Politics
U.S. Director of Exempt Organizations for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Lois Lerner is sworn in to testify before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on alleged targeting of political groups seeking tax-exempt status from by the IRS, on Capitol Hill in Washington May 22, 2013. Lerner, the IRS official who this month revealed the tax agency U.S. Director of Exempt Organizations for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Lois Lerner is sworn in to testify before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on alleged targeting of political groups seeking tax-exempt status from by the IRS, on Capitol Hill in Washington May 22, 2013. Lerner, the IRS official who this month revealed the tax agency's targeting of conservative groups asserted her constitutional right not to answer questions before a congressional committee on Wednesday. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTXZWJC  

IRS CANCELLED Contract with Email-Storage Firm Weeks After Lerner’s Computer Crash

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Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

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.

The IRS signed a contract with Sonasoft, an email-archiving company based in San Jose, California, each year from 2005 to 2010. The company, which partners with Microsoft and counts The New York Times among its clients, claims in its company slogans that it provides “Email Archiving Done Right” and “Point-Click Recovery.” Sonasoft in 2009 tweeted, “If the IRS uses Sonasoft products to backup their servers why wouldn’t you choose them to protect your servers?”

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.

Sonasoft’s fiscal year 2011 contract with the IRS ended on August 31, 2011. Eight days later, the IRS officially closed out its relationship with Sonasoft in accordance with the federal government’s contract close-out guidelines, which require agencies to fully audit their contracts and to get back any money that wasn’t used by the contractor. Curiously, the IRS de-allocated 36 cents when it closed out its contract with Sonasoft on September 8, 2011.

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.

Here’s a Sonasoft commercial re-enacting how the company quickly and thoroughly saves its clients’ emails after computer crashes:

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