IRS Commissioner on Scandal: ‘We Provided Horrible Customer Service’

May 17, 2013 - 12:19 PM

IRS Political Groups

Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, May 17, 2013, before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the extra scrutiny the IRS gave Tea Party and other conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) – Acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller told members of the House Ways and Means Committee at a hearing on Friday that the scandal engulfing the agency for allegedly targeting conservative groups is about poor customer service.

“I can say generally we provided horrible customer service here,” Miller said. “I will admit that.

“We did horrible customer service,” Miller said. “Whether it was politically motivated or not is a very different question.”

Miller made the remark during an exchange with Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio), who asked the commissioner about Sarah Ingram, the woman who from 2009 to 2012 was in charge of overseeing the division of the IRS which grants tax-exempt status before being promoted to be director of the agency’s Affordable Care Act office.

Tiberi asked Miller who oversaw Lois Lerner, the woman who worked for Ingram and publically apologized at a recent public event for employees giving greater scrutiny to conservative groups seeking non-profit status.

“Who was (Lerner’s) boss in 2011 and 2012?” Tiberi asked. “Who did she report to?”

“I believe it would have been ….” Miller said.

“Sarah Ingram maybe?” Tiberi asked.

“Part of that time and part of that time another gentleman,” Miller said.

“Okay,” Tiberi said. “And that other gentleman has submitted his resignation?”

“I believe so,” Miller said.

“And what is Ms. Ingram doing today?” Tiberi said. “What’s her job title?”

“She works on implementing the Affordable Care Act,” Miller said.

“Okay,” Tiberi said. “Who promoted her to that position?”

“I would have moved her into that position,” Miller said.

“Why would you promote someone to that position who was in charge of the exempt organization division, which certainly has had some controversy over the last couple years – under an investigation?” Tiberi said.

“Because she’s a superb civil servant, sir,” Miller said.

“So she had nothing to do with this?” Tiberi said.

“I wouldn’t imagine so,” Miller said. “I can’t speak to individual cases.

“I can say generally we provided horrible customer service here,” Miller said. “I will admit that.

“We did horrible customer service,” Miller said. “Whether it was politically motivated or not is a very different question.”

Miller said at the hearing that he was asked to resign by the Obama administration.