Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel, hoping to soften the blow from another controversy involving the embattled agency, Friday said funds spent on a controversial 2010 conference were "inappropriate" and “an unfortunate vestige from a prior era.”
The 2010 conference was a lavish affair, and Republicans Friday released a video said to be IRS employees involved in a dance routine.
The Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration has been studying IRS conferences in recent years, with special scrutiny given to the 2010 affair. The report is expected to be released Tuesday.
“While there were legitimate reasons for holding the meeting, many of the expenses associated with it were inappropriate and should not have occurred,” Werfel said. “Taxpayers should
take comfort that a conference like this would not take place today.
“Sweeping new spending restrictions have been put in place at the IRS, and travel and training expenses have dropped more than 80 percent since 2010 and similar large-scale meetings
did not take place in 2011, 2012 or 2013.”
Here’s the rest of Werfel’s statement:
“Cutting down on excessive and inappropriate travel has been a personal priority for me.
As Federal Controller at the Office of Management and Budget, I led the development and issuance of multiple government-wide policy directives requiring Federal agencies to reduce their total amount of spending on administrative expenses, including travel and conferences, as well as putting in
place strict policies for the review, approval, and public reporting of conference expenditures.
“In addition to the progress at the IRS, these efforts have led to significant progress government-wide, with the Federal government reducing travel expenses by roughly $2 billion in Fiscal
Year 2012 compared to Fiscal Year 2010.
“As Acting IRS Commissioner, I will continue my efforts and ensure tight spending protocols are in place to protect the use of taxpayer dollars.”