Friday, August 12, 2005

GAO: New IRS Training Courses May Not Be Cost-Effective

Democratic Senators Max Baucus (MT) and Byron Dorgan (ND) released a GAO report yesterday which critcized new IRS training programs for employees taking calls from taxpayers as being potentially inefficient and for failing to provide measures of employee progress. The new training programs were a response to complaints by the Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration that over-the-phone aid to taxpayers as well as Taxpayer Assistance Center performance was unsatisfactory.

Unquestionably, measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of aid to taxpayers is not routinely accomplished. Additionally, it is important to ensure that American taxpayers receive high-quality assistance from IRS personnel whether in person or over the phone. Nevertheless, Baucus and Dorgan correctly point out that American taxpayers also deserve to have training done in a manner that is cost-effective and which can clearly demonstrate trainee improvement.


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