The IRS is slightly over-forgiving to its employees, beginning to rehire hundreds of fired employees. Rep. Kristi Noem, R-S.D., has proposed a bill that would prevent the IRS from rehiring employees fired for misconduct or poor performance, the Daily Signal reported.
“The bill, titled the Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act, follows a recent Treasury inspector general report that shows the IRS rehired more than 200 fired workers in a little over a year. A previous inspector general report proves this problem dates back to at least 2009.
According to the Treasury Department’s inspector general, the IRS did not provide officials responsible for hiring decisions with information about employment history, though that information is readily available. As a result, the IRS—an agency with nearly unrivaled access to citizens’ personal information and capacity to harass individual taxpayers—rehired:
- A fired worker with several misdemeanor theft convictions and one count of felony possession of a forgery device.
- 11 employees previously disciplined for unauthorized access to taxpayer accounts.
- An employee who was absent without leave for 270 hours—the equivalent of 33 work days.
- An employee fired for physically threatening co-workers.
- An employee fired for lying about previous criminal convictions on employment forms.
- 17 employees previously caught falsifying official documents.”
Often, these employees do not have to wait long to get their old offices back. Two IRS employees fired for poor performance were rehired within six months.”
The IRS has been unapologetic about these rehirings. In a letter written to the Inspector General’s Office, the IRS’ chief human capital officer wrote that the IRS “determined its current process is more than adequate to mitigate any risks to American taxpayers, federal agencies, and its employees.”
The IRS does not want to change its hiring practices, so congressional action is necessary. Noem’s bill has a great chance to pass, a previous version of this legislation passed the House, 345-78, a little more than two years ago.
The priority of the IRS shouldn’t be the rehiring of disgruntled and unfit ex-workers, it should be to meet the job description given to them by the U.S. Government.