Public Access Working Group
1742 Connecticut Avenue N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009-1171
April 3, 1998 Dear Senator,
We are writing, as advocates for public access to government information, to urge you to co-sponsor, S. 1901, "the Taxpayers' Internet Assistance Act of 1998," introduced by Senators Patrick Leahy and John Ashcroft. This legislation would assist public access to Internal Revenue Service tax forms, publications, regulations, and rulings by requiring the IRS to make this information available online.
While tax forms and publications, as well as revenue ruling and revenue procedures, are generally available via the World Wide Web currently, other regulations and rulings are not. This is public information that should be easily available to anyone who seeks it.
The mandate in the bill for the IRS to study and report back to the American people on the use of technology in the provision of taxpayer services and information to the public is a critical and timely provision. Such a study is important to ensure that the agency moves forward in its use of technology in a way that secures personal privacy and also considers what is the appropriate use of technology to provide equitable services to all taxpayers.
This legislation will take an important step toward making the IRS a more open and accountable agency of the federal government. For further information, please contact Ed Pagano of Senator Leahy's staff or Bartlett Cleland of Senator Ashcroft's staff.
Thank you for your interest..
American Association of Law Libraries
Center for Democracy and Technology
Congressional Accountability Project
Consumer Project on Technology
Michael Badnarik, Austin, TX
Bruce Bates, West Palm Beach, FL
Colleen Dailey, Boulder, CO
James Neff, Kiplinger Professor of Journalism, Columbus, OH
Carol Ruth Shepherd, Ann Arbor MI