1.1.26  Whistleblower Office

Manual Transmittal

August 11, 2015

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM 1.1.26, Organization and Staffing, Whistleblower Office.

Background

This IRM describes the Whistleblower Office, its structure and responsibilities

Material Changes

(1) Updated to include SPPA, ARC, and ICE teams

(2) This IRM is revised to correct prior typos.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 1.1.26, dated June 08, 2010 is superseded

Audience

All Divisions and Functions

Effective Date

(08-11-2015)

Stephen A. Whitlock
Director, Whistleblower Office

1.1.26.1  (08-11-2015)
Introduction to the Whistleblower Office

  1. The Whistleblower Office administers the program governing payment of awards under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 7623 as amended by the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (the Act), enacted December 20, 2006. Individuals are eligible for an award based on the amount collected as a result of any administrative or judicial action in which the IRS proceeded based on information provided. The Whistleblower Office:

    1. Reviews and evaluates claims filed for award filed by whistleblowers.

    2. Coordinates whistleblower claims with other functions within the Service.

    3. Monitors claims throughout the life of each claim, including through the investigation, examination, appeals, and collection process.

    4. Evaluates the benefit of the information brought forward by the whistleblower.

    5. Makes a determination about the appropriateness of an award.

    6. Determines the appropriate percentage for award.

    7. Chairs the Whistleblower Executive Board which provides executive level coordination and direction for the whistleblower program.

    8. Facilitates communication with external and internal customers and stakeholders concerning the Whistleblower Program.

1.1.26.2  (08-11-2015)
The Whistleblower Office

  1. The Whistleblower Office was established as a result of enactment of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (the Act), signed into law on December 20, 2006. Section 406 of the Act amended IRC 7623 concerning the payment of awards. The prior statutory authority to pay awards was reassigned as IRC 7623(a) and a new section 7623(b) was added. Additional provisions in section 406 required establishment of a Whistleblower Office within the IRS to address award program administration issues. The IRC 7623(a) awards remains as a discretionary program while awards under IRC 7623(b) are statutory provided certain criteria are met.

  2. The Director, who reports to the Commissioner and to the Deputy Commissioner, Services and Enforcement, has primary supervisory responsibility for the Whistleblower Office, including oversight and control of all policy decisions and implementation.

  3. The Mission of the Whistleblower Office is to administer the Whistleblower Program in a fair and equitable manner by applying standards of excellence throughout the program. To accomplish the mission, the Director:

    1. Coordinates with Operating Divisions, Criminal Investigation, and Counsel.

    2. Defines and communicates key performance goals.

    3. Analyzes program trends to drive policy and outreach strategies.

    4. Develops clear process standards within the program.

    5. Develops and fosters working relationships with partner organizations.

    6. Conducts outreach activities with external stakeholders to educate and guide actions to improve submissions.

    7. Directs the implementation of office policy and procedures.

    8. Monitors performance goals.

    9. Provides technical guidance.

    10. Conducts a study each year and reports to the Congress on the use of IRC 7623 and any legislative or administrative recommendations for IRC 7623 and its application of the Act.

  4. The following managers report to the Director, Whistleblower Office.

    • Program Manager, Case Development and Oversight

    • Program Manager, Strategic Planning and Program Administration

1.1.26.2.1  (08-11-2015)
Case Development and Oversight Branch

  1. The Program Manager, Case Development and Oversight (CDO), reports to the Director, Whistleblower Office.

  2. Case Development and Oversight is primarily responsible for reviewing and developing information submitted by Whistleblowers, coordinating with the Operating Divisions, and recommending award percentages based on feedback from the Operating Divisions.

  3. To accomplish its mission, the Chief Case Development and Oversight Branch:

    1. Evaluates the validity of the submissions, filed by whistleblowers for awards.

    2. Refers cases to Operating Divisions and the Initial Claim Evaluation Team (ICE), as appropriate.

    3. Provides coordination with the Operating Divisions to ensure whistleblower submissions are evaluated in a timely manner and in accordance with established policy and procedures.

    4. Monitors the cases through examination, investigation, assessment and collection of proceeds.

    5. Reviews the Operating Divisions' examination results to evaluate the whistleblower's contribution and performs complex award calculations in order to recommend the award percentage and amount.

