The IRS seems to be in a constant state of administrative shambles.  Former IRS employees fired for falsifying documents, illegally accessing taxpayer information, and a range of other conduct, ethics, and legal issues are being rehired by the same agency that fired them.  This rehiring reportedly occurs despite flags and notes on the former-employee’s personnel file.

The IRS claims that it’s too “cost prohibitive” to verify that the employees they hire had not already been fired by the agency.

You can’t make this stuff up.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

The Internal Revenue Service rehired employees who were previously involved in agency misconduct such as falsifying documents or having unauthorized access to sensitive taxpayer information, according to an audit from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Considering that identify theft is a major concern, auditors wanted to inspect the agency to ensure the individuals they hire are of high integrity in safeguarding sensitive taxpayer information.

The auditors found there were 200 employees who were rehired between January 2015 and March 2016 that were terminated or separated from the agency that were either under investigation or had some misconduct that caused them to leave.

These employees had conduct issues such as falsifying employment forms or documents, unauthorized use of taxpayer accounts, misuse of email or property, absence and leave issues, workplace disruption, failure to follow instructions, and violations of the Internal Revenue Code, to name a few.

“Two rehired employees had repetitively falsified employment forms by omitting prior convictions or terminations,” the auditors 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.”

“Three rehired employees had ‘excessive’ absence without leave for more than 270, 150, and 140 hours respectively, and one rehired employee was cited for unprofessional conduct based on a verbal altercation with a security guard at an IRS facility,” auditors said.

Needless to say, someone fired for an ethics or conduct issue and then rehired will be more likely to repeat the original offense/s.

The Washington Free Beacon continues:

The report notes it is likely if an employee has had a previous misconduct issue, he is likely to do it again upon being rehired. Seven percent of employees in the sample that was evaluated had performance issues after one year of being rehired.

When the IRS makes a decision to hire a former employee, it does not have an effective way to evaluate past conduct. For example, an employee that abused leave policies had a “do not rehire” note on their personnel files, and the IRS rehired the employee anyway.

“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,” the auditors said. “IRS officials stated that it would be cost prohibitive to review prior issues before a hiring decision and tentative offer has been made.”

Auditors recommend that the agency have access to former employee conduct through the IRS human capital officer and document why they are rehiring the employee.

The report states that of the 2,000 employees hired by the IRS in 2015 and 2016, more than 200 had been previously fired by the agency.

In addition to the aforementioned issues, some of the rehired IRS employees had actually filed false tax returns for themselves.

Newsmax reports:

The report noted more than 200 of the 2,000 former IRS employees hired in 2015 and 2016 had been dismissed by the agency or left while under investigation, according to the Examiner.

Four had cheated on their own tax returns and another four had been probed for improperly accessing taxpayer records, the website said.

“The Internal Revenue Service continues to rehire former employees with conduct and performance issues,” the report states.

“Given the substantial threat of identity theft and the magnitude of sensitive information that the IRS holds, hiring employees of high integrity is essential to maintaining public trust in tax administration and safeguarding taxpayer information,” the report said.

“The IRS has not effectively updated or implemented hiring policies to fully consider past IRS conduct and performance issues prior to making a tentative decision to hire former employees, including those who were terminated or separated during an investigation of a substantiated conduct or performance issue.”

Upon learning of this outrageous practice, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) has introduced a bill to stop the insanity.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., announced Thursday he will reintroduce a bill aimed at improving accountability at the Internal Revenue Service, after a report from the IRS inspector general said the IRS re-hired hundreds of people who were let go by the IRS for performance issues.

“The rampant abuse at the IRS has continued and thrived for far too long,” Burr said in an emailed statement. “Whether it is the rehiring of previously terminated employees or continuing to give bonuses to poorly performing executives who can’t be fired – the delinquency at the IRS must end. It’s exactly actions like this that erode the public’s trust in their government.”

. . . . “The American people are sick and tired of Washington at its worst. We have Americans paying the salaries of IRS workers who have repeatedly cheated the very government they took an oath to serve, and a commissioner who won’t fire bad actors,” Burr concluded. “The time to put a stop to these atrocious practices is now.”