Washington DC- Today, in advance of next week’s Senate Finance Committee oversight hearing, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released a letter calling on Treasury Secretary Jack Lew to immediately begin implementing the Inspector General’s recommendations that have come in the wake of admitted political targeting by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and to make the timeline to implement those recommendations public. In his letter, Casey demanded swift reforms to IRS procedures and accountability for those involved in the targeting of conservative political groups.
“The American people should expect impartiality and fairness from their government. In his instance the IRS fell far short of that standard,” Senator Casey said. “The Treasury Department owes the public a timetable for the implementation of the Inspector General’s recommendations. And the Administration must move swiftly to ensure all responsible parties are held fully accountable.”
The full text of Senator Casey’s letter can be seen below:
Dear Secretary Lew:
I write in regard to the troubling findings in the May 14, 2013 Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report. We now know that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees used inappropriate criteria when reviewing applications for tax exempt status of some conservative organizations. This is simply unacceptable.
The American people have a right to fairness and impartiality from their government. This trust is particularly important when it comes to an agency like the IRS, with which virtually every American has to interact. It is blatantly unlawful for the IRS to use political criteria to target any organization. Such activity undermines public confidence in the agency entrusted with taxpayer dollars.
It is essential that the Treasury Department expeditiously determine how this misconduct occurred, hold accountable those who were responsible and take whatever steps are necessary to prevent this from happening again. I understand that the President has ordered the IRS to implement the recommendations in the Inspector General’s report and that you have accepted the resignation of the Acting Commissioner. These are important first steps. However, more needs to be done as part of the long process of rebuilding public confidence in the agency. To that end, I have some additional questions:
- Of the IRS employees involved in these practices, what disciplinary actions have been taken or will be taken?
- Of the Inspector General’s recommendations, what if any reforms have been implemented to date?
- Of the Inspector General’s recommendations, which recommendations have yet to be acted on?
- What is your timeline for implementing these reforms?
The Inspector General’s report raises serious questions about the management structure within the IRS. It is particularly troubling that IRS employees continued using inappropriate criteria when reviewing exempt organizations even after IRS headquarters ordered them to stop. Therefore, in addition to the implementation of the recommendations referred to above, I urge you to institute appropriate management controls within the IRS.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator