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Jack Lew Promises Quick Changes at the IRS

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said there will be quick results on any reshaping of the Internal Revenue Service. Acting Commissioner Daniel Werfel will “get started full-bore next Wednesday and within 30 days he will report to me and we will report to the president on actions taken,” Lew told me on Bloomberg Television today.

Werfel is going to look into whether there is a “systemic” problem at the tax agency, Lew said, and whether additional people are going to be held accountable and any failures in management corrected.

This follows revelations that the IRS has targeted conservative organizations for special scrutiny for tax-exempt status.

In our interview, Lew said that he was briefed on the general inquiry, without any specifics, when he became secretary in March. But like President Barack Obama, Lew says he didn’t know the details until a week ago. He says he has no tolerance for this type of behavior.

Lew, who was White House chief of staff before moving to Treasury, ducked a question on why the administration has not yet nominated anyone to be head of the IRS.

(Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)

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