In a Monday conference call with reporters, interim Internal Revenue Service (IRS) chief Danny Werfel said the IRS will suspend the use of screening criteria that was used to target conservative groups.
Why the IRS is only now suspending such criteria, and whether it has used the same procedures in the intervening period since the scandal first broke, is presently unclear.
An interim IRS report released on Monday blamed “significant management and judgment failures” for targeting conservatives but absolved the agency of any wrongdoing thus far.
“The fact that no evidence is surfacing as wrongdoing is an important conclusion to reach as long as it is qualified by the fact that more reviews are underway,” said Werfel. “And so, I’ll be as clear as I can right now. I’m not providing a definitive conclusion that no intentional wrongdoing occurred. But I’m suggesting that based on the ongoing reviews to date, no evidence has yet surfaced.”
The IRS investigation reportedly found that the tax agency also used be-on-the-lookout (BOLO) lists that included the terms “Progressive,” “Occupy,” and “Israel.”
House Government Reform and Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) blasted Werfel’s assertions as premature.
“As investigations by Congress and the Justice Department are still ongoing, Mr. Werfel‘s assertion that he has found no evidence that anyone at IRS intentionally did anything wrong can only be called premature,” said Issa.
The IRS also said it will implement a new procedure to expedite the tax-exempt applications for groups who have been waiting for more than 120 days to obtain their statuses.