After a long wait, the Finance Committee has released a bipartisan report on the IRS scandal. Since some private taxpayer information was at issue, there have been closed door sessions and interviews leading up to the report. The IRS wasn?t really targeting, it was just incompetent, the report seems to suggest. Top IRS managers did not stay informed about the applications involving possible political advocacy.
And management, top management at least, didn?t really monitor things. Lois Lerner was on top of the issues as early as 2010, but failed to tell her superiors, the report suggests. In fact, the report says that under Ms. Lerner?s leadership, the IRS Exempt Organizations unit launched seven initiatives to handle applications from Tea Party and other groups for tax-exempt status. Each of the seven initiatives failed.
That meant long delays?as long as five years?for some organizations awaiting decisions on IRS tax exemption applications. What?s more, the report says IRS employees handling exemption applications did not appear to be worried about delays or customer service. In some cases, organizations got tired of waiting and disbanded. For others, the delays meant forgone grants.
This report was delayed for over a year after the IRS belatedly informed the Senate Finance Committee that the IRS could not recover large numbers of potentially responsive documents. They were lost when Lois Lerner?s hard drive crashed in 2011.?
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