Two Democrats File Complaint Against Watchdog for Handling of IRS Probe

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va. Alex Brandon/AP File Photo

In another sign the flap over alleged political targeting by the Internal Revenue Service will not fade soon, two House Democrats have sent a 22-page complaint to the inspectors general council charging bias by the Treasury Department’s top auditor for tax issues.

Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Gerry Connolly, D-Va., both on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, on Thursday complained of auditing work that is “incomplete and, at times, outright misleading” by J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration appointed by President George W. Bush in 2004.

The two Democrats said that have “serious concerns over the troubling activities of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration …, including noncompliance with respect to conducting a performance audit in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office.”

After reviewing a series of exchanges at hearings at which TIGTA’s work was debated largely along partisan lines, they called for a thorough review by the Integrity Committee of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, led by Beth Cobert, the deputy director of management and the Office of Management and Budget.

House Republicans for their part this week held two hearings -- one featuring newly installed Internal Revenue Commissioner John Koskinen -- at which they continued to blast the tax agency for allegedly covering up political calculations in how the Cincinnati-based unit of its Exempt Organizations Division processed applications for tax-exempt status by nonprofits.

No fewer than six investigations of the IRS controversy are ongoing, and Republicans have been upset by FBI leaks suggesting that no criminal charges are likely.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., told the commissioner his agency had failed to turn over six specific types of documents. “I want to be perfectly clear: This committee will fight any and all efforts to restrict the rights of groups to organize, speak out and educate the public, just as unions are allowed to do so,” Camps said. “We will get to the bottom of this, and I expect the IRS to produce -- quickly -- the outstanding documents the committee has requested."

Cummings on Friday also joined with Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., in writing to Koskinen asking him to detail how much the IRS probes have cost the agency in staff time and resources.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.