Published on July 26, 2023

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NWC Urges Senators to Stress Importance of IRS Whistleblower Program to Chief Counsel Nominee

WASHINGTON, D.C. | JULY 26, 2022 — Today, National Whistleblower Center (NWC) sent a letter to Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), co-chairs of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, in regards to the recent nomination of Ms. Marjorie Rollinson to be the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). 

NWC notes that the IRS Chief Counsel plays a significant role in the IRS Whistleblower Program and that the Counsel has “at times undermined the program and ultimately limiting the ability of the IRS to go after big-time tax cheats.” 

NWC thus encourages Senators Grassley and Wyden, the former and current Chairs of the Senate Finance Committee, “take this opportunity to impress upon Ms. Rollinson the importance of the IRS Whistleblower Program.” Because, “The Chief Counsel needs to support efforts by the Director of the IRS Whistleblower Office to strengthen and improve the program by both encouraging whistleblowers to come forward and making awards to whistleblowers.” 

“NWC has a special interest in the effective appointment of key individuals who hold roles that impact whistleblower programs,” said NWC Executive Director Siri Nelson. “The IRS Chief Counsel is a pivotal role that has a major impact on the success of the IRS Whistleblower Program. The nomination of Ms. Rollinson is a clear opportunity to highlight the importance of setting the expectation that these roles will be filled with forethought to whistleblower protections and incentives. Senator Wyden and Senator Grassley have long been leaders in ensuring that legislators are thinking about whistleblowers, as co-chairs of the Senate whistleblower caucus, we trust that they will continue to put their focus on whether Ms. Rollinson is prepared to support the IRS whistleblower program in their process of evaluating her nomination to be the Chief Counsel of the IRS Whistleblower Program.” 

Modernized in 2006, the IRS Whistleblower Program has greatly aided the IRS’s enforcement efforts, allowing the agency to recover over $6 billion dollars. NWC notes, however, that the program “is at a pivotal point – with dollars collected and awards distributed coming out flat for the past several years.”  

As part of their letter, NWC included a memorandum detailing a number of areas of concern which the organization hopes the Senators will raise with Ms. Rollinson. These include an improperly narrow definition of “any administrative action,” improper limits on who can be a whistleblower, and the undermining of the Director of Whistleblower Office’s role in making award determinations. 

NWC Executive Director Siri Nelson is available for comment. For more information, contact NWC at 


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NWC is the leading nonprofit working with whistleblowers worldwide to fight corruption and protect people and the environment. For over 30 years, NWC has won policies to protect whistleblowers from retaliation and reward them for helping deliver criminal and civil penalties against wrongdoers. 

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