D.C. Council Questions Officials Over Security Lapses In Tax Office | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

D.C. Council Questions Officials Over Security Lapses In Tax Office

Play associated audio
The former inspector general for the CFO's office of internal audit testified at the Wilson Building on Wednesday.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lops/872182000/
The former inspector general for the CFO's office of internal audit testified at the Wilson Building on Wednesday.

D.C. Council Members are asking why internal audits that show major security lapses at the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue lingered years after a mid-level manager was caught embezzling tens of millions of dollars.

William DiVello, the former inspector general for the Chief Financial Officer's internal affairs unit, says he felt pressured to keep the audits in draft form — which meant the reports were not circulated to the public.

But DiVello, who resigned last week and testified before the D.C. Council Wednesday, also testified that no changes were ever made to any of the audits.

According to reports obtained by The Washington Post, auditors have repeatedly warned CFO Natwar Gandhi about weak controls and oversight at the tax office.

In 2007, manager Harriette Walters was caught stealing $48 million through fake property tax refunds — the incident prompted major reforms for the tax office.

Council Member Jack Evans says he called the hearing because of a recent string of reports questioning oversight at the office.

"There are too many incidents that require explanation, the safeguarding of taxpayer funds especially in this period when more people need resources than there are resources to provide is paramount."

In his testimony to the council, Gandhi disputed claims there may have been improper tax assessments that cost the city tens of millions of dollars and says sometimes audits are not made public because they would give a road-map to those interested in exploiting the office.

NPR

'Little Dancer' Musical Imagines The Story Behind Degas' Mysterious Muse

Ballerina Marie Van Goethem started modeling for Edgar Degas around 1878 and inspired his statue Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. But history lost track of her after she left the Paris Opera.
NPR

Chef Ottolenghi Makes The Case For 'Plenty More' Vegetables

Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi talks with Rachel Martin about the difference between supermarket hummus and Middle Eastern hummus and why he doesn't like to call his cookbooks "vegetarian."
NPR

Turf Shifts In Culture Wars As Support For Gay Marriage Rises

Campaigning against gay marriage used to help Republicans win elections — but now GOP candidates in tight races are backing away from mentioning social issues on the stump.
NPR

Getting Medical Advice Is Often Just A Tap Away

NPR's Arun Rath speaks with infectious disease specialist and HealthTap member Dr. Jonathan Po about telemedicine and hypochondria in a time of heightened health concern.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.