The IRS fired half as many people as it did three years ago for such misconduct as unauthorized access to taxpayer information, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The data indicate the tax agency may have been focusing too much on employee satisfaction, said former commissioner Mark W. Everson.
“In the last several years one of the overriding objectives was to make the IRS a better place to work,” Everson, who led the agency from 2003 to 2007, said in an interview. “That, to some degree, gave rise to excessive spending on conferences and maybe changing disciplinary procedures.”
The IRS terminated 74 workers for misconduct in the six months that ended March 31, or less than 0.1 percent of the tax agency’s approximately 90,000-person workforce, according to government data. Firings of IRS employees for any reason declined by 46 percent from fiscal 2008 through 2012 and are on pace for another decline this year.