IRS Even More Useless Than Before
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is probably the most hated government entity in the United States. They collect taxes, waste billions of taxpayer dollars, and are sometimes even used as political weapons against dissenters (eg. the Tea Party).
Well here’s one more reason to hate them: they keep firing and rehiring the same incompetent employees.
According to report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the IRS has rehired hundreds of employees that they previously terminated for previous conduct or “performance issues.”
Given the fact that employees at the IRS are trusted with some of the most intimate information of citizens and have ample opportunity to commit identity theft, this is wholly disconcerting.
From January 2015 to March 2016 the IRS rehired 213 employees that were previously terminated for a variety of reasons ranging from fraud to failure to follow instructions. Obviously some were worse than others, however.
From page 5 of the report:
In our review of the population of 213 former employees who were terminated or separated during an investigation of a substantiated conduct or performance issue and were rehired between January 2015 and March 2016, we identified examples of significant prior conduct issues. Some of these employees held positions with access to sensitive taxpayer information, such as contact representatives. Figure 1 provides a breakdown of some of the more serious conduct issues these employees had during prior employment with the IRS.
The report goes on to give specific examples of incompetency from the IRS. Just read this (emphasis added):
Two rehired employees had repetitively falsified employment forms by omitting prior convictions or terminations. The IRS selecting official would not have known that these employees had previously been terminated for failing to disclose a prior conviction or termination on their application. In addition, the IRS compounded this issue by not considering additional nondisclosures during the suitability review when the employees re-applied for a position with the IRS. In one case, the nondisclosure of a prior failure to appear for a traffic offense conviction was not considered during the suitability review. In the second case, the nondisclosure of a prior termination due to attendance issues was not considered because prior conduct issues were not reviewed.
Rehiring someone who has let you down is bad enough. It’s especially bad for the IRS given the sensitive information these employees have access to. It’s even worse when the IRS doesn’t even take simple precautions to ensure it won’t happen again.
Which is why some of the rehires already have repeats. From page 8:
One risk of rehiring employees with known conduct or performance issues is that they will repeat the same or other unwanted behavior. Although IRS management stated they believed their process was adequate to mitigate any risks to taxpayers, we found that six (7 percent) of the 90 former employees in our random sample had new conduct or performance issues substantiated within one year of being rehired. For example, three employees had new issues upon being rehired concerning unacceptable performance and inappropriate absence from work, which were the same issues they had during their prior employment with the IRS.
The IRS’s incompetency staggering. It is our sincere hope that the IRS is one day completely abolished, as per Ted Cruz’s recommendations (hopefully soon).