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New IRS Commissioner Is Sworn In

November 13, 1997

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The new head of the Internal Revenue Service today urged taxpayers to be patient as the agency tries to improve service in the years ahead.

``There is simply no way to fire a magic bullet and achieve the results that we are seeking,″ Charles O. Rossotti said as he was sworn in as IRS commissioner.

Promising to make the IRS more taxpayer-friendly, he said, ``The IRS not only should have a taxpayer advocate, it should be a taxpayer advocate.″

Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin administered the oath of office to Rossotti, 56, who becomes the first non-tax lawyer or accountant to head the agency in decades. Last week, the Senate approved Rossotti by a 92-0 vote.

Rubin praised Rossotti, citing the his experience leading a successful global technology company, American Management Systems of Fairfax, Va., which has 7,000 workers in 53 cities worldwide.

Rossotti’s technology background is expected to be valuable as the IRS grapples with updating its antiquated computer system.

``Charles Rossotti is exceedingly well-equipped to lead the organization at this critical time,″ Rubin said.

Rossotti replaces Michael P. Dolan, a senior IRS executive who has been acting IRS commissioner since May. Dolan stepped in when Margaret Milner Richardson resigned in May.

Some in Congress say Rossotti will encounter difficulty until the Senate acts on legislation to restructure the IRS.

The bill, sponsored by House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Archer, R-Texas, would put in place a new 11-member oversight board and modify rules to give the commissioner more discretion on personnel matters.

The House passed this bill last week, and the Senate is expected to act on it next year.

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