FOIA Advisor

FOIA News: Cause of Action Institute Files Complaint Against IRS for Destroying Records

FOIA News (2015-16)Kevin SchmidtComment

The Cause of Action Institute (CoA Institute) today filed a legal complaint against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and its commissioner, John Koskinen, for refusing to capture and preserve electronic communications of employees that deal with official business, as required by the law.

CoA Institute President & CEO Alfred J. Lechner, Jr.: “The IRS and Commissioner Koskinen have a legal obligation to preserve official work communications between employees. It appears that federal records are being deleted because the IRS, in a deal with its employee union, refuses to preserve certain types of electronic communications. This lawsuit seeks to ensure that IRS follows the law. No agreement with a union or any other party can supersede Americans right to know how the IRS makes decisions.”

Documents obtained by CoA Institute show that the IRS has a private agreement with its employee union stipulating that the agency will not save the instant message records of its employees. But the IRS cannot allow such an agreement to supersede its statutory obligations to preserve records.  In addition, the IRS is violating the law by regularly deleting all employee text messages as a matter of convenience.

Read more here.

Complaint here.

Full Disclosure: I sent the original FOIA Request.