New IRS Whistleblower Office Has First Director

We saw more good news when the IRS announced the first director of the new IRS Whistleblower Office–Stephen A. Whitlock. Mr. Whitlock was formerly in charge of the Office of Professional Responsibility. He also had led anti-fraud and abuse programs at the Defense Department.

The IRS’s press release is reprinted here:

IRS Begins Work on Whistleblower Office; Whitlock Named First Director

IR-2007-25, Feb. 2, 2007
WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service today named Stephen A. Whitlock as director of its new Whistleblower Office, where he will be responsible for administering the program designed to receive information that helps uncover tax cheating and to provide appropriate rewards to whistleblowers.

“This is an important new office at the IRS, and Steve brings a strong background in ethics and tax issues to help get this program off to a good start,” said IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson. “Under Steve’s leadership, we will meet expectations from Sen. Grassley and other supporters to run a robust program.”

During his 27-year government career, Whitlock has led the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility and helped run anti-fraud and abuse programs at the Defense Department.

The IRS Whistleblower Office, which was established by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, will process tips received from individuals who spot tax problems in their workplace, while conducting day-to-day personal business or anywhere else they may be encountered.

A reward worth between 15 percent and 30 percent of the total proceeds that IRS collects could be awarded, if the IRS moves ahead based on the information provided.

Whitlock’s office will be responsible for assessing and analyzing incoming tips. After determining their degree of credibility, his office will assign the information to the appropriate IRS office for further investigation.

As program director, Whitlock’s key responsibilities include:

Establishing the strategic direction of the program
Defining specific goals and operating guidelines
Communicating and implementing guidance to ensure the office’s success
Prior to his new appointment, Whitlock served since May 2003 as the Deputy Director of the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility, which administers the regulations governing the practice of attorneys, CPAs, and other tax professionals. From March 1999 until May 2003, he was the director of the IRS Commissioner’s Complaint Processing and Analysis Group.

Before joining the IRS, Whitlock directed several programs at the Defense Department involving the identification, investigation and correction of fraud, waste and abuse. In particular, he directed the operations of the Defense Hotline, which served as the model for Inspector General fraud, waste and abuse hotlines throughout the Executive branch.

Whitlock earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Auburn University, a Juris Doctor degree from Catholic University and a Masters in Business Administration degree from George Mason University.

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