Statement Of Secretary Jacob J. Lew On IRS Principal Deputy Commissioner Daniel Werfel’s Report Released Today
“Our tax code has to be administered with the highest of standards and without bias. Earlier today, I met with the President and Daniel Werfel to review his 30 day report and the progress that has been made to restore the public’s trust in the IRS.
Last month, the President appointed Mr. Werfel, a dedicated public servant who has served presidents of both political parties, as acting head of the IRS. On his first day on the job, I asked him to take three immediate actions, as appropriate, within his first 30 days: 1) ensure staff that acted inappropriately are held accountable 2) examine and correct any failures in the system that allowed this behavior to happen and 3) take a forward-looking systemic view at the agency’s organization.
Today, Mr. Werfel has responded to this directive in his report. Thanks to the hard work of Mr. Werfel and the IRS leadership team, important progress has been made in strengthening the IRS so that it can provide high-quality and fair taxpayer service. Deputy Secretary Wolin and I look forward to continuing our ongoing engagement with Mr. Werfel and the IRS team to accomplish this critical goal.
For instance, since Mr. Werfel’s appointment, the IRS has new leadership in place at all five levels of management responsible for tax exempt applications. Additionally, Mr. Werfel has created a new Accountability Review Board, and has taken action to address the backlog of applicants who were waiting for tax exemption status.
Nevertheless, more work remains. I am committed to taking action to make sure we get this job done. An essential element of restoring the public trust is improving service to taxpayers. To that end, I have asked Mr. Werfel to spend some time outside Washington in the coming weeks to meet with taxpayers, business leaders, and community officials and to uncover new ways to make the IRS more efficient and consumer friendly.
The assessments and actions outlined in Mr. Werfel’s report have charted a path that will improve performance and accountability, and will help ensure that we appropriately address the actions identified by the IRS Inspector General.”