Governmental Liaison/Federal Intergovernmental Partnering Program (FIPP)

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KL:

This is Kim Lawson.

I’m talking with Perry Castellani, Chief, Office of Governmental Liaison on how GL’s Federal Intergovernmental Partnering program, FIPP for short, increases collaboration and cooperation in sharing resources and data, thereby leading to increased compliance.

Q1.

Perry, can you provide a BRIEF OVERVIEW of the office of Governmental Liaison?

A1.

Governmental Liaison is an office within the IRS with a strategic mission of establishing positive working relationships with agencies at all levels of government -- Federal, State and Local.

By doing this, we strengthen our nation’s system of taxation

Q2.

How do you ACCOMPLISH your mission?

We Share our Messages, Products and Services with other agencies, thereby leveraging the resources and capacity of these other agencies.

In this way, we expand exponentially our positive outreach and education to the American public via channels we wouldn’t otherwise have.

We also Facilitate Agreements to Exchange tax and non-tax Information and data with other agencies, which augments our tax compliance systems by helping IRS better identify where to apply compliance resources, thereby helping to reduce the tax gap

Q3.

Where does FIPP fit in?

A1.

Governmental Liaison has a long-established and successful role of facilitating joint tax administration relationships between IRS and State taxing authorities - and has traditionally focused its efforts on exchanging tax information.

But these “Fed State” activities entail only a part of governmental partnering we are focusing on now.

A2.

Over the last few years, we have increasingly expanded into partnering with other state agencies besides taxing agencies - let’s call them “non-traditional” agencies.

And we are partnering with them in non-traditional, “innovative” ways.

A3.

On the local government level we are working more and more with city government agencies: and we call that the Municipal Agency Partnering Program (MAPP).

A4.

On the Federal level, we are greatly expanding our relationships with other Federal agencies.

This other ‘bookend’ is called the Federal Intergovernmental Partnering Program (FIPP).

Q4.

So FIPP is the GO-BETWEEN between the IRS and federal governmental agencies?

A1.

That’s right - the Federal Intergovernmental Partnering Program is the go between- the facilitator - for building and maintaining relationships with federal agencies.

I like to explain it by using bike riding as a way to illustrate.

Think of the difference of riding a bicycle alone vs. riding with a group of other riders.

Think of the Tour de France, where you see the cyclists forming in clusters and packs, all bunched up to ride together.

They do this to save energy.

A2.

If we coordinate with each other and collaborate in our work, it’s the same thing --- it’s like catching a free ride --- we don’t have to expend nearly as much energy -- and we get farther more quickly! It’s all about partnering: using each other’s resources to be more efficient rather than expending all your energy ‘going it alone.’

A3.

Doing this is what I like to call “Good Government” And that’s the goal of the Federal Intergovernmental Partnering Program -- FIPP.

It’s the Gateway to Good Government.

Q5.

Can you be more SPECIFIC?

A1.

Sure...

FIPP accomplishes 4 major things;

First, it provides a SYSTEMIC, coordinated approach for the IRS to expand existing and establish new relationships with federal agencies.

In other words, it establishes a ONE STOP SHOP in IRS for facilitating relationships with federal agencies.

A2.

Second, FIPP leverages the INFORMATION and RESOURCES of other federal agencies to enhance tax compliance and to improve coordinated outreach and education by facilitating exchange agreements and memos of understanding

A3.

Third, FIPP maintains a centralized IRS INVENTORY of current agreements and projects with federal agencies.

This is a tremendous resource - having everything in one place.

This is especially helpful in avoiding ‘reinventing the wheel’ - and for establishing regular points of contact with large federal agencies.

A4.

And finally, FIPP supports President Obama’s inauguration day memo on TRANSPARENCY AND OPEN GOVERNMENT -- which says that agencies should cooperate among themselves at all levels of government.

Q6.

What is the BREADTH of FIPP activities?

A1.

IRS has approximately 120 initiatives in its inventory, including information sharing, joint compliance activities, and numerous outreach and education partnering initiatives which provides for numerous product delivery channels

A2.

The constantly evolving and expanding inventory currently includes 34 federal agencies with whom we partner, such as the Dept of Labor, Housing and Urban Development, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Social Security Administration, one of our strongest partners, just to name a few.

A3.

These initiatives demonstrate the value of federal partnering to the IRS.

I believe that FIPP has just scratched the surface in working with federal agencies in these kinds of joint compliance and collaborative outreach and education programs.

Q7.

ANYTHING else you’d like to add?

A1.

Regardless of what our program, role or responsibility is within the IRS or in any agency, we all share a common goal -- and that is to effectively administer our programs to provide the best possible service to the nation’s taxpayers.

All government agencies are related in this regard.

A2.

Therefore, the success of the FIPP is measured by the extent to which the IRS business programs and those of other agencies benefit from the relationship and partnering initiatives with other agencies

A3.

The more we identify our commonalities and take the next steps of linking up with each other to leverage each other’s resources, the more efficient we will make things for everyone involved.

A4.

Just like bicycle riding in a group to catch a free ride -- we are doing the right thing --- and truly providing ‘Good Government’ for America’s taxpayers.

A5.

If you wish to obtain more information, please contact us at the following e-mail address: irs.fipp@irs.gov.

KIM:

Thank you, Perry.

I’ve been talking with Perry Castellani of the IRS.

This is Kim Lawson.