Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) has announced that he is reintroducing legislation to stop the Internal Revenue Service Commissioner from rehiring employees who separated from the agency due to conduct or performance issues.
The Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act (S. 1643) is being reintroduced after a Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration (TIGTA) report found that the agency had rehired hundreds of people who had been previously let go for performance reasons.
The TIGTA report stated:
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.
“The rampant abuse at the IRS has continued and thrived for far too long,” said Senator Burr.
“Whether it is the rehiring of previously terminated employees or continuing to give bonuses to poorly performing executives who can’t be fired – the delinquency at the IRS must end. It’s exactly actions like this that erode the public’s trust in their government. The American people are sick and tired of Washington at its worst. We have Americans paying the salaries of IRS workers who have repeatedly cheated the very government they took an oath to serve, and a Commissioner who won’t fire bad actors. The time to put a stop to these atrocious practices is now.”
Burr’s legislation was previously introduced last year but failed to advance. He had introduced it at that time in response to evidence found by another TIGTA audit showing the IRS had repeatedly rehired employees who were fired for poor conduct and performance after a lengthy examination process. The watchdog’s report even found that an employee who had “Do Not Rehire” stamped on the personnel file was rehired.
Burr said at the time, “This is insulting to the American people and the employees who do serve honorably, and simply gives bad actors a chance to bilk the taxpayers a second time. Even an individual with ‘DO NOT REHIRE’ stamped on their files was mistakenly hired again. This practice must end now. It is the definition of insanity.”
A copy of the recent TIGTA report to which Burr’s legislation is referencing is included below.