The IRS is involved in another “erased hard drive” event — and it’s not a part of the IRS scandal of 2013. It is apparent that there is a pattern of destruction at the agency.
This time, the hard drive that was erased belonged to “Samuel Maruca, former director of transfer pricing operations at the IRS Large Business and International Division.” Maruca was also a top level employee at the IRS, and was also involved in a controversy; this time, the scrutiny involved the IRS’s decision to hire an inexperienced yet elite law firm to handle tax data.
In this particular incident, “although there was a court preservation order on all documents related to the IRS hiring of the outside firm, the hard drive was erased anyway. The order was borne of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted by Microsoft.
Even though the white shoe law firm has zero experience handling sensitive tax data, taxpayers have been footing bills of over $1,000 per hour for its services.”
“Despite its complete inexperience handling audits or taxpayer data, Quinn Emanuel was hired under an initial $2.2 million contract.
This unusual decision prompted a probe by Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), based on concerns that the decision to hire outside contractors was expensive and entirely unnecessary.
As Sen. Hatch pointed out in his letter to the IRS, the agency already has access to around 40,000 employees responsible for enforcement. The IRS can also turn to the office of Chief Counsel or a Department of Justice attorney, both of which have the expertise to conduct this kind of work, without risking sensitive information.
The fact that another important hard drive is permanently gone can only lead to two conclusions: 1) that the IRS is still thoroughly incompetent or 2) the IRS is exceedingly corrupt. Neither of these are good for the taxpayer. The only immediately remedy should be to remove IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.