Committee Hearing on IRS Management, Personnel Practices Looks at Improving IRS, Civil Service Accountability To Public

Washington, DC–At a hearing of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs today Chairman Fred Thompson (R-TN) said that lessons learned in reviewing the management practices and flexibilities at the Internal Revenue Service should be examined to determine their applicability across the broad spectrum of Civil Service.

“We are here today to take a close look at the management practices employed by the Internal Revenue Service,” Thompson said, “and at how we might best restructure and improve the operations of this frontline agency which every day affects the quality of life of American taxpayers. It is important for us to learn what management and personnel practices should be used to increase accountability by the IRS to the American people.

“If these management tools and practices help the IRS become more customer friendly and responsive to its customers, then we need to consider whether they might be applicable as well to other federal agencies.

“Each agency has its own unique mandate, goals and mission, and we clearly need to be careful that we don’t create a complex maze of personnel systems which conflict with one another or run counter to our goal of making government more and more accountable to the people it serves.

“But we also need to find out what works best. We must determine if federal departments and agencies should be provided wide-ranging flexibility in their management and personnel plans, or whether there should be a substantial federal overlay which stretches across all agencies and missions. These are not easy questions to answer, and they deserve our best effort to find appropriate management solutions.”