April 27, 1998
Seven-Point Plan to Improve the IRS
Criminal Investigation Division
WASHINGTON - Commissioner
Charles 0. Rossotti today announced a sevenpoint plan to improve the Internal Revenue
Service's Criminal Investigation Division (CID).
"This is part of my long-term commitment to effect
fundamental change at the IRS -- to ensure fairness of treatment and give the American
people the quality service they deserve," Rossotti said.
The seven-point action plan is part of an ongoing assessment
of IRS activities that Rossotti began when he assumed office in November 1997. In
February, Rossotti appointed former Comptroller General Charles Bowsher to head an
independent review of the IRS Inspection Service. In March, he created a special program
to implement the hundreds of recommendations to improve the IRS's treatment of taxpayers
and the service it provides them.
In recent months, concerns have been raised about the
activities of CID. "The Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS plays a pivotal
role in fighting tax evasion, and it is critical that its operations be beyond
reproach," Rossotti said. "We must address these concerns in a thorough, fair
and objective fashion."
"I fully support Commissioner Rossotti's efforts to take
aggressive actions to improve the Criminal Investigation Division at the IRS," said
Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin. "These steps will increase accountability and
openness at the IRS and are a part of our continuing commitment to delivering to the
American people the IRS they deserve -- an agency that respects taxpayer rights while
collecting the revenue due." The plan the IRS announced today is attached.
Plan to Improve the Criminal Investigation Division at the IRS
1. Launch an independent review of the Criminal Investigation
Division (CID). This effort will be led by an expert in federal law enforcement. Like the
independent evaluation of the IRS Inspection Service being led by Charles Bowsher, the
former head of the GAO, the CID review is part of the Commissioner's overall strategy to
review the full range of IRS operations. This review will examine all aspects of CID -
including operations, procedures, case outcomes, case review practices, discipline, and
performance measures for managers and employees.
2. Support the creation of a new Inspector General for Tax
Administration at the Treasury Department. Like all Inspectors General (IG), the new IG
for Tax Administration will report directly to Congress and will have the independent
authority to investigate all allegations of employee misconduct, including abuse of force
and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaints.
3. Centralize the disciplinary process for CID managers and
employees. To ensure appropriate and consistent discipline in CID misconduct cases, a
specified group of labor relations experts will review all CID misconduct cases and
recommend disciplinary actions. In addition, Commissioner Rossotti has requested that a
new Disciplinary Action Review Task Force conduct a study on the complaint and
disciplinary processes across the entire IRS. This study will be conducted with the
assistance of a qualified outside expert.
4. Create a new complaint system. The new Disciplinary Action
Review Task Force will closely examine all types of complaints and their tracking systems
across the IRS, including CID. In addition, the new Treasury IG for Tax Administration
Designate officials within the office of the IG for Tax
Administration to specialize in Criminal Investigations. Specialists, who will have a
background in law enforcement but cannot be former CID employees, will be responsible for
tracking and following up on complaints. The CID specialists will be expected to make
initial contact with the complainant within three business days of receiving the
Identify systemic problems within CID. The CID specialists
will monitor all databases containing information on special agent performance to identify
trends and systemic problems, recommend solutions, and track the implementation of those
Publicize the IG's 1 -800 number, fax line, and E-mail address
to ensure that taxpayers and employees are aware of how to register complaints about CID.
Work with local Taxpayer Advocates and Citizen Advocacy Panels to help achieve this goal.
Establish clear procedures to ensure that taxpayer and employee complaints, including
anonymous ones, are taken seriously, properly reviewed, and kept confidential. Penalties
will be established for IRS employees who violate confidentiality.
5. Institutionalize oversight of CID within Treasury's Office
of Enforcement. To the extent permissible by law, the Under Secretary for Enforcement will
ensure that CID's policies and procedures are fully consistent with those of Treasury's
other law enforcement bureaus (Customs, Secret Service, and ATF). The Office of
Enforcement will conduct periodic reviews to ensure compliance with those policies and
6. Request that the Joint Committee on Taxation - join the
Treasury and the IRS in conducting a study of willful noncompliance. This review will
examine the sources and extent of taxpayer noncompliance and measures that might address
7. Promote a culture of openness, quality and integrity within
CID, consistent with Commissioner Rossotti's vision for the entire agency:
Commissioner Rossotti has issued a directive to all IRS
employees about their obligation to report misconduct, fraud, waste, and abuse, and to
guarantee employees freedom from reprisal when they report any misdoings. The directive
will apply to CID employees, as well as all other IRS employees.
Education and training programs will provide detailed
information to employees and managers -- including within CID -- on whistleblower
policies, procedures and protections.
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