Tax Administration:

IRS' Executives' Views on the Business Review Process

GGD-92-103FS: Published: May 29, 1992. Publicly Released: May 29, 1992.

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GAO reviewed the results of a survey of 55 senior Internal Revenue Service (IRS) executives on their opinions on how the fiscal year (FY) 1991 IRS business review process worked and how it might be improved.

GAO found that: (1) overall, those surveyed believed that the business review process had improved communications between senior IRS executives and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, and helped to focus more attention on important IRS activities; (2) 58 percent of the executives rated the business review process as good, 14 percent rated it as poor, and the remaining 28 percent were uncertain; (3) 82 percent of the executives believed that the FY 1991 process was generally better or much better than the FY 1990 process, and 62 percent expected the FY 1992 process to be better than the FY 1991 process, based on what they knew; (4) the executives believed that top management commitment was essential to effective business reviews, and 15 believed that the most positive aspect of the FY 1991 business review process was the involvement of the former Commissioner and other top executives; (5) 96 percent of the executives understood the purpose of the business review process, but believed that middle-level managers and some line employees did not understand the process; (6) 82 percent of the executives believed that the FY 1991 business reviews covered too many corporate or functional critical success factors, and 80 percent believed that the business review process required too much paperwork; and (7) the executives believed that the business review process could be improved if new or revised performance measures were developed, if business reviews were better focused, if business review reports were revised to better indicate what the review results meant, and if paperwork was reduced.

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