The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rehired 213 employees who had previously been employed by the IRS but were let go for various conduct and performance issues, according to a recent report from the Office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
From January 2015 through March 2016, the IRS hired almost 7,500 employees – 2,000 of those employees had been previously employed by the IRS.
Of those 2,000 employees, the July report found that 213 former employees who were rehired had been “terminated or separated during an investigation of a substantiated conduct or performance issue.” Some of those employees had positions with access to sensitive taxpayer information.
Issues for those employees’ initial firing included potential IRS violations or tax issues – likely not paying taxes, unauthorized access to taxpayer information, falsifying forms, equipment misconduct, and workplace disruption or failure to follow instructions, the report said.
“One rehired employee had several misdemeanors for theft and a felony for possession of a forgery device, and another rehired employee had threatened his or her co-workers,” the report said, citing misconduct for a rehired employee.
According to the report:
“Based on the number of employees who are rehired with prior employment issues and the sensitive nature of taxpayer information handled by IRS employees, we continue to believe that it is important for the IRS to consider prior conduct and performance issues before making a tentative employment offer. Providing the selecting official with access to an applicant’s past employment history when making a hiring decision would allow consideration of this information to hire the best candidate for the position and reduce the likelihood for an adverse impact on the integrity of the Federal service. This is significant because the time spent by IRS managers addressing repetitive conduct or performance issues is time taken away from serving taxpayers and enforcing the tax law. Further, if the IRS becomes aware of the prior conduct or performance issues earlier in the process and decides to rehire the individual anyway, the basis for this decision should be clearly documented.”