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CFO Gandhi's Statement on Tax Auditors Arrested for Bribery

Monday, August 25, 2003

CFO Gandhi's Statement on Tax Auditors Arrested for Bribery

"We will continue to work with law enforcement officials to catch these types of criminals and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law," said Gandhi.

(Washington, DC) Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi made the following statement today regarding two tax auditors arrested for bribery:

“I am truly appalled that tax auditors from the Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) were arrested today for allegedly soliciting bribes from people to ‘fix’ their tax cases. This is reprehensible, and we will not tolerate this kind of behavior from people who are entrusted with the public’s money. Our Office of Integrity and Oversight fully cooperated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Attorney’s Office in this case. OTR plans to review all of the work activities of these auditors, a capability made possible by the new Integrated Tax System. We will continue to work with law enforcement officials to catch these types of criminals and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”

Gandhi established the Office of Integrity and Oversight (OIO) to review and assure the integrity of the District government’s financial functions when he became chief financial officer in June 2000. Gandhi initiated its predecessor organization, the Office of Internal Audit and Internal Security, which focused almost exclusively on promoting integrity and strengthening tax programs and systems, in 1997 when he headed the District’s tax office.

“District taxpayers deserve a city government that manages its financial affairs properly, with accountability and integrity,” said Gandhi. “The Office of Oversight and Integrity is instrumental in helping to achieve this goal.”

The Office of the Chief Financial Officer has an active fraud detection program. In OTR, which handles hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars annually, fraud probes are made on an ongoing basis. Further, in meetings with tax practitioners, OTR stresses fraud awareness and asks that suspected instances of criminal activity be brought to its attention.

Last year, OIO investigated 61 cases citywide, which led to people resigning, being reassigned or prosecuted. If anyone wants to report tax fraud, waste, and abuse anonymously, please contact the tax fraud hotline at 1-800-380-3495 or via email.