About Pilot IRS


The Pilot IRS program helps speed modernization and creates opportunities to innovate how IRS procures technologies. Please see below for commonly asked questions on the program for both internal IRS customers, and our industry partners.

Pilot IRS InformationPDF

1. What is Pilot IRS?

Pilot IRS is an iterative procurement technique focused on outcomes that allows the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to test new technologies on faster timelines. If a solution fails to meet expectations, then it will not proceed to the next phase of funding. This methodology creates an agile approach to identify, test, and deploy solutions that support the mission, regardless of whether the solution, technology, or service currently resides within the IRS or the federal government.

2. Why was Pilot IRS created?

To overcome lack of acquisition authority challenges and use the flexibilities inherent in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Pilot IRS was created to innovatively pursue a streamlined and cost-effective approach to testing and deploying solutions that will have an immediate impact on its mission and how the IRS supports the American taxpayer.

3.Does Pilot IRS require the typical contract process with long-lead times?

No. The program is focused on incremental and modular approaches to testing, and deploying solutions that support the IRS mission, regardless of whether the solution, technology, or firm currently does business with the IRS or the federal government. Pilot IRS requires a minimal amount of documentation that is inherent to any procurement action. Depending on the requirements and the solutions, a contract developed under the Pilot IRS program can be evaluated and awarded in several weeks, if not days.

I am already using bailments agreements for prototyping. Why use Pilot IRS? A bailment agreement is an agreement between the owner and another that governs the use of personal property, typically IT equipment, no matter where the equipment is located. Bailment agreements typically involve access to Government owned equipment, test facilities, or other specialized assets typically with a sharing of research or test results.

Although a bailment agreement has its purpose, it is not a recommended technique for testing and prototyping IT solutions at IRS. These types of formal arrangements require the IRS and vendors to entire into legal arrangements for use of the vendor's solution, which is time-consuming process that limits consideration of technologies to 'known' entities and/or specific, established technologies, and without a clear process for scaling and deployment.

Using the modular contracting techniques via the Pilot IRS program allows for testing to be done in phases, concurrently with other vendors, and can easily be scaled and ultimately deployed in incremental phases. Further, this dramatically reduces lead time as compared to bailment agreements, since it promotes collaboration with industry over contract negotiation.

The Pilot IRS program can further be used for a nominal fee, opens the competitive space, promotes market efficiencies, and drives down costs and risks. This technique also allows 'winners' & 'losers' to be identified quickly with very little downstream risk, particularly as it relates to pivoting from testing to deployment. IRS employees can review the Internal Revenue Service Acquisition Policy (IRSAP), in addition to the IRSAP Procedures, Guidance, and Information (PGI) on Bailment Agreements (PGI 1010 — MARKET RESEARCH) on the Policy Framework SharePoint site, Office of the Chief Procurement Officer.

4. Is Pilot IRS a turnkey solution that includes funding?

No. Pilot IRS is not a fully funded program for use across IRS, Treasury, or other federal entities. Programs must have readily available funding to be considered a candidate to enter the Pilot IRS program.

5. Is Pilot IRS a research and development laboratory?

Pilot IRS is not a research or testing laboratory for technology. It is a modular contracting technique using the inherent flexibility of the FAR to foster innovative procurement for technology at IRS.

6. If I am from industry, how I can I utilize Pilot IRS?

The Pilot IRS programs lowers barriers to entry for cutting edge and innovative technology solutions to government. These techniques allow for non-traditional and small business firms to enter into contracts that test and prototype their solutions. Firms interested in participating need to formally address the Solutions Challenge (SC) that will be made available on sam.gov

7. Can industry suggest topics for Solutions Challenges?

Industry is welcome and encouraged to engage with their IRS contacts and the Innovative Contracting Lab that executes the Pilot IRS program. However, only those SCs that are posted on sam.gov will be eligible contracting opportunities. Firms should not be submitting solutions to the Pilot IRS team outside the posted solicitation windows. These types of submissions would be considered unsolicited proposals and handled as such.

For information on how to submit an unsolicited proposalPDF

8. Where do I find Pilot IRS opportunities?

Pilot IRS opportunities will be announced on sam.gov. Industry engagement will also occur through social media platforms (i.e. LinkedIn and Twitter), in addition to other engagements done through the Procurement Innovation Branch and the IRS Industry Liaison.

9. Is there a forecast of Pilot IRS opportunities?

No. Pilot IRS opportunities are not subject to traditional forecasting like standard technology investments. Because the Pilot IRS program is a special contracting method for agile contracting, the Innovative Contracting Lab meets with internal IRS customers as needs are identified, and further exploration of the need determines if that specific need (i.e. requirement) is eligible and makes the best business sense for entry into the Pilot IRS program.

10. How do I learn more, or get started?

Please contact the Pilot IRS team via email.