The Internal Revenue Service adequately prepared for and responded to the February 2010 plane crash at its Austin offices that killed one worker, according to a new watchdog report.
Among other things, the report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said the agency properly protected its workers, secured taxpayer data in the wake of the crash and quickly resumed business operations at the site.
Though the IRS’s emergency plans for the Austin site were incomplete, those missteps “did not have a material impact” on the overall response to the crash, said Inspector General J. Russell George.
“Taken as a whole, the IRS’s preparation and response ensured that the effect of the Austin incident on IRS employees and tax administration was minimized,” George said.
IRS collections manager Vernon Hunter, 67, was killed when pilot A. Joseph Stack, 53, crashed his small plane into the side of the Austin tax processing center in Feb. 2010. Investigators later found a Web site published by Stack that detailed grievances with the federal government, “Mr. Big Brother IRS man,” large corporations and the powerful.
Threats against IRS employees and federal workers generally are on the rise. In recent years, TIGTA has faulted the nation’s slow economic recovery and lingering frustrations with the federal government for inspiring attacks and threats against IRS workers.
In its latest report, TIGTA said that IRS should incorporate lessons learned from the crash into its overall emergency and continuity of operations plans; the agency said it agreed with the recommendation.
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