The Treasury Department is looking to test and adopt Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technologies to help enable its employees to do “higher-value” work, according to Treasury’s Acting Senior Procurement Executive Harrison Smith.

Smith said use of RPA tech would help Treasury workers, particularly those at the IRS, expedite accessing information and running reports, cut back on technical or lower-value duties, and increase meaningful work.

“It allows you to inform a subject matter expert – an individual who can then perform the analysis and take the deep dive into the complicated processes – as opposed to spending their time, frankly, waiting for a system to respond to them or to type a number into a website,” Smith said.

In light of the IRS Office of the Chief Procurement Officer’s declining personnel ranks over the years, Smith added that automating many IRS employee duties will help them do their work with less manpower and resources.

“We had 500 people about eight years ago, and now we have 300,” Smith said about the office. “Pretending that you can do the same work, using the same methods, with the same diminishing resources – it’s just not going to work that way.”

Smith hopes that with the successful adoption of RPA, employees will be able to better engage with customers and industry partners.

“We can’t do that if we’re spending all of our time typing in numbers into a public-facing website,” he added.

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