Watchdog: Follow the Money

Misbehaving IRS employees still got bonuses, agency IG finds

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Internal Revenue Service employees with conduct issues received millions in extra awards between 2010 and 2012, the agency's inspector general has found.

According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, more than 2,800 employees with "conduct issues" received more than $2.8 million in monetary awards, more than 27,000 hours in time-off awards and 175 quality step — or pay grade — increases.

The awards were given between October 2010 and December 2012 to employees ranging from general schedule employees to managers, according to the audit.

For example, more than 1,100 IRS employees had either paid their taxes late or not at all — but received $1,068,912 in cash and 10,582 hours in time-off awards.

Other serious violations found were government travel card misuse, misconduct actions such as drug use and violent threats, and fraud such as claiming unemployment benefits and wrongly entering work attendance.

The issues did, however, result in "written reprimands, suspensions and removal," the audit said.

The awards are meant to "recognize and reward IRS employees for their performance," the audit said.

IRS officials stated that it does not consider conduct issues when giving out awards other than a permanent pay increase, according to TIGTA.

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