IRS stops outsourcing private debt collection

Here's a good move, although it's more symbolic in terms of savings. IRS Stops using private contractors for debt collection:

So much for privatizing the federal government.

The Internal Revenue Service's decision this week to quit using debt collectors to dun delinquent taxpayers was celebrated by public employee unions as a pendulum shift after watching the Bush administration often opt for private contractors over federal workers to deliver government services.

From Senator Byron Dorgan's website:

U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) applauded the Obama Administration’s decision late yesterday to put an end to the private tax debt collector program at the IRS. Dorgan has long fought to end the wasteful program, saying it makes no sense to spend $80 million on private collectors that have collected only $60 million in net revenue.

Studies of the IRS’s private debt collector program have shown that professional IRS employees are more effective than private contractors at collecting unpaid tax debts. A study released this week showed that IRS workers collect revenue at a cost of 7 cents for each dollar collected, while private collection firms racked up a cost of 24 cents per dollar collected. Professional IRS workers were also more effective, collecting almost three times as much balance due as private firms.

The program to outsource federal tax debt collection to private firms has lost tens of millions of dollars since its start in the fall of 2006.

There is enormous pig fest waste with the privatization of the government. This is a small amount but hopefully it is symbolically important for further things to come.

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