Noem Seeks to Bring Greater Integrity to IRS Hiring with New Legislation
NEW REPORT: IRS rehired 200+ former employees who had been previously terminated for misconduct
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Kristi Noem, a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, today introduced the Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act, which would prohibit the IRS from rehiring an employee who has been fired for certain forms of misconduct. The legislation comes in the wake of a Treasury Department report released this week that shows the IRS rehired more than 200 former employees between January 2015 and March 2016 that had previously been terminated for misconduct or performance issues.
“This is about having a basic respect for hardworking taxpayers,” said Noem. “An agency with access to our most sensitive financial data has repeatedly rehired employees who had already been fired for things like accessing taxpayer information without authorization, threatening their coworkers, or repeatedly falsifying documents. If the IRS won’t instill commonsense hiring practices within the agency, we will work to write them into law.”
The Treasury Department report found “former employees were selected for rehire without fully considering prior conduct and performance issues.” The report went on to detail examples of the misconduct that was overlooked:
- “Two rehired employees had repetitively falsified employment forms by omitting prior convictions or terminations.”
“Two rehired employees were previously terminated for failure to maintain a successful level of performance in multiple critical job elements as tax examining technicians. However, both of these employees were rehired as tax examining technicians less than six months later.”
“One rehired employee had several misdemeanors for theft and a felony for possession of a forgery device.”
“Another rehired employee had threatened his or her co-workers.”
“Three rehired employees had ‘excessive’ absence without leave for more than 270, 150, and 140 hours respectively.”
Moreover, around 7 percent of those rehired faced new conduct or performance issues within one year.
Noem first introduced the Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act in the 114th Congress. While the legislation was passed with broad bipartisan consensus in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016, the legislation did not receive a vote in the U.S. Senate before the 114th Congress gaveled to a close.