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The IRS Awards Its Worst

- April 23, 2014

Another Ironic Example Of Obama's Government Gone Wild: IRS Uses Taxpayer Dollars To Award Bonuses To Workers With Tax Issues

The Wall Street Journal Headline: "IRS Workers Disciplined For Misconduct Were Awarded Bonuses." (John D. McKinnon, "IRS Workers Disciplined For Misconduct Were Awarded Bonuses," The Wall Street Journal, 4/22/14)

A Government Audit Found Over 2,800 IRS Employees Received More Than $2.8 Million In Performance Bonuses Despite Recently Being Disciplined. "More than 2,800 Internal Revenue Service employees who recently had been disciplined received performance bonuses totaling more than $2.8 million between Oct. 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2012, a government audit found." (John D. McKinnon, "IRS Workers Disciplined For Misconduct Were Awarded Bonuses," The Wall Street Journal, 4/22/14)

"The Report Identified Nearly 1,200 Employees With Tax Issues Or Official-Conduct Violations During The Period Who Received A Total Of $1.1 Million In Monetary Bonuses, And About 11,000 Hours Of Time Off." (John D. McKinnon, "IRS Workers Disciplined For Misconduct Were Awarded Bonuses," The Wall Street Journal, 4/22/14)

  • IRS Employees With Tax Problems Received 10,582 Hours Of Paid Time Off And 69 Received Permanent Raises. "The bonuses weren't just monetary. Employees with tax problems received a total of 10,582 hours of paid time off - valued at about $250,000 - and 69 received permanent raises through a step increase, the report said. The report looked at bonuses in 2011 and 2012." (Gregory Korte, "IRS Workers Who Didn't Pay Taxes Got Bonuses," USA Today, 4/22/14

According To The Audit, Employees That Received Bonuses Misused Government Travel Cards, Violated Official-Conduct Standards And Committed Fraud, With Discipline Ranging From Reprimands To Removal. "The misconduct ranged from failure to pay taxes to misuse of government travel cards, violation of official-conduct standards and fraud, according to the report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. The discipline included written reprimands, suspensions and even removal. The oversight agency said some of the conduct issues might have occurred after an employee earned a bonus." (John D. McKinnon, "IRS Workers Disciplined For Misconduct Were Awarded Bonuses," The Wall Street Journal, 4/22/14)

The Inspector General Found IRS Policy Of Giving Bonuses Was In Conflict With Its Responsibility To Ensure "The Integrity Of The System Of Tax Administration." "While not specifically prohibited by IRS policies, providing awards to employees with conduct issues, especially the failure to pay taxes owed to the Federal Government, appears to be in conflict with the IRS's charge of ensuring the integrity of the system of tax administration. In addition, awards provided to these employees could be put to better use by providing employees who are compliant additional opportunities for awards." ("The Awards Program Complied With Federal Regulations, But Some Employees With Tax And Conduct Issues Received Awards," Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration, 3/21/14)

In The Obama Administration, The IRS Has A History Of Misspending Taxpayer Money On Itself

Last Year, The IRS Faced Criticism After It Was Revealed That The Agency Had Spent $50 Million On Conference Over Three Years. "The Internal Revenue Service, already under fire after officials disclosed that the agency targeted conservative groups, faces increased scrutiny because of an inspector general's report that it spent about $50 million to hold at least 220 conferences for employees between 2010 and 2012." ("Report: IRS Spent $50 Million For Conferences Over 3 Years," Associated Press, 6/3/13)

IRS Spent $4 Million On A Conference In Anaheim, Calif., Without Following Standard Government Practice Of Negotiating Rates. "The conference spending included $4 million for an August 2010 gathering in Anaheim, Calif., for which the agency did not negotiate lower room rates, even though that is standard government practice, according to a statement by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee." ("Report: IRS Spent $50 Million For Conferences Over 3 Years," Associated Press, 6/3/13)

