H.R. 3724, Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act of 2015

H.R. 3724

Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act of 2015

Committee
Ways and Means

Date
April 21, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Thursday, April 21, 2016, the House will begin consideration of H.R. 3724, the Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act of 2015, under a closed rule. H.R. 3724 was introduced on October 8, 2015 by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-ND), and was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by voice vote, on April 13, 2016.

 

 

Bill Summary

H.R. 3724 prohibits the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from rehiring any individual who was previously employed by the IRS but was removed for misconduct or whose employment was terminated for cause.

 

Background

According to the U.S. Code, the Commissioner of the IRS is authorized to employ individuals at his or her discretion, unless otherwise specified by the Secretary of the Treasury. As part of the basic obligation of public service, all Federal employees are required to comply with legal and financial obligations. Employees of the IRS are subject to the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch as well as additional rules applicable to the Department of the Treasury.[1]

In February 2015, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (IG) released a report that found there were hundreds of former employees with “prior substantiated conduct or performance issues ranging from tax issues, unauthorized access to taxpayer information, leave abuse, falsification of official forms, unacceptable performance, misuse of IRS property, and off-duty misconduct.”[2] In addition, the IG found that one in five of the rehired employees with a record of prior misconduct had performance issues when they returned to the IRS.[3]

According to the bill’s sponsor, “If a person has been fired for accessing private taxpayer information without permission or filing false documents, they should not be rehired and given access once again to our sensitive data. But the IRS has done this hundreds of times. My bill does what IRS bureaucracy has refused to do. It stops them from rehiring people who have betrayed the trust of taxpayers.  With unanimous consent from the committee, I’m hopeful we can move this commonsense solution forward quickly.”[4]

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[1] See Joint Committee on Taxation, Description of H.R. 3724, A Bill to Amend the Internal Revenue Code Of 1986 To Prevent The Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service From Rehiring Any Employee Who Was Involuntarily Separated From Service For Misconduct (JCX-19-16), April 12, 2016 at 2.
[2] See Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Press Release “Additional Consideration of Prior Conduct and Performance Issues is Needed When Hiring Former Employees” February 5, 2015.
[3] Id.
[4] See Rep. Noem’s Press Release, “Noem’s IRS Workforce Integrity Bill Advances Unanimously” April 13, 2016.

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate is not available at this time. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that implementing H.R. 3724 would have a negligible effect of Federal fiscal year budget receipts for the 2016-2016 period.

 

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.