IRS Keeps An Eye On Taxpayers With Surveillance (Spy) Equipment
The IRS, currently in the midst of scandals involving the targeting of conservative groups and lavish taxpayer-funded conferences, is ordering surveillance equipment that includes hidden cameras in coffee trays, plants and clock radios.
The IRS wants to secure the surveillance equipment quickly – it posted a solicitation on June 6 and is looking to close the deal by Monday, June 10. The agency already has a company lined up for the order but is not commenting on the details.
“The Internal Revenue Service intends to award a Purchase Order to an undisclosed Corporation,” reads the solicitation.
“The following descriptions are vague due to the use and nature of the items,” it says.
“If you feel that you can provide the following equipment, please respond to this email no later than 4 days after the solicitation date,” the IRS said.
Among the items the agency will purchase are four “Covert Coffee tray(s) with Camera concealment,” and four “Remote surveillance system(s)” with “Built-in DVD Burner and 2 Internal HDDs, cameras.”
The IRS also is buying four cameras to hide in plants: “(QTY 4) Plant Concealment Color 700 Lines Color IP Camera Concealment with Single Channel Network Server, supports dual video stream, Poe [Power over Ethernet], software included, case included, router included.”
Finishing out the order are four “Color IP Camera Concealment with single channel network server, supports dual video stream, poe, webviewer and cms software included, audio,” and two “Concealed clock radio.”
“Responses to this notice must be received by this office within 3 business days of the date of this synopsis by 2:00 P.M. EST, June 10, 2013,” the IRS said. Interested vendors are to contact Ricardo Carter, a Contract Specialist at the IRS.
“If no compelling responses are received, award will be made to the original solicited corporation,” the IRS said.
The original solicitation was only available to private companies for bids for 19 business hours.
The notice was posted at 11:07 a.m. on June 6 and had a deadline of 2:00 p.m. on Monday. Taking a normal 9-to-5 work week, the solicitation was open for bids for six hours on Thursday, eight hours on Friday, and five hours on Monday, for a total of 19 hours.
The response date was changed on Monday, pushed back to 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11.
The location listed for the solicitation is the IRS’s National Office of Procurement, in Oxon Hill, Md.
"The Procurement Office acquires the products and services required to support the IRS mission,” according to its website.
In recent weeks the IRS has been at the center of multiple scandals, admitting to targeting Tea Party groups and subjecting them to greater scrutiny when applying for non-profit status during the 2010 and 2012 elections.
A report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed that groups with names like “patriot” in their titles were singled out, required to complete lengthy personal questionnaires (often multiple times) and having their nonprofit status delayed, sometimes for more than three years.
Last week a second Inspector General report detailed nearly $50 million in wasteful spending by the agency on conferences, in which employees stayed at luxurious Las Vegas hotels, paid a keynote speaker $17,000 to paint a picture of U2 singer Bono, and spent $50,000 on parody videos of “Star Trek.”
Requests for comment from the IRS and Mr. Carter were not returned before this story was posted.
The IRS spokesmen Dean Patterson and Anthony Burke were asked to explain the reasoning behind the solicitation, where the surveillance equipment will be used, why the request was so urgent, and whether the request has anything to do with the recent scandals at the IRS.
When the IRS awards performance bonuses, the report states, the IRS doesn’t distinguish between an employee who is unimpeachable and one who has been cited for misconduct. Come again, you ask? You heard right.
Cash bonuses, time off awards and other perks are awarded by the IRS. But the report says that IRS employees with misconduct and other faults still get the bonuses and other perks. This is hardly an isolated problem. The report reveals that the IRS brass handing out the awards simply did not consider employee misconduct.
How is that possible? Well, even something as fundamental as tax compliance issues–like employees of the tax agency failing to pay their own taxes–was not sufficient to nix an award. And the numbers are astounding.
Between October 1, 2010 and December 31, 2012, more than 2,800 IRS employees with recent bad conduct in their record received more than $2.8 million in cash awards, more than 27,000 hours in time-off awards, and 175 quality step increases in their IRS employment. Among these awards, more than 1,100 IRS employees with substantiated Federal tax compliance problems received more than $1 million in cash awards, more than 10,000 hours in time-off awards, and 69 quality step increases within a year after the IRS substantiated their tax compliance problem.
