Educational Editorial: Governmental compliance

By Dr. Bill Bosher, NBC12 Educational Specialist

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A colleague once came into my office and said, "An investigator from the IRS is on the phone." While there was nothing to hide, the mere notion that an IRS investigator wanted to talk sent my blood pressure up and my voice down an octave.

With an involuntary sheepish whisper, I took the call, "Investigator, this is Bill Bosher…how can I help you?"

The investigator asserted, "Coach, this is Eddie…how are you doing."

I said "Doggone you Eddie, I am about to have a heart attack…don't ever call me that way again."

While our colleagues who work in governmental compliance are simply doing their jobs, the agencies that they serve, at times, get overly zealous.

I recall reading that I was going to be sued by a Federal agency for non-compliance, I called Philadelphia to asked why I had been informed through the local media. The response was, "public pressure is one of our strongest enforcement tools."

What about the issue of guilt or innocence? After months of legal fees and enormous staff time, the "charges" were dropped…and it was noted on the back page of the newspaper.

Such seems to be the case in Henrico. The Civil Rights Office has been conducting an investigation since September. While there is no formal complaint, they have refused to say why Henrico was selected.

Hearings will now be held on May 23 and 24 for the public to offer examples of discrimination. The last time that this happened Henrico was given a clean bill of health.

Perhaps the Feds strategy is like the officer sitting on the side of the road…we slow down even when we are not speeding. But not unlike Eddie's call, perhaps they could have announced their intentions a little earlier.

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