INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
Secure Access Digital Identity (SADI) Team
SERVICE TO THE CITIZEN AWARD WINNERS
NANETTE M. DOWNING
Retired Director of Identity Assurance
Director of Identity and Access Management
Director of Identity Assurance
Associate Director of Identity Modernization
Supervisory Information Technology Specialist
The IRS Secure Access Digital Identity (SADI) Team expanded public access and transformed the taxpayer experience with IRS online services by successfully launching a new identity verification and authentication solution in July 2021.
This innovation truly presents a 2 st century experience of government keeping up with leading private-sector organizations. The team created an environment that reduced barriers to allow taxpayers to easily access IRS’ online customer-facing applications, while remaining in compliance with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 800-63-3 stringent federal directives, and standards for securing digital identities required by all federal agencies and programs.
This collaboration was a new and innovative approach to the way the IRS handles digital identity. Collectively, the team established an integrated operating model coordinating with IRS business operating divisions, IT, procurement, and external stakeholders. They placed a focus on providing a federated identity proofing, multi-factor authentication solution, advanced fraud and threat detection and monitoring.
This was one of the largest such deployments in all of the government; more users were able to access services with significantly higher verification rates than the legacy IRS Secure Access system. The team’s work advanced IRS’ technology with a system that layers security enhancements with a multi-factor authentication process offering a secure online experience for taxpayers to access their tax data safely and confidently. Stakeholder engagement extended to all levels of IRS leadership, other government agencies, and oversight bodies in addition to responding to public inquiries timely.