IRS: An Agency in CrisisJune 7, 2013
On Thursday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing to expose more problems at the IRS, including $49 million in spending on 225 employee conferences from 2010 to 2012.
A recent report released by the Inspector General of the Department of Treasury revealed repeated instances of excessive employee conference spending. For example, the IRS spent $4 million on an IRS conference in Anaheim, including:
- $50,000 to produce special videos – including one of employees learning a popular line dance and a six minute spoof of “Star Trek;”
- $135,000 for 15 outside speakers;
- $35,000 for 3 planning trips to the conference site;
- $30,000 for 45 local employees to stay at hotels; and,
- $64,000 in gifts and promotional items for conference attendees.
The wasteful Anaheim conference is one example of a culture of excess that plagues the IRS and many other federal agencies. Taxpayer dollars originally intended to be used for a core agency mission were instead used to pay for lavish parties. Public servants hired to work on behalf of the American people instead used their positions to bestow benefits upon themselves.
This hearing follows a string of IRS failures including the inappropriate targeting of tax-exempt groups because of political beliefs and a February Inspector General report that found IRS issued more than $11 billion in improper tax refunds – a failure rate of almost 25%.
You have the right to know that the money Washington takes from you is well spent. As Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, I will continue to shed light on instances of abuse as well as inefficient and unnecessary spending. My Committee will not stop until those responsible for this wasteful spending are held accountable.
For more on Thursday’s IRS hearing, please click here.