Even though the Internal Revenue Service hired 1,515 new revenue officers between June 2009 and February 2010, the agency still faces challenges keeping pace with attrition and an increasing workload.
A new report released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration on Monday found that the IRS’s planned hiring in fiscal years 2011 and 2012 will barely cover losses.
IRS revenue officers help collect taxes due and have a direct impact on the IRS’s ability to fulfill its mission, the report noted. TIGTA’s report found that despite the hires, the net increase of revenue officers working delinquent accounts was only 580 revenue officers, due to attrition. Meanwhile, the percentage of delinquent accounts closed by revenue officers has steadily decreased because of increasing inventory.
“This report reveals that the same challenge faced by all federal agencies is just as problematical for the IRS,” said TIGTA Inspector General J. Russell George in a statement. “A key element of effective workforce planning is determining the size of the workforce needed to meet organizational goals and identifying gaps between current and future workforce needs.”
TIGTA made two recommendations to assist the IRS in its ability to optimize staffing levels and track performance results. The report recommended that IRS officials establish rules for optimizing staffing levels for revenue officers to address potentially collectible inventory and develop methods to track actual results with projected benefits in future budget justifications. IRS management agreed with the first recommendation but stated that it already is working on a plan to track performance results. Since IRS officials did not share the plan with TIGTA during the review, the audit did not assess whether those efforts address the recommendation.
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