Oversight Committee Issues Subpoena to IRS Official for FOIA Hearing

Published: May 29, 2015

“Compelling a witness to testify under subpoena is not the preference of this Committee.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ahead of next week’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) declined an invitation to allow Mary Howard, the Director of Privacy, Governmental Liaison, and Disclosure, to testify before the Committee. Chairman Jason Chaffetz sent a follow-up letter asking the Agency to reconsider that decision. The IRS once again declined.

Today, Chairman Chaffetz issued a subpoena compelling Ms. Howard to testify and released the following statement:

“Compelling a witness to testify under subpoena is not the preference of this Committee. However, in order to conduct effective oversight we must hear from the individuals with the greatest insight into the issues we are exploring. When an Agency attempts to undermine the role of Congress by refusing to allow a witness to testify, issuing a subpoena is not only necessary but appropriate.” 

The Committee will hold a two-day hearing on Tuesday, June 2, and Wednesday, June 3, to explore the barriers that exist in limiting effective access to public information under FOIA.