Office of Management and Budget Controller Danny Werfel has been tapped as acting commissioner at the Internal Revenue Service, after Steven Miller was forced to resign following revelations that the agency had been extra stringent with conservative groups asking for tax-exempt status.
Werfel, who has served as controller since October 2009, will assume his role May 22 and “lead efforts to ensure the IRS implements new safeguards to restore public trust and administers the tax code with fairness and integrity,” according to a May 16 White House statement.
“The American people deserve to have the utmost confidence and trust in their government, and as we work to get to the bottom of what happened and restore confidence in the IRS, Danny has the experience and management ability necessary to lead the agency at this important time,” President Barack Obama said in the statement.
Miller’s resignation came after a Treasury Department inspector general report found that the IRS targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. In a May 15 briefing, Obama called the misconduct ” inexcusable.”
“I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS, given the power that it has and the reach that it has into all of our lives,” he said.
In addition to his controller role, Werfel has served in numerous other capacities at OMB, including as deputy controller, chief of the financial integrity and analysis branch, budget examiner in the education branch, and policy analyst in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
Commenting on Werfel’s appointment, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew praised the OMB official’s work in government service, calling him “an immensely talented and dedicated public servant.”
“Danny has a strong record of raising his hand for — and excelling at — tough management assignments,” Lew continued. “He is also a familiar face on Capitol Hill, where he has testified many times and always demonstrates both his characteristic humility and his complete mastery of the subject matter. I am grateful to him for accepting this new challenge, and I am confident that his self-evident integrity and outstanding management skills will make an immediate difference in helping to restore public confidence in the IRS.”
Obama said Werfel has agreed to serve as acting commissioner through the fiscal yearend.