CBS: IRS Workers Received Bonuses Despite Misconduct

Issa: ‘In the private sector you don’t get bonuses, pay increases, and promotions right after you’ve done something wrong’

Nancy Cordes reported on the newest IRS scandal Wednesday on CBS This Morning.

Internal watchdogs at the IRS found that $2.8 million was paid over the last two years to 2,800 employees who had been disciplined for misconduct including not paying federal taxes.

One of the main problems contained in the report, Cordes points out, is the government does not "provide guidance on providing awards to employees with conduct issues":

The problem, the report points out, is that "the IRS does not consider tax compliance or other misconduct when issuing performance awards."

In fact, "governmentwide policies do not provide guidance on providing awards to employees with conduct issues."

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who chairs the House Oversight Committee, said that needs to change.

"In the private sector, you don't get bonuses, pay increases and promotions right after you've done something wrong, and that's what's really wrong with the culture there," he said. "At a minimum, people should have a timeout from bonuses and promotions after being found doing something wrong. That should be inherently part of the punishment."


Part of the problem, Cordes added, is that these bonuses are written into the contracts between the government and unions for these IRS workers, so they're very difficult to claw back when there's misconduct. The bonuses are practically part of a worker's salary, with 70 percent of IRS workers getting some form of bonus. The IRS says it is working to change the system and it should have some answers by June.