"How are Republicans celebrating Tax Day? By going after the IRS. "

| April 21, 2016

"How are Republicans celebrating Tax Day? By going after the IRS.
"
"A day after the annual tax deadline passed, the Republican-led House turned its attention to a series of bills targeting a range of Internal Revenue Service policies, some of them focusing on its workforce. Following a long-standing tradition of congressional votes on tax matters around the filing deadline, a half-dozen bills affecting the agency could soon come up for a vote. The Obama administration on Monday issued a statement opposing each. Republicans defended the measures. “This isn’t a debate about right or left. This is about having good government or bad government,” House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in a statement. “Astoundingly, the President has chosen bad government, defending the inept and dishonest IRS over the American taxpayers.” One bill would bar the IRS from hiring any new employee until it certifies that it does not employ anyone with an outstanding tax debt for which the IRS has filed a notice of lien in public records, unless the debt is being paid timely under an installment agreement or certain other exceptions apply. The White House said that bill would be a “drastic and counterproductive step that would compromise tax administration and taxpayer services. . . . This legislation is unnecessary, as strong laws and procedures already exist to ensure that IRS employees comply with their tax obligations. Publicly-available data show that IRS employees are among the most tax compliant groups in the Nation with a delinquency rate of less than 1 percent.” A second measure would prohibit the rehiring of people previously employed by the IRS but who were removed for misconduct or poor performance. That is a response to an inspector general report’s finding that the IRS overlooked past performance or conduct problems for 323 ex-staffers it hired between 2010 and 2013. But the administration said that the IRS has since tightened that policy and that the bill could force the agency to fire current employees who had been fired and then rehired many years ago “even if their performance since rehiring has been blemish-free.” A third would prohibit paying performance awards to IRS employees until the Treasury Department, its parent, develops and carries out a new customer-service strategy, a response to a series of reports documenting falling service levels in recent years. The administration said that ban would hamper the IRS’s ability to retain and recruit top employees and that the “real constraint on the IRS’s ability to serve taxpayers effectively is severe underfunding, including for taxpayer services.” It added that service has improved recently because of a small funding increase enacted last year. "

Spotlight

Governments and businesses around the world are looking to enhance Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)-based authentication systems with complementary, comparable technologies such as those built around the FIDO Alliance specifications. This approach can extend the benefits of authentication rooted in public key cryptography to a wider array of applications and users without sacrificing the well-known benefits of PKI. This paper outlines how an expanded authentication ecosystem incorporating both PKI and FIDO authenticators can be incorporated across the U.S. government – enabling the U.S. to more effectively secure digital assets by embracing a wider array of strong, cryptographic authentication technologies beyond the PKI-based Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards that are commonly used today. An interoperable infrastructure – leveraging FIDO Alliance specifications and PKI – could augment the current base of PIV credentials to more efficiently converge agencies with the goals of HSPD-12.


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Spotlight

Governments and businesses around the world are looking to enhance Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)-based authentication systems with complementary, comparable technologies such as those built around the FIDO Alliance specifications. This approach can extend the benefits of authentication rooted in public key cryptography to a wider array of applications and users without sacrificing the well-known benefits of PKI. This paper outlines how an expanded authentication ecosystem incorporating both PKI and FIDO authenticators can be incorporated across the U.S. government – enabling the U.S. to more effectively secure digital assets by embracing a wider array of strong, cryptographic authentication technologies beyond the PKI-based Personal Identity Verification (PIV) cards that are commonly used today. An interoperable infrastructure – leveraging FIDO Alliance specifications and PKI – could augment the current base of PIV credentials to more efficiently converge agencies with the goals of HSPD-12.

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