These weren’t isolated instances and they weren’t old and cold. The report also notes that a 1998 federal statute actually requires the removal of IRS employees who have committed certain acts of misconduct. One act is if the IRS employee willfully fails to pay federal taxes. Despite this clear statute, notes the report, the IRS doesn’t discriminate!
Is there a happy ending to this Alice in Wonderland Story? Sort of. The report says that in light of these findings, the IRS has agreed to change its policy in the future. Well, that’s progress, but did someone not see this?
In any case, soon, there will be a policy that will require the management of the IRS to consider conduct issues resulting in disciplinary action before the agency awards all types of performance awards. Who would have thought it?
Considering that the U.S. tax system is built primarily on voluntary compliance, having confidence that we have a fair and impartial tax system is pivotal. That’s one reason the IRS targeting scandal has so deeply undermined the trust people have in the tax agency. As we peel back layers from the IRS, it can seem harder and harder to apply normal standards.
The IRS has seen its summer from hell extended into autumn, as a report issued today by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) revealed that the Service cannot account for $67 million that was set aside in a slush fund to help pay for Obamacare.
TIGTA took it upon itself to conduct a little audit to ensure that the Service had the necessary processes in place to properly account for the Obamacare-directed costs. Things did not go well. In the report was this little nugget:
Yup. That’s $67 million of taxpayer dollars that were spent on, well…nobody is quite sure what it was spent on, other than it appears to have used for employee workspaces and technology. In other words…Grand Theft Auto V for everyone!
Rather than bicker and argue over who spent the missing $67 million, the IRS has agreed to simply move on and prevent future misappropriations by implementing the recommendations made by TIGTA with the hopes that next time around, they’ll have a better idea of what happened to 15% of their working budget.
* Visa / Mastercard Settlement Screws Merchants / Businesses
Next-Generation Bug / Microwave / ELF / Spy Phone / GSM And Camera Detectors (Buy, Rent, Layaway) tinyurl.com/2eo8mlz Open...
— Spy Store Rentals (@MontyHenry1)
Nanny IP (Internet) Cameras, GPS Trackers, Bug Detectors and Listening Devices, etc, (Buy / Rent / Layaway): tinyurl.com/396jlw6...
— Spy Store Rentals (@MontyHenry1)
• Video is Recorded Locally To An Installed SD Card (2GB SD Card included)
• Email Notifications (Motion Alerts, Camera Failure, IP Address Change, SD Card Full)
• Live Monitoring, Recording And Event Playback Via Internet
• Back-up SD Storage Up To 32GB (SD Not Included)
• Digital Wireless Transmission (No Camera Interference)
• View LIVE On Your SmartPhone!
* Nanny Cameras w/ Remote View
* Wireless IP Receiver
* Remote Control
* A/C Adaptor
* 2GB SD Card
* USB Receiver
FACT SHEET: HIDDEN NANNY-SPY (VIEW VIA THE INTERNET) CAMERAS
* Transmission Range of 500 ft Line Of Sight
* Uses 53 Channels Resulting In No Interference
* 12V Power Consumption
* RCA Output
* Supports up to 32gig SD
* 640x480 / 320x240 up to 30fps
* Image Sensor: 1/4" Micron Sensor
* Resolution: 720x480 Pixels
* S/N Ratio: 45 db
* Sensitivity: 11.5V/lux-s @ 550nm
* Video System: NTSC
* White Balance: Auto Tracking
* You Buy Our DVR Boards And We'll Build Your Products! (Optional)
Our New Layaway Plan Adds Convenience For Online Shoppers
Phone: (1888) 344-3742 Toll Free USA
Local: (818) 344-3742
Fax (775) 249-9320
Google+ and Gmail
AOL Instant Messenger
Yahoo Instant Messenger
Alternate Email Address
Join my Yahoo Group!
My RSS Feed