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Brady, Grassley Press Tax Administration Watchdog to Fill Continued Vacancies – Ways and Means Republicans

Washington, D.C. The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) today wrote to the J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), urging that long-term vacancies be quickly filled in the important watchdog office.

A strong, well-organized inspector general is necessary in order to continue to provide effective oversight over the IRS.  Given the importance of TIGTA’s work, we write again today to urge you to quickly fill the number of long-term vacancies and acting positions…,” Brady and Grassley wrote.

The letter follows up on concerns initially raised in a January 2018 letter from Brady and the prior Finance Committee chairman, Orrin Hatch, about the significant number of vacancies and acting officials potentially inhibiting the oversight work of TIGTA.

Full text of the letter from Brady and Grassley follows or can be found HERE.

September 6, 2019

VIA ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION

Inspector General J. Russell George

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

1401 H Street, NW

Washington, DC 20005

Dear Inspector General George:

On January 19, 2018, former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Orrin G. Hatch, and current Ranking Member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, Kevin Brady, wrote to you to express concerns about the large number of vacancies at the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).  That letter explicitly focused on the number of long-term, high-level vacancies at TIGTA, specifically identifying ten vacancies that were either vacant or had an individual occupying the position in an acting capacity.  The Committees have continued to monitor the substantial number of TIGTA leadership vacancies, and are disappointed that a number of these vacancies have yet to be filled.

In your February 2, 2018 response to the Committees, you stated that you expected to fill top leadership positions within six months, while noting that TIGTA had filled two Assistant Inspector General vacancies in the Office of Investigations, as well as the Equal Opportunity Program Manager vacancy.  However, more than 18 months later, key positions remain vacant, including those supporting the Inspector General directly, or an individual is occupying them in an acting capacity.  In addition to these top leadership vacancies, there has been an increase in the total number of vacancies within TIGTA, growing from 63 in 2018 to 70 as of the date of this letter.  We were pleased to see that, since the January 19, 2018 letter, TIGTA has filled the roles of Deputy Inspector General for Inspections and Evaluations, as well as Deputy Inspector General for Investigations.

In the January 19, 2018 letter, it was asked that, if it is your intent to not permanently fill any of these vacancies within the next six months, you notify the Committees in writing of your intent not to do so.  If it is not TIGTA’s intent to fill these vacancies, we request that you inform the Committees immediately.  A strong, well-organized Inspector General is necessary in order to continue to provide effective oversight over the IRS.  Given the importance of TIGTA’s work, we write again today to urge you to quickly fill the number of long-term vacancies and acting positions listed in the enclosed list of vacancies and to communicate in writing if you intend to keep the positions vacant.

Should you have questions, please contact Quinton Brady of the Senate Committee on Finance staff at (202) 224-4515 or Rachel Kaldahl of the House Committee on Ways and Means at (202) 225-4021.  Thank you for your attention to this important mater.

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