July 8, 2019
On July 1, 2019, President Trump signed the Taxpayer First Act, which gives the IRS the ability to hire temporary employees with critical IT skills quickly.
The bill brings back “streamlined critical pay,” an authority that had expired in 2013, and one that IRS leaders have advocated for. The IRS has argued that streamline critical pay (SCP) allows them to be more competitive with the private sector.
According to fedscoop.com,
Streamlined critical pay (SCP) allows the IRS to hire up to 40 people at one time in four-year-long technical positions critical to the success of the agency. It also authorizes the agency to pay higher base salaries to these hires.
A 2014 review of streamlined critical pay by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that the IRS used this authority “appropriately.”
“We determined that the critical pay positions were adequately justified, the need to recruit or retain exceptionally well-qualified individuals was demonstrated, pay limitations were adhered to,” the report reads. TIGTA did state, however, that if the program were to be reinstated it would recommend more clearly defined oversight.
“If Congress chooses to once again authorize the IRS SCP authority for a specific period of time, or permanently, we believe it would be beneficial to clearly define the extent of any independent oversight the program should have and who would be designated to provide the oversight,” it said.