML) authoring and/or composition support for a wide range of IRS published products, including Tax Forms Instructions, Taxpayer Information Publications, the Internal Revenue Manual, and the Internal Revenue Bulletin. To keep current with IRS standards, BSRI collaborates and shares information with XML users service-wide by participating in the IRS XML Stakeholder working group.

1.18.4.1.1.6  (02-17-2009)
Distribution System Support

  1. BRSI Analysts provide technical support for distribution system applications used for and by the National Distribution Center (NDC).The technical support includes:

    • The Enterprise Logistics Information Technology System (ELITE).

    • Desktop Integration Enterprise Logistics Information Technology - Order entry application developed for Customer Accounts Services (CAS) employees when ordering tax products for customers.

    • Applications to meet the order-entry and reporting needs of a variety of distribution programs aimed at specific target groups including but not limited to: paid tax professionals, employers, US embassies, commercial outlets such as copy centers, libraries and post offices.

    • BRSI Analysts are also responsible for maintaining page content (product data) for the Forms and Publications by U.S. Mail ordering page on the internet at http://www.irs.gov

    Note:

    Some of these applications are external, and can be accessed on the internet at http://www.irs.gov by registered distribution partners, while the ones that are internal are accessed by IRS employees who perform order entry on behalf of partners.

1.18.4.1.1.7  (02-17-2009)
IRS.gov Help Desk Comments Processing

  1. BRSI section is responsible for providing a Point-of-Contact (POC) for the W&I Publishing and Distribution functions. A Wage and Investment (W&I) POC listing can be found on W&I’s Internal Content Publishing Process (ICPP) page at http://win.web.irs.gov/icp/wi_icp.htm.

  2. Any IRS.gov web site user can submit an inquiry about the web site in the form of an E-mail, telephone call, or web chat to the IRS.gov Help Desk. An inquiry can be a question, problem or comment regarding the web content and IRS programs. The IRS.gov Help desk (Help Desk) answers most of the inquiries received from the public within 24 hours of being contacted.

  3. When an inquiry is submitted to the Help Desk, it is checked against a repository of known issues, i.e., pre-recorded (or predetermined) responses and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Inquiries that cannot be addressed by the Help Desk are escalated to IRS.gov Points of Contact (POC).

  4. If the inquiry falls within W&I’s purview, it is sent to the W&I POC. The POC is asked to respond to Help Desk e-mails.

    Note:

    These escalated inquiries will not be tax related inquiries that will require interpretation of tax laws and procedures.

    • The POC determines which Subject Matter Expert (SME) within W&I would be the most appropriate party to answer the questions and designate a response time frame.

    • The Help Desk determines the priority and designates a response time frame.

    • The W&I POC forwards the E-mail to SME for response.

    • The SME answers the inquiry and sends an E-mail back to the POC who formats the response and sends it to the IRS Help Desk with a copy to the W&I organization mailbox.

    • The W&I POC keeps a copy of the E-mail in a personal folder.

1.18.4.1.2  (02-17-2009)
Electronic Distribution Section (EDS).

  1. The Electronic Distribution Section manages Media & Publications' (M&P) Knowledge Management Initiative. The goal of the Initiative is to incorporate the principles of knowledge retention, knowledge management, and knowledge sharing into the M&P administrative and production framework to leverage, share and transfer the wealth of knowledge of M&P employees to their successors, thus aiding the future success of the M&P mission.

  2. EDS will design, develop, test and implement tools to foster knowledge collection and knowledge sharing. The tools include:

    • after-action reviews,

    • written, video and audio storytelling,

    • knowledge and information sharing templates,

    • publicly available and searchable knowledge repositories,

    • process maps and lessons learned articles, and

    • other tools from private industry and federal government best practices.

  3. EDS will build knowledge management expertise to provide M&P with the tools to promote a knowledge sharing environment and will assist other M&P functions by:

    • facilitating after-action reviews,

    • collecting lessons learned,

    • interviewing management-selected departing employees,

    • developing process maps, and

    • researching and implementing other techniques as appropriate.

  4. EDS will solicit and analyze submissions from M&P employees for knowledge sharing topics, derive and draft knowledge articles for sharing on the M&P knowledge management web site, and provide expertise for the implementation of the IRS approved social networking tools. The section also conducts research and assists with the implementation of knowledge management repository for M&P.

  5. EDS Analysts provide support for the Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) for non-personal services to assist Media and Publications in design, preparation, development, production, maintenance, and distribution of digital tax media and information. The Analysts maintain communication between Procurement and Contractors. They review, request approval and pay invoices in a timely manner.

  6. EDS Analysts assist IRS Business Units with the planning, development, maintenance, and distribution of CD-ROMs and DVDs. This office provides pre-mastering expertise to help determine the best approach for user interface, content organization, navigation, Section 508 compliance, and platform compatibility. If requested, the Analysts will assist with all phases of CD-ROM development, including mastering, replication, distribution, contracting, budgeting, and testing and project management by working with Printing Specialists, Distribution Analysts, and Content Providers.

