IRS Inspection Service Functions:

Management Can Further Enhance Their Usefulness

GGD-78-91: Published: Jan 30, 1979. Publicly Released: Mar 1, 1979.

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must maintain effective management control over its collections, returns, and investigations, and ensure integrity among the staff involved. To do this IRS has a principle means of control, the Inspection Service. The Inspection Service is charged with keeping the agency's operations and management under continual scrutiny and appraisal.

Although the internal audit staff is complying with management's directives and contributing to more efficient operations, its role and usefulness are limited in meeting management's needs. The audit staff must direct its efforts primarily to continually monitoring field activites, an unrealistic goal which hinders effective audit planning. The audit approach basically restricts the scope of most audits to a single field office, limits the purpose to determining whether specific operations at that office comply with written instructions, and results in audit reports to field management. The internal audit staff's own efforts for improvement are a step in the right direction, but management needs to supplement these actions.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Commissioner of Internal Revenue should: (1) modify policy requiring annual audits of all major field activites and establish an audit goal which encourages the most effective use of resources; (2) direct the Assistant Commissioner of Inspection to develop audit plans and periodically discuss with the Commissioner and other Assistant Commissioners the level of resources devoted to centrally planned, directed, and controlled audits; (3) clarify the role and responsibilities of regional analysts; (4) determine the extent the Office of Personnel Management can assume additional responsibility for personnel investigations presently being conducted by IRS criminal investigators; (5) provide general investigators to conduct noncriminal investigations; (6) establish criteria delineating matters to be investigated and assign responsibility for handling administrative matters to line management; (7) review the investigator and case load relationships to provide a reasonable investigator case load balance; and (8) establish uniform standards to monitor the timeliness with which investigations are being completed.

    Agency Affected:


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