The IRS Inspector General has released a lengthy report on the service’s targeting of conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status.
President Barack Obama and his administration have faced heat since the IRS originally apologized for the debacle on Friday. But at least politically, the good news for Obama is that the Inspector General has determined that all inappropriate targeting was not “influenced by any individual outside of the IRS.”
Moreover, Obama’s name is not mentioned once in the report’s 48 pages.
According to the report, public perception of Tea Party groups was also not a factor in how they were treated by the IRS.
Here’s the key passage from the IG:
We asked the Acting Commissioner, Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division; the Director, EO; and Determinations Unit personnel if the criteria were influenced by any individual or organisation outside the IRS. All of these officials stated that the criteria were not influenced by any individual or organisation outside the IRS. Instead, the determinations Unit developed and implemented inappropriate criteria in part due to insufficient oversight provided by management. Specifically, only first-line management approved references to the Tea Party in the BOLO [“be on the lookout”] listing criteria before it was implemented. As a result, inappropriate criteria remained in place for more than 18 months. Determinations Unit employees also did not consider the public perception of using politically sensitive criteria when identifying these cases.
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