Federal Manager's Daily Report

Most IRS employees in positions deemed to be in moderately sensitive positions are overdue for the required background reinvestigations, an inspector general report has said, saying it “believes this backlog presents a high risk to the IRS.”

Agencies are required to conduct reinvestigations each five years of employees in positions designated as a moderate security risk, but of the 42,250 IRS employees with that designation, reinvestigations for 25,520 are overdue. Based on a review of external records, the IG “identified more than 1,000 employees with possible suitability issues, including more than 100 employees with serious criminal issues, e.g., sexual misconduct, fraud, and theft.”

Further, it said the IRS does not use internal employee conduct information to prioritize which reinvestigations to initiate from its backlog and thus “may be focusing its limited resources on employees who present a lesser risk to the integrity.” Based on a review of internal records, the IG “found that approximately 3,000 employees with overdue background reinvestigations had serious misconduct issues since their last background check was completed. Examples of the misconduct identified include violent behavior, sexual misconduct, drug use, and driving while intoxicated.”

The report said that IRS management agreed with its recommendation to develop a risk-based method to prioritize the backlog of background reinvestigations.