With across-the-board spending cuts impacting several federal agencies, a recent $60,000 training product on Tax Evasion the Internal Revenue Service created is now garnering a great deal of criticism that recently forced the agency to apologize.
The IRS created a "Star Trek" parody training video in 2010 to educate its employers on how to detect tax law violations, including fraud and tax evasion. The agency also created another training video based on "Gilligan's Island." While the video methods themselves did not generate any outrage among lawmakers, the price tag for the skits has landed the agency in hot water.
Charles Boustany, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee's oversight committee, said that in the middle of a fiscal crisis, he failed to understand how the IRS could spend so much money on these training tools, and demanded that they be released to the public as a testament to the agency's wasteful spending. In response, the IRS instituted new protocols to govern the production of future training materials, and also issued an apology to the public.
"The IRS recognizes and takes seriously our obligation to be good stewards of government resources and taxpayer dollars," the agency said in a statement. "There is no mistaking that this video did not reflect the best stewardship of resources."