IRS caught re-hiring fired employees

  • 4 August 2017
  • NormanL
IRS caught re-hiring fired employees

The IRS has long been a source of bad management, bad policy, and shoddy compliance. And even with a new president in the White House, the agency's bad habits show no signs of changing. Via the Tax Foundation, we get this stunner of a report on how the IRS is re-hiring employees who were fired for cause:

The IRS rehired about 2,000 former employees between January 2015 and March 2016. Of those, 213 had been terminated for performance reasons. Four had been terminated due to not paying their taxes, four for unauthorized access of taxpayers’ accounts, 13 for falsifying documents, and six for misconduct (including one with several theft convictions and a felony conviction for possession of a forgery device).

The Inspector General previously did a report on this issue in December 2014, in which the IRS was provided a list of 824 employees who had been questionably rehired between 2010 and 2013. Sixty of these employees were rehired again by the IRS between 2015 and 2016. Of those 60, five have already been written up based on performance issues.

IRS hiring decision-makers do not have access to applicants’ IRS employment history records. The IRS says doing so would be cost-prohibitive, but the Inspector General concluded that the IRS never performed a cost-benefit analysis.

Twenty-seven of the rehired employees failed to disclose that they were previously terminated by the IRS, as required by the Declaration for Federal Employment form they filled out. The federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) requires that all nondisclosures be referred to OPM for review, which the IRS did not do.

And yes, it gets worse:

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.

The IRS has promised it will change its ways, and clean up its hiring processes. But such promises are but empty words until real change occurs.

We strongly suggest the changes begin at the top, where Obama administration holdover John Koskinen is still in charge. Republicans in Congress have demanded Koskinen be fired, before his term in office ends in November.

The sooner he goes, the sooner the IRS swamp can be drained. 

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