April 28, 2014

Kaine Calls For Investigation Of Bonuses Reportedly Awarded To IRS Employees With Conduct Issues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter to Katherine Archuleta, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and John Koskinen, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine called for swift action in the wake of recent reports that millions of dollars’ worth of pay and awards were given to IRS employees who had conduct issues resulting in disciplinary actions and to employees who owe delinquent taxes.

“Incidents like that of the IRS are unacceptable and cannot go unaddressed. We must be responsible stewards of the taxpayers’ money,” Kaine wrote. “It is important that OPM study and explain the circumstances that led to these oversights; detail how these mistakes will be avoided in the future; and ensure swift action in remedying the situation. In addition, I would like to request a thorough examination of other federal agencies’ compensation structures to ensure this will not happen again.”

In the letter, Kaine called for a clear directive for all federal agencies and offered his support for any legislative efforts that may be necessary to avoid future mistakes.

“Our nation’s taxpayers deserve to understand what issues led to this oversight and how to prevent it in the future,” wrote Kaine.

Full text of the letter is below:    

Dear Director Archuleta,

I write to you in light of recent reports regarding the federal government’s compensation policies.  I am concerned by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s recent report that millions of dollars’ worth of pay and awards were given both to some Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees who had conduct issues resulting in disciplinary actions and to employees who owe delinquent taxes.  There should be clear guidelines in place that apply to all federal agencies preventing such pay and awards in the future.

Parameters and controls are necessary where they currently do not exist and need to be fully enforced where they do exist – to prohibit federal employees from receiving bonuses when such issues are present.  Incidents like that of the IRS are unacceptable and cannot go unaddressed. We must be responsible stewards of the taxpayers’ money. It is important that OPM study and explain the circumstances that led to these oversights; detail how these mistakes will be avoided in the future; and ensure swift action in remedying the situation. In addition, I would like to request a thorough examination of other federal agencies’ compensation structures to ensure this will not happen again.

I am a strong supporter of our federal workforce and recognize that the vast majority of federal workers are above reproach and serve our country honorably – all the more reason to address the issue and set a clear directive for all federal agencies.  Our nation’s taxpayers deserve to understand what issues led to this oversight and how to prevent it in the future.     

I am ready to assist in any legislative efforts that may be necessary to ensure such a situation does not occur again.  Thank you for your attention to this matter. 

Sincerely,
Tim Kaine

cc:        The Honorable John Koskinen, IRS Commissioner

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