Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

TIGTA: The IRS Continues To Rehire Hundreds Of Former Employees With Conduct And Performance Issues

TIGTAThe Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration has released The Internal Revenue Service Continues to Rehire Former Employees With Conduct and Performance Issues (2017-10-035):

From January 1, 2015, through March 31, 2016, the IRS hired nearly 7,500 employees, of which more than 2,000 had been previously employed by the IRS. ... The IRS has not effectively updated or implemented hiring policies to fully consider past IRS conduct and performance issues prior to making a tentative decision to hire former employees, including those who were terminated or separated during an investigation of a substantiated conduct or performance issue.

While most employees who are rehired do not have prior conduct or performance issues, TIGTA found that more than 200 (approximately 10 percent) of the more than 2,000 former employees who were rehired between January 2015 and March 2016 were previously terminated from the IRS or separated while under investigation for a substantiated conduct or performance issue.

More than 150 of these employees (approximately 75 percent) were seasonal. Four of the more than 200 employees had been terminated or resigned for willful failure to properly file their Federal tax returns; four separated while under investigation for unauthorized accesses to taxpayer information; and 86 separated while under investigation for absences and leave, workplace disruption, or failure to follow instructions. This includes positions with access to sensitive taxpayer information, such as contact representatives. ...

Although the IRS may have had a valid basis to rehire some of the more than 200 former employees with prior conduct or performance issues, TIGTA has serious concerns about the IRS’s decision to rehire certain employees, such as those who willfully failed to meet their Federal tax responsibilities.

One former employee with a history of prior convictions, including petty theft, possession of a controlled substance, reckless driving, and prior absence without leave issues, applied for employment and was mistaken for a different applicant with a similar name that the IRS intended to hire. The IRS inadvertently sent the former employee instructions to report for duty and allowed the former employee to enter an IRS building. Once inside the building, the former employee completed paperwork and was sworn in as a Federal Government employee before IRS management identified the mistake. IRS management stated that because the former employee reported for work, was sworn in, and completed certain tasks, the former employee was paid for one day’s work.

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