According to a report by the Inspector General of the Treasury in the Tax Administration (TIGTA), the IRS is successfully using a new congressional authority to streamline and streamline the process of hiring IT contracts eligible for the bonus.
The TIGTA report analyzes whether the IRS’s implementation of its recently granted Simplified Critical Payment Authorization (SCP) complies with established laws, policies and regulations. Authority was granted in 2019 when Congress enacted the First Taxpayers Act, which amended the 1986 Internal Revenue Code to modernize the IRS. Section 2103 of the legislation, entitled Simplified Critical Payment Authorization for Information Technology Sites, restored SCP authority to the IRS. Congress had initially granted the IRS SCP authority in 1998, but expired in 2013.
Congress included authority as a means for the IRS to strengthen its cybersecurity to better protect taxpayers from identity theft and return fraud. TIGTA cited the House Ways and Means Committee’s First Act of Taxpayer report, which stated that “the IRS must be able to hire and retain private sector experts in highly specialized areas of information technology. The Committee believes that the IRS’s ability to recruit these experts was aided by the now outdated rationalization of the critical paying authority, and considers that reauthorization is appropriate. “
Under the restored authority, the IRS can make up to 40 new contracts at a time and incorporate new employees within six to eight weeks. The legislation also required that employees hired under the SCP authority be able to work for the IRS for up to four years and that the IRS be able to expedite the dismissal of employees hired under the new authority for low performance. The authority expires in 2025, unless Congress authorizes it again. Congress also set a salary cap for SCP hirings of $ 253,300 by 2020 and said employees hired under the new authority could not have previously worked for the IRS.
TIGTA found that the activities of the IRS SCP authority complied with the requirements of section 2103 of the first taxpayer law, policies and related regulations. To date, the IRS has used SCP authority for seven new contracts, including a senior data architect, CIO associate for business operations, and directors of infrastructure services and online services. The report said the seven candidate packages had been approved by the IRS commissioner, that the four-year appointment terms were clearly stipulated in the letters of the final bid and the compensation limits were followed. In addition, none of those appointed by SCP had previously been employed by the IRS.
The agency also updated nine existing job descriptions and created a new site description for the senior data architect site. TIGTA said the 10 SCP position descriptions created “generally reflected the need for more advanced technical knowledge and experience.”
Based on the successful implementation of the SCP authority by the IRS, TIGTA did not offer any recommendations as part of the report, but noted that the IRS agreed with the facts. and conclusions of TIGTA.