Trust and the IRS

Tue, May 21, 2013 12:01 PM | Deleted user

Bookmark and Share 


As the fallout continues from revelations about IRS targeting Tea Party groups, we learn more about trust. The initial diagnosis was that there were “partisan motives” which would be a violation of ethics (lack of fairness) and unconstrained self-interest (a lack of benevolent intentions or motives). As the story unfolds, evidence is appearing as it often does.  The root cause of the trust violations was incompetence – there was a “group of bad apples” who were not following proper procedures in part because they were poorly supervised and overwhelmed by the task confronting them.


To be truly trustworthy an organization must have multiple elements of trustworthiness:

  • Benevolent intent – do good when it is possible
  • Competence - deliver on commitments 
  • Integrity – do what you say you will
  • Predictability – develop a track record of reliability
  • Open communication – listen and communicate openly

These elements need to be deeply and pervasively embedded in the DNA of the firm to warrant stakeholders’ trust.  The IRS is only one of many institutions that need major work before they can be considered trustworthy. It’s time we stopped the blame and hyperbole and got to work in earnest to build trustworthy organizations!

Follow us at  

Consortium for Trustworthy Organizations 2013  |  33 West 60th Street 4th Floor  |  New York, NY 10023
Powered by Wild Apricot. Try our all-in-one platform for easy membership management