  • Attendees At The Conference Received Baseball Tickets, Stays In Presidential Suites, And Heard A $17,000 Speech On "Leadership Through Art." "Instead, some of the 2,600 attendees received benefits, including baseball tickets and stays in presidential suites that normally cost $1,500 to $3,500 per night. In addition, 15 outside speakers were paid a total of $135,000 in fees, with one paid $17,000 to talk about 'leadership through art,' the House committee said." ("Report: IRS Spent $50 Million For Conferences Over 3 Years," Associated Press, 6/3/13)
  • During The Conference, The IRS Spent $50,187 On Two Videos, Including A Star Trek Parody In Which IRS Employees Dressed In Character. "The tax official responsible for a lavish, $4.1 million conference in Anaheim apologized to Congress for spending at the conference - and for his performance as Mr. Spock in a Star Trek parody video. 'The fact of the matter is, Mr. chairman, it's embarrassing, I apologize,' Faris Fink said of the two videos produced for the conference at a cost of $50,187." (Greogry Korte, "Blasted By Congress, IRS Apologizes For Lavish Events," USA Today, 6/6/13)

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Claimed The IRS Was Mocked By Hotel Employees For Being Overcharged By At Least $1 Million. "He produced a copy of an e-mail between two Marriott hotel employees in Anaheim, noting that Anaheim's bid for the conference was $1 million more than Orlando. 'This sounds like the hotel employees were mocking you, and even taking advantage of the IRS,' Cummings said." (Greogry Korte, "Blasted By Congress, IRS Apologizes For Lavish Events," USA Today, 6/6/13)

UNDER OBAMA, THE IRS ISN'T THE ONLY AGENCY HANDING OUT BONUSES WHILE MISUSING TAXPAYER DOLLARS

The GSA 2010 Western Region Conference "Made Headlines When An Inspector General Report Found A Pattern Of Excessive Spending, Waste, And Possible Fraud On The Pricey, Taxpayer-Funded Las Vegas Conference." "The conference made headlines this week when an Inspector General report found a pattern of excessive spending, waste and possible fraud on the pricey, taxpayer-funded Las Vegas conference, where organizers went out of their way to organize a lavish, over-the-top celebration that included a mindreader, a clown, fancy food, and several 'trial runs' by GSA employees." (Byron Tau, "Videos Of $800K GSA Conference Surface," Politico, 4/7/12)

  • The Huffington Post Obtained A Series Of Videos Taken At The GSA's Conference Showing Employees "Destroying Office Property" And "Rapping About Taxpayer-Funded Travel And Government Pay Raises." "The Huffington Post obtains a series of embarrassing videos taken at the General Services Administration's 2010 Western Region Conference that show GSA employees destroying office property, drinking, singing 'Luck be a Lady,' flashings dollar bills, rapping about taxpayer-funded travel and government pay raises, blowing bubbles through hula hoops, and palling around with an 'angry clown.'" (Byron Tau, "Videos Of $800K GSA Conference Surface," Politico, 4/7/12)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO): "What Troubles Me Most Is This One-Day Conference Was A Party To Celebrate The Fact That They Were Getting Bonuses With Taxpayer Money." (NBC's Nightly News, 7/20/12)

GSA Was Also Under Investigation For Spending $268,732 On A One-Day Conference In 2010, Located In Arlington, VA. "This time, the agency is being investigated for spending $268,732 on a one-day conference for its Federal Acquisition Service division on Nov, 17, 2010, in Arlington, Virginia." (John Parkinson, "$20K For Drumsticks? GSA Blasted For One-Day Quarter-Million Dollar Awards Conference," ABC News' The Note, 7/19/12)

  • $20,000 Of Taxpayer Money Was Spent On Drumsticks, $35,000 For Picture Frames, And $20,000 For Catering . "More than $20,000 of taxpayer money was spent on drumsticks for 4000 attendees, more than $8,500 for an appearance by someone called 'Agent X', according to the preliminary findings of the Inspector General. The event, which was held at the Crystal City Gateway Marriott just outside Washington, D.C., also included expenses of more than $35,000 for picture frames, $20,000 in catering charges as well as additional funding for a violinist and guitarist." (John Parkinson, "$20K For Drumsticks? GSA Blasted For One-Day Quarter-Million Dollar Awards Conference," ABC News' The Note, 7/19/12)

In 2012 At The Time Of The Reports About GSA's Excessive Spending, 84 GSA Employees That Were Under Inspector General Investigations Were "Still Collecting Their Bonuses, Totaling More Than $1 Million In Taxpayer Money ." "Also, 84 GSA employees, most of them supervisors or other senior staff -- all subjects of inspector general investigations -- are still collecting their bonuses, totaling more than $1 million in taxpayer money." ("GSA Finds More Than $250,000 Spent On One-Day Event," CNN, 7/19/12)


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