GAO Reports  
GGD-97-24 January 09, 1997

Tax Administration: Lessons Learned From IRS' Initial
Experience in Redeploying Employees

GAO reviewed the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) initial efforts to redeploy employees under the terms of the Redeployment Understanding, focusing on whether there were lessons to be learned from: (1) IRS' initial use of these procedures and their impact on IRS' operations; and (2) the reaction of redeployed employees and their supervisors to redeployment and the redeployment process.

GAO found that: (1) if IRS develops new redeployment procedures, there are several lessons to be learned from its initial redeployment experiences; (2) although redeployment was intended as a way to move employees out of jobs that would no longer be needed in IRS' modernized environment, it was initially used to move thousands of employees whose jobs were not in immediate jeopardy into new or existing positions that were expected to be needed in the new environment; (3) many jobs vacated by redeployed employees had to be filled by new employees, who may subsequently have to redeployed; (4) training requirements increased and productivity and taxpayer services declined as experienced employees were replaced by inexperienced employees; (5) although some operational inefficiencies, such as reduced productivity and increased training, can be expected as an inherent part of any redeployment process, the negotiated Redeployment Understanding exacerbated these inefficiencies because it generally made many IRS employees eligible for redeployment years before their jobs were expected to be eliminated, and did not allow IRS to fill jobs with employees who had related experience before bringing in volunteers from unrelated areas; (6) GAO's interviews of redeployed employees and supervisors pointed to other lessons that might be learned from IRS' initial redeployment efforts; and (7) most employees were generally satisfied with their new jobs, and supervisors were generally satisfied with their new employees, but many employees cited concerns about the information IRS provided to explain the redeployment process, the assistance IRS provided to help employees find jobs, and the training IRS provided.

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