At IRS, hundreds of fired and reprimanded employees are rehired

Apparently, at the IRS, if you're a fired or reprimanded former employee, you can always go home again.

Treasury's inspector general for tax administration issued a report that shows hundreds of former IRS employees with conduct issues have been rehired in recent years. Those conduct issues include, "purposefully not filing their taxes, wrongly authorizing taxpayer information and lying on official forms"

Even former employees with drug issues and a prison record have been rehired.

The Hill:

“Based on the types of prior performance and conduct issues we identified, rehiring certain employees presents increased risk to the IRS and taxpayers,” J. Russell George, the tax administration inspector general, said in a statement.

The inspector general's report also raised the ire of congressional Republicans, who already have a wide range of issues with the IRS. 

GOP lawmakers this week criticized John Koskinen, the IRS commissioner, for awarding bonuses to staffers with conduct issues, including being late on their taxes, at the same time the agency was decrying budget cuts. 

“As if asking for a budget increase while still awarding bonuses to IRS employees that owe back taxes wasn’t rich enough, today we learn the IRS spent federal funds to rehire those with known, and often serious, employment problems,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in a statement.

“IRS employees must be held to high standards to ensure that taxpayers are protected, and there is no reason to hire employees who have already failed to uphold those expectations. Sadly, such double standards often fall on the backs of hard-working taxpayers."

In all, the inspector general found that more than one in 10 of the employees that the IRS rehired between January 2010 and September 2013 — 824 of 7,168 — had prior employment issues. Of those, 141 had documented tax problems.

The IRS brushed aside the inspector general's concerns over its hiring practices. The agency's Daniel Riordan told the watchdog that the IRS has "determined its current process is more than adequate to mitigate any risks to American taxpayers, federal agency and its employees."

Just how does the IRS evaluate its "current process" to determine that the American taxpayer isn't at risk? That's bureaucratic gobbledegook. The IRS doesn't have a clue whether a fired employee will continue to make trouble for the agency. Some of them, no doubt, have learned how to hide their "conduct issues" better than in their previous tenure. But generally speaking, it's a crap shoot when it comes to predicting the future behavior of anyone.

The idea that there aren't qualified applicants for every job opening at the agency who haven't been in jail, or have a drug problem, or some other conduct issue is ridiculous. IRS managers are just too lazy to vet new employees and appear ready to hire the devil they know rather than one they don't know.

 

Apparently, at the IRS, if you're a fired or reprimanded former employee, you can always go home again.

Treasury's inspector general for tax administration issued a report that shows hundreds of former IRS employees with conduct issues have been rehired in recent years. Those conduct issues include, "purposefully not filing their taxes, wrongly authorizing taxpayer information and lying on official forms"

Even former employees with drug issues and a prison record have been rehired.

The Hill:

“Based on the types of prior performance and conduct issues we identified, rehiring certain employees presents increased risk to the IRS and taxpayers,” J. Russell George, the tax administration inspector general, said in a statement.

The inspector general's report also raised the ire of congressional Republicans, who already have a wide range of issues with the IRS. 

GOP lawmakers this week criticized John Koskinen, the IRS commissioner, for awarding bonuses to staffers with conduct issues, including being late on their taxes, at the same time the agency was decrying budget cuts. 

“As if asking for a budget increase while still awarding bonuses to IRS employees that owe back taxes wasn’t rich enough, today we learn the IRS spent federal funds to rehire those with known, and often serious, employment problems,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in a statement.

“IRS employees must be held to high standards to ensure that taxpayers are protected, and there is no reason to hire employees who have already failed to uphold those expectations. Sadly, such double standards often fall on the backs of hard-working taxpayers."

In all, the inspector general found that more than one in 10 of the employees that the IRS rehired between January 2010 and September 2013 — 824 of 7,168 — had prior employment issues. Of those, 141 had documented tax problems.

The IRS brushed aside the inspector general's concerns over its hiring practices. The agency's Daniel Riordan told the watchdog that the IRS has "determined its current process is more than adequate to mitigate any risks to American taxpayers, federal agency and its employees."

Just how does the IRS evaluate its "current process" to determine that the American taxpayer isn't at risk? That's bureaucratic gobbledegook. The IRS doesn't have a clue whether a fired employee will continue to make trouble for the agency. Some of them, no doubt, have learned how to hide their "conduct issues" better than in their previous tenure. But generally speaking, it's a crap shoot when it comes to predicting the future behavior of anyone.

The idea that there aren't qualified applicants for every job opening at the agency who haven't been in jail, or have a drug problem, or some other conduct issue is ridiculous. IRS managers are just too lazy to vet new employees and appear ready to hire the devil they know rather than one they don't know.