TIGTA Seal graphic

Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration

Press Release

April 23, 2013
TIGTA - 2013-16
Contact: David Barnes
(202) 622-3062

Improvements Are Needed to Ensure That Performance Measures Are Balanced and Adequately Assess the Effectiveness of the Collection Program

WASHINGTON -- Measures that provide ongoing performance information to management and stakeholders are critical to sound decision-making in any organization. At the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), such information helps managers make decisions about how to fund and allocate resources to collect the estimated $360 billion from taxpayers who owe but have not paid taxes due.

A new report publicly released today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) noted several favorable trends among the IRSís performance measures for its Collection Program.

For example, TIGTA found that the total dollars collected in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 were 20 percent higher than the amount collected in FY 2009 even though there were fewer revenue officers on staff. Revenue officers also completed investigations more quickly and made trust fund penalty determinations faster in FY 2011 compared to FY 2009.

TIGTA also identified three ways that the Collection Program could enhance how it monitors, measures, and reports its accomplishments:

  1. Integrate the IRSís balanced measures to include customer and employee satisfaction and business results into all performance reports. This would help hold managers and staff across Collection Program areas accountable for and focused on balancing service to taxpayers with enforcing the tax laws, as articulated in the IRS mission and its two strategic goals and one strategic foundation.
  2. Link the Collection Programís performance measures used at the operational level to a specific operational objective and to one or more of the IRSís strategic goals. Such links can show Collection Program managers how their day-to-day activities contribute to attaining the Collection programís operational objectives and the broader IRS strategic goals.
  3. Develop and implement meaningful performance targets for each of the operational-level measures. If objectively established, the targets would help Collection Program managers avoid any perception of bias or manipulation in the monitoring and reporting of progress in meeting their pre-established objectives.

TIGTA recommended that the IRS ensure that customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction measures are included in all performance reports. The IRS should also establish a performance measure and target for each operational objective.

In its response to the report, the IRS agreed with TIGTAís recommendations and plans to include customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction in all performance reports. In addition, the IRS plans to assess the need for new measures or changes to existing measures to ensure proper alignment with operational goals.

Read the report.


Note: The difference between the date TIGTA issues an audit report to the Internal Revenue Service and the date TIGTA publicly releases the report is due to TIGTA's internal review process to ensure that public release is in compliance with Federal confidentiality laws.

A special plugin is required to view PDF documents. To obtain the free PDF reader, please visit the Adobe web site.