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TITGA

TITGA

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Published by: corruptioncurrents on May 10, 2012
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TREASURY INSPECTOR GENERAL FOR TAX ADMINISTRATION 
Improved Oversight Is Needed to Effectively Process Whistleblower Claims 
April 30, 2012Reference Number: 2012-30-045
This report has cleared the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration disclosure review processand information determined to be restricted from public release has been redacted from this document.
Phone Number | 202-622-6500 E-mail Address TIGTACommunications@tigta.treas.gov  Website | http://www.tigta.gov 
 
HIGHLIGHTS 
 IMPROVED OVERSIGHT IS NEEDED
TIGTA also determined that Whistleblower
TO EFFECTIVELY PROCESS
Program officials did implement a quality review
WHISTLEBLOWER CLAIMS
 
process to ensure claims are accuratelycontrolled in the Entellitrak system. However,
Highlights
 
guidance to employees did not specify thatemployees review the received date of a claim,which is critical when reporting business resultsto internal and external stakeholders. During
Final Report issued on April 30, 2012
this review, TIGTA determined that additionalreports could be generated to evaluate theHighlights of Reference Number: 2012-30-045effectiveness of the Whistleblower Program.to the Internal Revenue Service Director,Also, timeliness standards for processing claimsWhistleblower Office.
 
have not been fully established, and the existingmonitoring process was not fully developed to
IMPACT ON TAXPAYERS
improve efficiencies with processingThe IRS has authority to pay awards towhistleblower claims in the IRS operatingwhistleblowers for credible information relatingdivisions.to violations of Internal Revenue laws that resultIn August 2011, the Government Accountabilityin the Federal Government’s recovery of taxes,Office issued a report on the IRS’spenalties, interest, and additional amounts
 
Whistleblower Program that included eightcollected. Without adequate oversight ofrecommendations. These recommendationswhistleblower claims, the IRS is not as effectivefocused on the IRS collecting more informationas it could be in responding timely to taxin its claim tracking system and case processingnoncompliance issues. Also, the IRS’s effort toactivities, and incorporating more data whenimprove compliance is important in reducing thereporting on the effectiveness of theTax Gap and maintaining the integrity of theWhistleblower Program.voluntary tax compliance system.
WHAT TIGTA RECOMMENDEDWHY TIGTA DID THE AUDIT
TIGTA made no recommendations in this reportIn August 2009, TIGTA issued a report citingbecause the IRS Whistleblower Office isdeficiencies in the IRS’s internal controls andaddressing the Government Accountabilitytimely resolution of whistleblower claims. TheOffice’s August 2011 report recommendations.objective of this review was to follow up on theThe IRS plans to fully implement its correctiveadequacy of the corrective actions the IRSactions to the Government Accountability Officeagreed to take on the Fiscal Year 2009 reportedreport by October 15, 2012.internal control weaknesses.
 
While TIGTA did not make any
WHAT TIGTA FOUND
recommendations in this report, theWhistleblower Office provided commentsThe IRS did not fully and adequately addressindicating that “direct access to the informationthe prior reported internal control weaknessessystem was not provided after discussions andon the processing of whistleblower claims. Inagreement between the Whistleblower Officeour prior report, TIGTA found that informationand TIGTA management.” Additionally, thecaptured on three inventory systems wasWhistleblower Office commented that “it isinaccurate. In this review, TIGTA determinedimportant to note that no instances of errors inthat employees manually transferred claimthe received data have been identified.”information from the three systems into a singleTIGTA’s response to the IRS’s comments isinventory control system, Entellitrak. However,included in the transmittal memorandum.IRS officials did not ensure steps were taken toreconcile and correct the inaccurate informationthat was reported in our Fiscal Year 2009review.
 
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20220
 
TREASURY INSPECTOR GENERALFOR TAX ADMINISTRATION
April 30, 2012
MEMORANDUM FOR
 
DIRECTOR, WHISTLEBLOWER OFFICE
FROM:
 
Michael R. PhillipsDeputy Inspector General for Audit
SUBJECT:
 
Final Audit Report – Improved Oversight Is Needed to EffectivelyProcess Whistleblower Claims (Audit # 201130033)This report presents the results of our review to determine whether the Internal Revenue Service(IRS) has taken effective corrective actions to address previously identified weaknesses inprocessing claims from whistleblowers. In August 2009, we issued a report and made severalrecommendations to address internal control weaknesses identified during the review.
1
Thecurrent audit was a part of our Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Audit Plan and addresses the majormanagement challenge of Tax Compliance Initiatives.In August 2011, the Government Accountability Office issued a report
2
on the IRS’sWhistleblower Program that included eight recommendations. These recommendations focusedon the IRS collecting more information in its claim tracking system and case processingactivities and incorporating more data when reporting on the effectiveness of the WhistleblowerProgram. We made no recommendations in this report because the Whistleblower Office isaddressing the Government Accountability Office’s August 2011 report recommendations, andthe IRS plans to implement corrective actions by October 15, 2012.While we did not make any recommendations in this report, the Whistleblower Office providedcomments indicating that “direct access to the information system was not provided afterdiscussions and agreement between the Whistleblower Office and Treasury Inspector General forTax Administration (TIGTA) management.” The Whistleblower Office and TIGTAmanagement actually agreed to an alternative method to obtain audit work from the casemanagement system as a substitute for direct access so that the TIGTA could continue the audit.
1
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Ref. No. 2009-30-114,
 Deficiencies Exist in the Control and Timely Resolution of Whistleblower Claims
(Aug. 2009).
2
Government Accountability Office, GAO-11-683,
Tax Whistleblowers – Incomplete Data Hinders IRS’s Ability to Manage Claim Processing Time and Enhance External Communication
(Aug. 2011).

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