Today, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed Rep. Kristi Noem’s legislation prohibiting the IRS from rehiring employees previously fired for certain kinds of misconduct. Noem’s Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act comes after a Treasury Department investigation uncovered evidence proving the IRS rehired over 200 former employees between January 2015 and March 2016 who had been terminated for misconduct or performance issues.

“South Dakota taxpayers shouldn’t have to worry that someone who has already been fired for mismanaging their hard-earned dollars will be hired again,” said Noem. “We need to know there is integrity in the IRS, and when they rehire people who have already mishandled our most sensitive data, that integrity is broken. This bill puts commonsense oversight provisions on the agency handling our personal information and makes sure people who don’t respect taxpayer resources don’t work at the IRS. I am hopeful the Senate will move quickly to put these practical protections in place.”

The Treasury Department report found previously-fired employees had been rehired without investigation into previous performance issues. The report went on to detail examples of the misconduct that were overlooked:

  • “Two rehired employees had repeatedly falsified employment forms by omitting prior convictions or terminations.”
  • “Two rehired employees were previously terminated for failure to maintain a successful level of performance in multiple critical job elements as tax examining technicians. However, both of these employees were rehired as tax examining technicians less than six months later.”
  • “One rehired employee had several misdemeanors for theft and a felony for possession of a forgery device.”
  • “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.”

Noem first introduced the Ensuring Integrity in the IRS Workforce Act in the 114th Congress. While the bill passed the House with broad bipartisan consensus, the legislation did not receive a vote in the U.S. Senate before the 114th Congress closed. Noem reintroduced the bill on July 27, 2017.

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