  7. EDS Analysts organize, direct and coordinate production and distribution of contract support activities. This includes formulating and reviewing project feasibility studies, determining costs and ensuring conformance to work standards. They also review the technical requirements and the schedule of each project and coordinate with several Project managers, customers and contractors.

  8. EDS Analysts perform the roles of content area administrator (CAA) for distribution related content in M&P pages on the IRS internet site at http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/index/index.html. The creators/publishers and page stewards for distribution related content on irs.gov are from across the division. Analysts manage distribution content to ensure that the information is technically correct, remains current and is removed timely, using a content management application (CMA). They can also work with the Modernization and Information Technology Services (MITS)/ Electronic Tax Administration Analysts and CAAs from other business units to remove content. The Wage & Investment (W&I), detailed guidelines, procedures, roles, and responsibilities for internet content management are found in IRM 11.55.1,Internet Content Publishing Process (ICPP) Management Document.

  9. EDS Analysts manage unified work requests (UWR) submissions from M&P to MITS organization by;

    • monitoring employees access and permissions,

    • validating completeness of submissions,

    • providing UWR assistance to M&P initiators, and

    • tracking the status of submissions to ensure that timely responses are provided to MITS Demand Management.

  10. EDS Analysts provide support and maintain XML and SGML publishing tools for the authors of the Internal Revenue Manual (IRM), Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB), Tax Topics and Revenue Procedures. EDS offers help desk facilities that provide support to XML and SGML authors that use Epic Editor software.

1.18.4.1.3  (02-17-2009)
Alternative Media Center (AMC)

  1. The Alternative Media Center (AMC) converts IRS published products to accessible file formats and media for use by taxpayers and employees with disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The AMC serves as the Agency's resource for issues related to the Section 508 compliance of electronic documents and provides leadership to promote document accessibility through better authoring techniques and systems. All IRS published products must be in compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as emended.

  2. AMC Analysts are responsible for the publishing and distribution operations of over 1500 cataloged products and other non-cataloged products such as the over 800 talking PDF forms to the 54 million taxpayers and 10,000 IRS employees that have disability. The Analysts provide publishing support for format selection, acquisition/production and dissemination of all IRS products required in accessible file formats including in both hardcopy and electronic media. They perform file management for these products on various systems and applications such as the enterprise logistics information technology (ELITE), desktop integration (DI), and the electronic status notice (ESN) to ensure uninterrupted distribution of accessible media through mainstream channels.

  3. AMC Analysts survey IRS employees annually for their Braille and large print tax product requirements. They make sure that products that are revised throughout the year are processed automatically and shipped to the employees. The Analysts secure the electronic files and have subsequent orders processed at the Center's production facility. They encourage taxpayers to contact the IRS using the customer assistance telephone number 1-800-829-1040 or through the tax forms telephone 800-829-3676 to request hardcopy Braille and large print tax products.

  4. The AMC Analysts are responsible for converting training material to alternative formats for the IRS employees. The training requirements are submitted quarterly via an online order form 13585, Alternative Media Request for Training. The electronic files are available for download on the AMC web site at http://amc.enterprise.irs.gov/.

  5. AMC Analysts post hundreds of accessible electronic versions of IRS published products on several web-sites. They provide content management of all accessible media on the IRS internet site at http://www.irs.gov/accessibility/index.html to give taxpayers access to download accessible tax forms, publications, and 'talking' tax forms. They also post files to the M&P core repository at http://publish.no.irs.gov/catl.html and the AMC web site at http://amc.enterprise.irs.gov/ to provide electronic files to IRS employees with disabilities. AMC Analysts manage all content to ensure that information is up-to-date and revisions are accurate.

  6. The AMC web services site is fully accessible with user friendly layout that allows IRS employees to easily navigate and access information. The site contains a 'download' section with hundreds of accessible electronic files including training materials, a 'support' section with informative tutorials, an 'order now' page for requesting products and services. The web services site also has 'authoring resources' to assist with the creation of accessible documents. A help service desk is available at the Alternative Media Center to enable the Analysts receive and answer questions about the products and services offered by the Center. The help desk contact number is 202-622-1557 or by electronic mail at altmc@irs.gov

  7. The AMC Analysts provide accessible portable document format (PDF) forms and documents, and section 508 assessment and remediation of PDF files. They also provide customized accessibility solutions including;

    • accessible Microsoft office documents,

    • conference and meeting support packages,

    • customized transportation services,

    • job aids, taxpayer notices and tactile floor plans.

    Other functions performed by the AMC Analysts include application testing, document accessibility consulting, and training and tutorials to promote accessibility within the Internal Revenue Service.


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