Review of the Collection Field Function
Reference No. 690200 Date: October 21, 1998
This report has cleared the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration disclosure review process and information determined to be restricted from public release has been redacted from this document.
2d = Law Enforcement Technique(s)
Table of Contents
Objective and Scope
Attachment I - Detailed Objectives and Scope
Collection Division’s mission is to collect unpaid accounts and to secure delinquent returns. Collection Field function (CFf) group managers are responsible for workload management including the organizing and directing of Revenue Officer’s (RO) case work.
We conducted a limited scope review because the Pennsylvania District had recently completed the inventory conversion to the Integrated Collection System (ICS), and many of the ROs were assigned reduced inventories because of their assignment to Customer Service. Also, due to time and staffing constraints we did not perform any integrity tests to identify potential unauthorized accesses.
We conducted the review in three collection field groups and found that generally group manager controls and reviews of ROs inventories were effective to ensure the collection of delinquent taxes. Our inventory match of eight ROs verified that the inventories were accurately converted to and reflected on ICS.
Managers utilized ICS management information system reports to control and monitor ROs inventories. In addition, case selection was consistent with local priorities, and management reviews were performed timely and properly documented.
However, groups without clerical support assigned sensitive command codes ****2d**** and STAUP to their Revenue Representatives. These Revenue Representatives maintain their own inventory in addition to handling taxpayer walk-ins. Managers in these group should take additional precautions to protect against the misuse of the sensitive command codes.
Objective and Scope
This review was initiated as part of our annual audit plan. Because the Pennsylvania District had recently completed the inventory conversion to the Integrated Collection System (ICS), and many revenue officers were assigned to Customer Service, we performed a limited scope review in three collection field groups. The audit fieldwork was conducted between March, 1998 and September, 1998 in a Philadelphia headquarters group and in the Pittsburgh and Scranton posts of duty. Our audit work was performed in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
The overall objective of this limited scope review was to assess the adequacy of the groups controls designed to ensure the collection of delinquent taxes. Specifically, we (1) assessed the adequacy of inventory controls to ensure that TDAs were properly assigned and accounted for, and (2) determined whether the group managers continually monitored priority cases and conducted sufficient reviews of revenue officer work.
A detailed description of the specific objectives and audit coverage is included as Attachment I.
Part of the Collection Division’s mission is to collect unpaid accounts and to secure delinquent returns. Cases are assigned to Revenue Officers (ROs) in CFf when they cannot be successfully resolved through the issuance of notices or telephone calls to the taxpayers. The ROs use many varied collection techniques, including enforcement actions, to collect unpaid taxes and/or secure delinquent returns.
The Integrated Collection System (ICS) was installed in the Pennsylvania District’s CFf in November 1997. This system automated the assignment and processing of ROs inventories in the CFf. Employees use ICS to control their cases electronically from laptop computers or workstations.
The CFf in the Pennsylvania District consists of two branches containing 16 Revenue Officer groups.
As of February 1998, the CFf inventory included 6,714 TDAs.
Generally, management ensured that cases were accounted for and properly assigned during the ICS conversion. Group managers consistently utilize the case assignment and review capabilities of the ICS system to monitor work. In addition, we determined that the Error Resolution Technician (ERT) performed timely resolution actions on IDRS and ICS weekly mismatch reports.
Priority cases (overage, large dollar) were selected and reviewed in accordance with IRM and local procedures. Our review of these cases indicated sufficient group management involvement, when necessary, to expedite collection action and/or case processing.
Groups without clerical support assigned sensitive command codes ****2d**** and STAUP to their Revenue Representatives to handle taxpayer walk-ins at their posts of duty and maintain their own inventories. Due to time and staffing constraints we did not perform any integrity tests to identify potential unauthorized access. Managers in these groups should take additional precautions to ensure that of the sensitive command codes are not being misused by the employees.
/s/ Daniel R. Cappiello
Detailed Objectives and Scope
The overall objective of this review was to assess the adequacy of group manager controls designed to ensure the collection of delinquent taxes. The specific objectives of this review were to (1) assess the adequacy of inventory controls for ensuring that TDAs were properly assigned and accounted for, and (2) determine whether the group managers are continually monitoring priority cases and conducting sufficient reviews of revenue officer work.
We conducted our audit tests in the Philadelphia office (group 17), Pittsburgh (group 24), and Scranton (group 25) posts-of-duty.
To accomplish our objectives, we performed the following audit tests: