The IRS: An Agency in CrisisJune 28, 2013
The IRS is an agency in crisis.
First, the revelation that the IRS improperly targeted groups applying for tax-exempt status. Next, reports of millions of taxpayer dollars wasted on lavish employee conferences. Last week, the American people learned the IRS plans to spend millions of dollars for employee bonuses.
Despite the number of problems plaguing it, the IRS is trying to convince the American people that failures within the agency are isolated incidents.
Trust is at the heart of the partnership between the government and its people. One of the reasons why the American people are so skeptical of their government is because they believe government plays by a different sent of rules. That bureaucrats in Washington spend more time looking out for their friends and less time protecting the interests of the American people. Unfortunately, at the IRS, we learned this week that this mentality allowed a company named Strong Castle to be awarded contracts worth nearly $500 million.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released documents and testimony this week that exposed breakdowns within the IRS that allowed Strong Castle to profit at the expense of the American people including:
- Hundreds of text messages revealing an inappropriate relationship between Strong Castle’s President and CEO Braulio Castillo and the IRS Deputy Director for Information Technology Acquisition Greg Roseman – the content of some of those messages was shockingly inappropriate and offensive;
- Castillo making an audacious claim to apply for disabled veteran status to inappropriately achieve preferential treatment for his business;
- Strong Castle receiving $500 million in contracts in just six months despite never having won a government contract before;
- Strong Castle would later become decertified by the Small Business Administration for providing inaccurate, unreliable and misleading information; and,
- Despite a promise to the Committee by the Director of IT Procurement that he would “immediately cancel the award” – the IRS is still allowing a $266 million contract with Strong Castle to stand.
When pressed this week for answers that the American people deserve, yet another IRS employee pled protection under the Fifth Amendment to avoid answering questions about how this contract was awarded and the true nature of the relationship between the agency and Strong Castle.
I will continue to work to highlight and seek to end this culture of waste, fraud and mismanagement deeply rooted in the IRS.
To read the full Committee report on Strong Castle’s contract abuses, please click here.