(Washington, DC) The IRS’ five-year strategic plan for 2010-2015 and its future workforce objectives were two major areas of focus at the IRS Oversight Board’s July 30th meeting in Washington, DC. Under the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98), one of the Board’s most important responsibilities is guiding and approving IRS strategic planning. The IRS is now in the midst of developing its new five-year strategic plan – the third since the passage of RRA 98. The new plan will be released later this year.
“I cannot overstate the importance that the Board places on strategic planning. More than a best business practice, it keeps the IRS focused on important long-term strategic goals across its mission and how to deliver on them. It is one of the keys to continuity. A well-crafted and well-executed IRS strategic plan is critical to improving overall taxpayer compliance and the health of our tax administration system,” said Board Chairman Paul Cherecwich.
In addition to the broad, overarching strategic plan, the Board also discussed the goals and objectives of the newly-formed Workforce of Tomorrow Task Force. The task force has set its goals high – to make the IRS the best place to work in government and ensure that five years from now the IRS has the leadership and workforce ready for the next 15 years.
“The Board strongly supports the work of the IRS task force. We applaud its commitment to setting specific objectives and having a meaningful and lasting impact on employees across the organization – from the IRS executive corps to front line employees who interact with taxpayers everyday. They are moving in the right direction,” the Board Chair observed.
Board and NTEU Share IRS Workforce Concerns
The Oversight Board was also briefed by National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley on workforce issues, including its recommendations on the future size of the workforce. The Board and NTEU both see a strong workforce as critical to the success of IRS, and are in agreement on many points.
IRS Chief Counsel Meets with Board
The Board also received a briefing on the Office of the IRS Chief Counsel. Chief Counsel Don Korb and the Board discussed the office’s organization and its mission and accomplishments. Describing the office as the “law firm for the IRS,” Mr. Korb pointed out the successes the IRS has had in court during the last five years. Another bright spot is the office’s aggressive effort to attract top legal talent. The Chief Counsel meets directly with dozens of law schools to recruit future tax lawyers, and is having great success.
Board Welcomes New Member
Lastly, the Board welcomed a new member who was recently confirmed by the Senate. E. Edwin Eck has served as Dean of the University of Montana School of Law since 1995 and has been a member of its faculty since 1981. “The Board is fortunate to have people of the caliber of Dean Eck serving on it and we welcome him to the Board. His academic prowess, legal expertise, and experience in tax administration should prove invaluable to the Board’s work” concluded Board Chair Cherecwich.
The Board’s next meeting will be held in Washington, DC on September 9-10, 2008.