A tenth of former employees rehired by the IRS had disciplinary issues during their previous employment and the agency “has not effectively updated or implemented hiring policies to fully consider past IRS conduct and performance issues,” an IG report has said.
A report said that over a 15-month period starting in January 2015 the IRS hired nearly 7,500 employees, of whom more than 2,000 previously had worked there. About 200 of those had been terminated or separated during an investigation of a substantiated conduct or performance issue, it added.
Four had been terminated or resigned for willful failure to properly file their federal tax returns; four separated while under investigation for unauthorized accesses to taxpayer information; and 86 separated while under investigation for absences and leave, workplace disruption, or failure to follow instructions, it said.
“Although the IRS follows specific criteria to disqualify applicants for employment, past IRS employment history is not provided to the selecting official for consideration when making a tentative hiring decision. IRS officials stated that it would be cost prohibitive to review prior issues before a hiring decision and tentative offer has been made. However, the IRS was unable to provide documented support for this position, it said.
It said IRS management agreed in principle with the recommendations and plans to update current practices and policies to ensure that data reflecting prior performance and misconduct is considered in the hiring process.