Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
Inspections and Evaluations
Highlights of Report Number: 2012-IE-R003 to the IRS’s Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support.
WHY TIGTA DID THIS STUDY
This project was initiated to determine if the IRS properly and timely pre-screens applicants before they are hired.
WHAT TIGTA RECOMMENDED
TIGTA recommended that the Human Capital Officer develop requirements and retention policies to ensure that pre-screening actions are consistently completed and fully documented.
In their response to the report, IRS management agreed they could implement the recommendation, and plans to primarily use electronic files (the CareerConnector Companion and the Automated Background Investigation System) to record and verify the completion of pre-screening applicants. Additionally, management plans to enhance the CareerConnector Companion to improve record-keeping and monitoring capabilities. Management also issued guidance related to record retention policies for pre-screening actions.
Issued on February 28, 2012
INSPECTION OF THE EMPLOYEE PRE-SCREENING PROCESS
WHAT TIGTA FOUND
Many IRS employees must have access to sensitive taxpayer information to administer the Nation’s tax system. The IRS must be particularly cognizant of hiring only those applicants who hold themselves to the highest standards of integrity. The IRS uses several controls to deter and detect the abuse of sensitive information. Pre-screening applicants and conducting background investigations of those applicants are the initial steps that the IRS takes to ensure that it meets the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and security.
Reviews at four of nine Employment Operations branch offices revealed that nearly 77 percent of the cases reviewed (507 of 662 cases) did not have sufficient documentation to verify that the Employment Operations offices completed all of the required pre-screening steps before the employee reported for duty. The managers located in the Employment, Talent and Security Division, who have oversight of Employment Operations, noted that the documentation that was not included in the employees’ case files could be obtained from other sources as needed. However, if this documentation is not located in the case file, an employee would have to repeat steps originally completed by another employee to provide support for managers or third parties responsible for oversight. Additionally, repeating steps after the employee reports for duty does not provide evidence that pre-screening steps were completed before the employee’s enter-on-duty date.
READ THE FULL REPORT
To view the report, including the scope, methodology, and full IRS response, go to:
Email Address: TIGTACommunications@tigta.treas.gov
Phone Number: 202-622-6500
Web Site: http://www.tigta.gov