    6. Prepares a proposed determination to the Director, Whistleblower Office.

    7. Acts as liaison for the Whistleblower Office and all Operating Divisions.

    8. Monitors trends to drive policy and procedural changes.

1.1.26.2.1.1  (08-11-2015)
Award Recommendation & Coordination

  1. The Manager, Award Recommendation & Coordination (ARC), reports to the Program Manager, Case Development and Oversight.

  2. ARC provides litigation support and award processing for the Whistleblower Office.

  3. To accomplish its responsibilities, ARC will:

    1. Coordinate information requests from Counsel

    2. Recommend award percentages based on feedback from the operating division.

    3. Review award amount calculations prior to Director approval.

1.1.26.2.2  (08-11-2015)
Strategic Planning and Program Administration

  1. The Program Manager, Strategic Planning and Program Administration (SPPA), reports to the Director, Whistleblower Office.

  2. SPPA provides administration of budget, policy and procedure guidance, personnel, staffing activities, strategic planning, and acts as a congressional liaison for the Whistleblower Office

  3. To accomplish its responsibilities, SPPA will:

    1. Develop strategic objectives and plans for the Director, Whistleblower Office, which further Whistleblower Office initiatives and also monitors and executes those plans.

    2. Maintain a high level of communication with CDO and with Counsel to address changing needs and emerging issues.

    3. Manages the financial resources of the Whistleblower Office including tracking resource usage against targets and establishing financial policies, procedures, and controls in accordance with overall Service guidelines and procedures.

    4. Developing and issuing procedural guidance and technical analysis for administering the Whistleblower award program.

    5. Develops educational strategies and designs curriculum focusing on developing Whistleblower Office key competencies.

    6. Supports Whistleblower Office with workforce forecasting, recruitment planning and identification, and resolution of Division-wide labor management issues.

    7. Provides strategy and oversight for all internal and external communications affecting Whistleblower Office, including marketing and media relations

    8. Developing data collection requirements and performing data analysis in order to measure program results

    .

1.1.26.2.2.1  (08-11-2015)
Initial Claim Evaluation

  1. The manager, Initial Claim Evaluation Team (ICE), reports to the SPPA Program Manager.

  2. ICE is the primary receipt and control function responsible for performing whistleblower claim intake, monitoring, award processing, and responding to correspondence and telephone inquiries from internal and external customers.

1.1.26.3  (08-11-2015)
Definition of Terms

  1. Whistleblower - IRS guidance refers to the individual who files a claim for an award as a whistleblower, so that term is used throughout the process.

  2. Informant - The prior law referred to the person who filed a claim for an award as an "informant" and referred to the program as the "Informant Claims Program." This term is generally only used now when referring to the prior program.

  3. Claimant - This term refers to the person who files a Form 211, Application for Award for Original Information. The claimant is also the whistleblower.

  4. Claim - The claim for an award is the actual form used which is Form 211, Application for Award for Original Information.

  5. Pre-Enactment Claims - This term is applied to all claims involving information submitted prior to enactment of the amendments to section 7623, which were effective December 20, 2006. These claims are handled under the prior discretionary rules.

  6. Post-Enactment Claims - Claims filed on December 20, 2006 or later are in this category. Claims will be identified either as an "A" claim or a "B" claim.

  7. "A" Claims -"A" claims are those in which the alleged amount does not qualify for "B" claims status; that is, the amount alleged does not rise to the level of the thresholds established for "B" claims.

  8. "B" Claims - These claims are those where the total tax, penalties, interest, additional to tax, and additional amounts in dispute must exceed $2 million and if the case involves an individual, the individual’s gross income for any year at issue must exceed $200,000.

1.1.26.4  (06-08-2010)
Resources

  1. The following resources provide additional information on the Whistleblower Office:

    • Whistleblower Office website - http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/bu/wo/default.aspx

    • IRS.gov public website - http://irs.gov then enter key word whistleblower

    • IRM 25.2.2, Information and Whistleblower Awards, Whistleblower Awards Form 211, Application for Award for Original Information

1.1.26.5  (08-11-2015)
Filing a Claim

  1. As outlined in the Instructions for the Form 211, Application for Award for Original Information, individuals submitting information under IRC 7623(a) or IRC 7623(b) must complete IRS Form 211 (available on www.irs.gov) and send the completed form to:

    Internal Revenue Service
    Whistleblower Office - ICE
    M/S 4110
    1973 N Rulon White Blvd
    Ogden, UT 84404


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