Tax Administration:

Information on IRS Executive Relocations and Travel Matters

GGD-94-140: Published: Jun 1, 1994. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) travel and transportation activities, focusing on: (1) the frequency and costs associated with IRS executive relocations; (2) whether IRS considered less costly alternatives to long-term travel; (3) IRS procedures for selecting meeting and conference sites; and (4) IRS use of modern technologies to reduce travel costs.

GAO found that: (1) between 1990 and 1992, there were 122 IRS executive relocations, which cost about $60,000 each; (2) IRS executive assignments and relocation decisions are made by the IRS Commissioner to meet immediate management needs and to develop a qualified executives corps to fulfill future requirements; (3) IRS needs to consider lower-cost alternatives for long-term travel associated with temporary duty assignments exceeding 2 months; (4) IRS does not centrally track long-term travel data, and the authority to approve assignments is dispersed among many IRS units; (5) at the IRS offices reviewed, officials stated that they have considered less costly travel alternatives and complied with applicable federal regulations in selecting meeting and conference sites; (6) in response to Department of the Treasury criticism, IRS revised its procedures for selecting meeting and conference sites and restricted the use of nongovernmental facilities for conference activities; (7) IRS saved nearly $3 million in travel expenses in 1993 by using modern technologies, such as videoconferencing; and (8) IRS needs to continue to promote the use of modern technologies to reduce travel costs and assess its strategies to take full advantage of emerging telecommunications technologies.

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