Internal Revenue Service snoops are seeking to purchase surveillance equipment from an “undisclosed Corporation,” according to a solicitation the agency posted on June 6. The tax agency expects to close the deal on June 10.  The purchase order includes cameras hidden in coffee trays, plants and clock radios. “The Internal Revenue Service intends to award a Purchase Order to an undisclosed Corporation,” reads the solicitation. Furthermore, it says “The following descriptions are vague due to the use and nature of the items.” Continuing, the solicitation says, “If you feel that you can provide the following equipment, please respond to this email no later than 4 days after the solicitation date.” 
The IRS is seeking : four “Covert Coffee tray(s) with Camera concealment,”four “Remote surveillance system(s)” with “Built-in DVD Burner and 2 Internal HDDs, cameras,” along with four cameras to be hidden in plants “(QTY 4) Plant Concealment Color 700 Lines Color IP Camera Concealment with Single Channel Network Server, supports dual video stream, Poe [Power over Ethernet], software included, case included, router included.” Complementing these gadgets, the IRS is seeking four “Color IP Camera Concealment with single channel network server, supports dual video stream, poe, webviewer and cms software included, audio,” as well as two “Concealed clock radio.”
 “If no compelling responses are received, award will be made to the original solicited corporation,” the solicitation read. It was only available to certain private companies for submission of bids for 19 business hours. Posted at 11:07 a.m. on Thursday June 6, the solicitation had a deadline of 2:00 p.m. on Monday, June 10. Taking a normal 9-to-5 work week, the solicitation was open for bids for six hours on Thursday, eight hours on Friday, and five hours on Monday, for a total of 19 hours.  However, the response date was changed on June 10 and pushed back to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11.
"The Procurement Office acquires the products and services required to support the IRS mission,” according to its website. The office is located in Oxon Hill, Maryland. 
A recent Inspector General report detailed nearly $50 million in wasteful spending by the IRS. Agency employees stayed at luxurious Las Vegas hotels for IRS-sponsored conferences, paid a keynote speaker $17,000 to paint a picture of U2 singer Bono, and spent $50,000 on parody videos of “Star Trek.” The IRS has also been the focus of several scandals, including the targeting of conservative political groups for additional scrutiny when applying for non-profit statues during the 2010 and 2012 elections.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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