A new report on the embattled IRS finds a small number of high-level executives had “extremely” high travel expenses, and are perhaps unnecessarily traveling in and out of Washington D.C. to conduct their day-to-day business.
The report made public Tuesday by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) says 12 executives were in travel status for over 200 days out of the year, with 15 amassing approximately $81,544 in expenses each in Fiscal Year 2011 and $73,054 each in Fiscal Year 2012.
The report notes that IRS executive travel overall does not appear to be excessive, but that some of the executives’ travel expenses “appear to be excessive when compared to the average travel expenses for IRS executives.”
The report suggests the IRS look into changing the station of the executives who are traveling in and out of Washington D.C. frequently rather than continue to foot the bill for their travel.
“The cost and frequency of travel for these executives indicate that they may not live in the best location to economically accomplish their roles and responsibilities,” the report states.
The IRS has agreed to examine the costs and benefits of placing the executives mentioned in a different station, and in the interim instituted a change in its travel policy that generally restricts executives from traveling more than 75 nights in any fiscal year.
The agency has been under fire in the past months after it was revealed it was improperly singling out groups with “tea party” and other conservative labels for additional scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 elections.
Since then the agency has also been scrutinized over its spending, especially the $50 million it spent on conferences between 2010 and 2012, including spending more than $4 million on a single California conference in 2010.