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Camp, Issa Inquire Into Status of Employees Connected with IRS Targeting

July 24, 2013

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) wrote to Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Principal Deputy Commissioner Daniel Werfel regarding the status of IRS employees who resigned or were placed on Administrative leave following their involvement in the targeting of conservative organizations.  The Chairmen also inquired into the IRS practice of awarding individuals connected with the targeting performance-based bonuses and Werfel’s stated intent to end the IRS’ bonus system. 

The Chairmen request the IRS provide the following information by no later than August 7, 2013:

  • Was Joseph Grant asked to resign and, if so, who requested his resignation and on what grounds?
  • For Holly Paz and Lois Lerner:
    • Were these individuals asked to resign and, if so, who requested their resignation and on what specific grounds?
    • Do these individuals have access to IRS systems (including electronic mail), documents, or physical property?
    •  What is their current employment status?; and
    • If on paid administrative leave:
      • How long has the individual been on paid administrative leave?
      • Is the IRS seeking their removal or suspension?
      • Provide all IRS documents or communications relating to each individual’s employment with the IRS from May 1, 2013 to the date of this letter; and
      • Federal employment law allows for administrative leave in rare circumstances when an agency determines that an employee’s continued presence in the workplace possibly (1) poses a threat to the employee or others; (2) may result in loss of or damage to government property; or (3) would otherwise jeopardize legitimate government interests.  The leave may last pending the outcome of any investigation that may result in disciplinary or other adverse action. For Lois Lerner and Holly Paz,
        • On which ground were they placed on administrative leave?
        • What is the status of their respective investigations?
        • What is the anticipated duration of their administrative leave?
        • What is the cost to the agency for each of these employees on administrative leave?
  • Despite then-Acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller’s concession that the IRS delivered “horrible customer service,” the IRS paid employees connected with the targeting performance-based bonuses.  Recent press reports have stated you are in negotiations to end the lavish bonus system, which has paid tens of millions in bonuses to employees overall.
    • Detail the amount of bonuses, both in total and a listing of individual bonuses (identifying information can be redacted), the IRS has paid since January 1, 2010.
    • Provide information on all bonuses awarded to Steve Miller, Joseph Grant, Lois Lerner, and Holly Paz during the period of January 1, 2010 through the present.
      • Who approved each bonus?
      • When did the individual receive his or her bonus?
      • Why was each bonus merited?
    • In your notice to employees, you note that cancelation of bonuses will make it possible to eliminate two planned furlough days.  How much money, if any, will the agency save if the IRS is successful in cancelling the $70 million in bonuses?
  • For the same period, provide information on bonuses paid to all of the individuals named in your June 7, 2013 letter to Chairman Boustany.