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S. 2345 (114th): IRS Accountability Act of 2015


The text of the bill below is as of Dec 2, 2015 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

114th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 2345

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

December 2, 2015

(for himself, Mr. Isakson, Mr. Scott, Mr. Enzi, Mr. Grassley, and Mr. Heller) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance

A BILL

To establish an expedited process for removal of senior executives of the Internal Revenue Service based on performance or misconduct.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the IRS Accountability Act of 2015.

2.

Removal of senior executives of the Internal Revenue Service for performance or misconduct

(a)

In general

Section 1203 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (26 U.S.C. 7804 note) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(f)

Removal of senior executives based on performance or misconduct

(1)

Removal or transfer

(A)

In general

The Commissioner of Internal Revenue (referred to in this subsection as the Commissioner) may remove an individual employed in a senior executive position at the Internal Revenue Service from the senior executive position if the Commissioner determines the performance or misconduct of the individual warrants such removal. If the Commissioner so removes such an individual, the Commissioner may—

(i)

remove the individual from the civil service (as defined in section 2101 of title 5, United States Code); or

(ii)

in the case of an individual described in subparagraph (B), transfer the individual from the senior executive position to a General Schedule position at any grade of the General Schedule for which the individual is qualified and that the Commissioner determines is appropriate.

(B)

Individuals eligible for transfer

An individual described in this subparagraph is an individual who—

(i)

previously occupied a permanent position within the competitive service (as that term is defined in section 2102 of title 5, United States Code);

(ii)

previously occupied a permanent position within the excepted service (as that term is defined in section 2103 of title 5, United States Code); or

(iii)

prior to employment in a senior executive position at the Internal Revenue Service, did not occupy any position within the Federal Government.

(2)

Pay of transferred individuals

(A)

In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including the requirements of section 3594 of title 5, United States Code, any individual transferred to a General Schedule position under paragraph (1)(A)(ii) shall, beginning on the date of such transfer, receive the annual rate of pay applicable to such position.

(B)

Paid leave during appeal

An individual so transferred may not be placed on administrative leave or any other category of paid leave during the period during which an appeal (if any) under this section is ongoing, and may only receive pay if the individual reports for duty. If an individual so transferred does not report for duty, such individual shall not receive pay or other benefits pursuant to paragraph (5)(E).

(3)

Notice to Congress

Not later than 30 days after removing or transferring an individual from a senior executive position under paragraph (1), the Commissioner shall submit written notice of such removal or transfer and the reason for such removal or transfer to—

(A)

the Committee on Finance of the Senate;

(B)

the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate;

(C)

the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives; and

(D)

the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the House of Representatives.

(4)

Procedure

(A)

In general

The procedures under section 7543(b) of title 5, United States Code, shall not apply to a removal or transfer under this section.

(B)

Appeal to Merit System Protection Board

(i)

In general

Subject to clause (ii) and paragraph (5), any removal or transfer under paragraph (1) may be appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board under section 7701 of title 5, United States Code.

(ii)

Deadline for appeal

An appeal under clause (i) of a removal or transfer may only be made if such appeal is made not later than seven days after the date of such removal or transfer.

(5)

Expedited review by Administrative Judge

(A)

In general

Upon receipt of an appeal under paragraph (4)(B)(i), the Merit Systems Protection Board shall refer such appeal to an administrative judge pursuant to section 7701(b)(1) of title 5, United States Code. The administrative judge shall expedite any such appeal under such section and, in any such case, shall issue a decision not later than 21 days after the date of the appeal.

(B)

Finality of decision

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including section 7703 of title 5, United States Code, the decision of an administrative judge under subparagraph (A) shall be final and shall not be subject to any further appeal.

(C)

Failure to reach decision

In any case in which the administrative judge cannot issue a decision in accordance with the 21-day requirement under subparagraph (A), the removal or transfer is final. In such a case, the Merit Systems Protection Board shall, within 14 days after the date that such removal or transfer is final, submit to Congress and the Committees described in paragraph (3) a report that explains the reasons why a decision was not issued in accordance with such requirement.

(D)

Prohibition on stay of removal or transfer

The Merit Systems Protection Board or administrative judge may not stay any removal or transfer under this subsection.

(E)

Period of review

During the period beginning on the date on which an individual appeals a removal from the civil service under paragraph (4) and ending on the date that the administrative judge issues a final decision on such appeal, such individual may not receive any pay, awards, bonuses, incentives, allowances, differentials, student loan repayments, special payments, or benefits.

(F)

Relevant information to be provided

To the maximum extent practicable, the Commissioner shall provide to the Merit Systems Protection Board, and to any administrative judge to whom an appeal under this section is referred, such information and assistance as may be necessary to ensure an appeal under this paragraph is expedited.

(6)

Relation to other provisions of law

(A)

In general

The authority provided by this subsection is in addition to, and shall not be construed to limit or diminish, the authority provided by—

(i)

subsections (a) and (c); and

(ii)

section 3592 or subchapter V of chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code.

(B)

Removal from Senior Executive Service

Section 3592(b)(1) of title 5, United States Code, does not apply to an action to remove or transfer an individual under this subsection.

(7)

Definitions

In this subsection:

(A)

Individual

The term individual means a career appointee (as that term is defined in section 3132(a)(4) of title 5, United States Code).

(B)

Misconduct

The term misconduct includes neglect of duty, malfeasance, or failure to accept a directed reassignment or to accompany a position in a transfer of function.

(C)

Senior executive position

The term senior executive position means a Senior Executive Service position (as such term is defined in section 3132(a)(2) of title 5, United States Code).

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

Subsection (a) of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 is amended by striking subsection (c) and inserting subsections (c) and (f).

(c)

Establishment of expedited review process

(1)

In general

Not later than 14 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Merit Systems Protection Board shall establish and put into effect a process to conduct expedited reviews in accordance with subsection (f) of section 1203 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, as added by this Act.

(2)

Inapplicability of certain regulations

Section 1201.22 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act, shall not apply to expedited reviews carried out under section 1203(f) of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998.

(3)

Waiver

The Merit Systems Protection Board may waive any other regulation in order to provide for the expedited review required under section 1203(f) of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998.

(4)

Review by Merit Systems Protection Board

Not later than 14 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Merit Systems Protection Board shall submit to the Committee on Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives a report on the actions the Board plans to take to conduct expedited reviews under section 1203(f) of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, as added by this Act. Such report shall include a description of the resources the Board determines will be necessary to conduct such reviews and a description of whether any resources will be necessary to conduct such reviews that were not available to the Board on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act.

(d)

Temporary exemption from certain limitation on initiation of removal from senior executive service

During the 120-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, an action to remove an individual from the Senior Executive Service at the Internal Revenue Service pursuant to section 7543 of title 5, United States Code, may be initiated, notwithstanding section 3592(b) of such title, or any other provision of law.

(e)

Construction

(1)

In general

Nothing in this section or section 1203(f) of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, as added by this Act, shall be construed to apply to an appeal of a removal, transfer, or other personnel action that was pending before the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2)

Relation to other provisions of law

With respect to the removal or transfer of an individual (as that term is defined in paragraph (7)(A) of section 1203(f) of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998) employed at the Internal Revenue Service, the authority provided by such section is in addition to, and shall not be construed to limit or diminish, the authority provided by—

(A)

subsections (a) and (c) of section 1203 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998; and

(B)

section 3592 or subchapter V of chapter 75 of title 5, United States Code.