The saga on the IRS inquiry over tea party tax exempt applications continues. This week IRS Commissioner John Koskinen appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee on June 20 and the House Oversight Committee on June 23 to defend the agency’s handling of employee emails.
Before the Ways and Means Committee, Koskinen rebutted accusations that former IRS official Lois Lerner destroyed her computer in 2011 to avoid prosecution for targeting conservative groups seeking nonprofit status. Koskinen told lawmakers that the hard drive on Lerner’s work computer crashed before the current Congressional investigations began and the agency’s information technology department could not repair it.
Koskinen also indicated that the IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division plans to restart audits of Code Sec. 501(c)(4) organizations that were selected for examination but set aside. "I think it is unfair to them to leave them in limbo, that they deserve to have closure," Koskinen explained. "Any request for information that was inappropriate, they do not have to respond to," he said.
As a former IRS employee at the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, I am aware of the type of computer systems and technology that the IRS uses.
The IRS has to store and protect confidential information for millions of taxpayers. This is no small task given the enormous amount of data that needs to be protected. As a result, the IRS maintains
top of the line computers and has internal IT departments dedicated to keeping their systems safe and protected. So it does strike me as curious that with all the technological advances and millions of dollars that taxpayers spend on IRS technologies, that the IRS cannot produce the information requested by Congress related to this matter.
Isn't the meta data available? I understand its nearly impossible to destroy electronic data. Something just doesn't smell right about this one.