Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Inspections and Evaluations

Highlights

Highlights of Report Number:  2011-IE-R002 to the Internal Revenue Service Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support.

WHY TIGTA DID THIS STUDY

This project was initiated to determine whether the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) takes appropriate steps to identify, correct or reduce the impact of hazards in the workplace that could cause individuals physical harm.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires the head of each agency to “provide safe and healthful places and conditions of employment.”

WHAT TIGTA RECOMMENDED

TIGTA recommended that the Chief, Agency‑Wide Shared Services fully implement the Graphic Database Interface system or employ a similar means to effectively collect and analyze safety inspection data.  The Chief, Agency-Wide Share Services, should also increase management oversight to ensure safety inspections are completed timely and effectively.

In their response to the report, IRS officials stated the Chief, Agency-Wide Shared Services, has begun to enhance the data reporting capabilities of the Graphic Database Interface system and implement a plan to improve its use.  Furthermore, the Chief, Agency‑Wide Shared Services will implement an action plan for improving communication, and oversight and management of the safety inspection program.  Particularly, the safety and health staff will ensure safety inspections are completed on time and entered into Graphic Database Interface system.

Issued on March 3, 2011

ADDITIONAL OVERSIGHT COULD IMPROVE THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH PROGRAM

WHAT TIGTA FOUND

TIGTA found that the IRS’s occupational safety and health program includes policies and guidelines, program evaluations, and systems designed to report and document injuries and illnesses, and track hazards in the workplace.  The IRS also developed the Graphic Database Interface system to document, track and analyze the safety inspections results.  As evidenced by the decline in the number of accident and injury claims, the IRS has a proactive approach to minimize workplace hazards.

However, the IRS occupational safety program needs additional oversight in the areas of data management and program enforcement.  This includes enhancing the capabilities of the Graphic Database Interface system and increasing oversight to ensure the safety inspections are completed timely and effectively.

In the course of the review, TIGTA found that the Graphic Database Interface system was not fully operational nor was it being consistently used by IRS employees involved in the safety review process.  Additionally, were no controls in place to ensure safety inspections were completed effectively and timely.  Our inspections of a sample of IRS facilities identified a number of safety hazards.

READ THE FULL REPORT

To view the report, including the scope, methodology, and full IRS response, go to: 

http://www.treas.gov/tigta/iereports/2011reports/2011ier002fr.html

Email Address:   inquiries@tigta.treas.gov

Phone Number:   202-622-6500

Web Site:   http://www.tigta.gov