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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 20, 1997
                       ANNOUNCE CHANGES AT IRS

Plan Calls for Task Force on Customer Service, IRS Management Board,

IRS Advisory Board

Vice President Al Gore and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin today (5/20) announced a plan to help make the Internal Revenue Service more effective, efficient, and taxpayer-friendly. The plan calls for:

--The creation of a Task Force on Customer Service; --The establishment of an IRS Management Board to improve

administration of the
--The establishment of an IRS Advisory Board to tap private-sector


"Americans work hard and pay taxes. They deserve to know that their federal government is giving them the most value for their money," said Vice President Gore who heads the National Performance Review (NPR) to make the federal government work better and cost less. "That means creating an IRS that is modern, flexible, and responsive to the needs of its customers -- the American taxpayers."

Vice President Gore announced the creation of a Task Force on Customer Service to review frustrations that taxpayers have in dealing with the IRS and to propose, within 90 days, changes to address them. The group will be led by IRS employees and include representatives from the National Treasury Employees Union, NPR, and senior officials from the Treasury Department.

Secretary Rubin said,"This plan continue the process of putting the IRS on the road to more effective, efficient operations, increased ability to further compliance with the nation's tax laws, and, most importantly, improved customer service."

In addition, Secretary Rubin proposed the creation of the IRS Management Board, which will focus on the administration of the agency, including strategic, personnel and procurement decisions. The board will be comprised of representatives from the IRS, NPR, the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management, and other relevant government departments and agencies.

He also proposed that the Treasury Secretary and Deputy Secretary appear twice yearly before a Congressional committee to report on the conduct of their oversight responsibilities. In addition, he called for legislation providing a five-year term for the Commissioner of the IRS in order to improve continuity of leadership at the agency, and the establishment of an IRS Advisory Board comprised of individuals outside of government with private-sector and consumer expertise.

The NPR is a comprehensive evaluation of the entire federal government to find ways to make it work better and cost less. Since it began in 1993, the NPR has resulted in the smallest federal government since John F. Kennedy was President and more than $118 billion in savings for taxpayers. ##