The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing this Thursday at 9:30 a.m. to examine a new report, released today, from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) which focuses on excessive IRS conference spending and abuses of taxpayer dollars. The report specifically examines excessive spending at an August 2010 conference where the IRS spent over $4 million dollars on a Small Business/Self-Employed Division manager's conference for 2,600 people in Anaheim, California.
"The wasteful Anaheim conference is one example of a culture of excess that plagues the IRS and many federal agencies," said Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif. "Taxpayer money meant to pay for a core agency mission, the hiring of more enforcement personnel, was instead spent on a lavish party. Perhaps most disturbingly, there appears to have been little or no effort by the IRS to hold those responsible for this wasteful spending accountable."
According to previously unreleased information, the IRS paid for the $4 million conference with unused funds originally intended to hire more enforcement personnel.
Today's release of the TIGTA report also reveals that IRS paid over $30,000 for 45 local employees to stay at the hotels.
Multiple videos were produced for the conference using taxpayer funds. In one video, employees are showing getting "ready for Anaheim" by learning how to perform "the Cupid Shuffle," a popular line dance. Another video is a six-minute spoof of science fiction television series "Star Trek." Both videos were produced using taxpayer funds totaling at least $50,187. The IRS, however, could not provide sufficient documentation to prove that no additional money was spent to produce the videos.
The Committee will hear testimony from the IG and a top deputy, as well as Acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel and Small Business/Self-Employed Commissioner Faris Fink.
In addition to being the head of the division that held this conference, Mr. Fink appeared in the Star Trek spoof as "Mr. Spock."
"Collected and Wasted: The IRS Spending Culture and Conference Abuses"
Full Committee, Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA)
Thursday June 6th at 9:30 a.m. in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building and streamed live at http://oversight.house.gov.
The Honorable J. Russell George, Inspector General, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
Mr. Gregory Kutz, Assistant Inspector General for Audit, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
Mr. Faris Fink, Commissioner, Small Business and Self-Employed Division, Internal Revenue Service
Mr. Danny Werfel, Acting Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service