Can You Identify with a Fellow Federal Manager?

Bad things happen to good, conscientious, hardworking federal managers.  This week, we highlight the specific exposures of IRS managers in the hope that you will be able to identify your own vulnerabilities.  You may be aware of the various IRS “scandals” over the past few years from watching or reading the news, but have you considered the impact the incredible amount of congressional and media attention and scrutiny these scandals had and continue to have on IRS managers and employees? These fellow managers face exposures every single day that you don’t hear about in the news – just for doing the job they were hired to do.  Read about Catherine Lunderville and Lynda Wadler’s situations.  Lynda had FEDS Protection and worked with her attorneys from the beginning to be able to defend herself successfully.  Catherine, unfortunately didn’t, because she believed the “IRS would cover her as long as she acted within the scope of her employment.”

IRS managers (and employees) regularly face allegations of inappropriate treatment of taxpayers in the course of official business. These types of allegations sometimes lead to broader investigations into the practices of the individual and the entire office, with exposure to disciplinary processes--just for doing the job they were hired to do. 

TIGTA is the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration which was established under the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 to provide independent oversight of IRS activities including investigating allegations of criminal violations and administrative misconduct by IRS employees.  TIGTA and congressional investigations involving IRS managers and employees can create complex situations that often blindside the manager. They can involve complex constitutional issues that need to be identified and handled appropriately, because it’s possible that an IRS employee or manager has unknowingly or unintentionally violated a rule and possibly even a criminal statute.  Not every manager receives the same type or amount of training. Not every manager has an entirely seasoned and experienced staff. And with the amount of case files processed by all management teams, there are errors made.  The job of the TIGTA investigator is to uncover and prosecute violators.  Are you familiar with every regulation, policy and rule of your agency?

Finally, it goes without saying that IRS managers like all others face EEO, whistleblower retaliation, and wrongful termination claims– not all of which go away without the need for an attorney.  Your FEDS Protection attorney may be able to uncover a potential violation in the interview process which changes the course of the investigation and how you respond to the allegation – and often how the investigator proceeds with the investigation.

Know your exposures.  If you need help identifying or understanding your vulnerabilities or the protections available, please call 866.955.FEDS or email feds@fedsprotection.com.  FEDS Protection is available for $290 (plus taxes & fees) annually.  Managers and supervisors are eligible for agency reimbursement up to 50% of the cost of this insurance.  Enrollment takes less than 5 minutes.  Call 866.955.FEDS Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm ET or enroll on-line anytime at www.fedsprotection.com.  

 

Posted in Manager Matters

Tags: FEDS, FEDS Professional Liability Insurance, federal professional liability insurance, professional liability insurance, professional liability insurance for feds

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