1.4.20  Filing & Payment Compliance Managers Handbook

Manual Transmittal

March 06, 2014

Purpose

(1) This transmits a revision for IRM 1.4.20, Organization, Finance and Management, Resource Guide for Managers, Filing and Payment Compliance (F&PC) Managers Handbook.

Scope

This IRM provides managerial guidance for ACS, CSCO, ACS Support (ACSS) Operations and Team Leaders at the Wage and Investment (W&I) and Small Business and Self Employed (SBSE) Field Compliance Services Sites. Note: References throughout this IRM may refer either to CSCO or to ACS, or to ACSS collectively or individually.

Material Changes

(1) 1.4.20.16.4 - An editorial change was made to the text to include additional managerial guidance.

Effect on Other Documents

IRM 1.4.20, dated January 20, 2012 is superseded.

Audience

ACS, ACSS, and CSCO Operation, Department and Team Managers, and Team Leads at the W&I and SBSE Field Compliance Services Sites.

Effective Date

(03-06-2014)

Cheryl Cordero
Director, Filing and Payment Compliance (F&PC)
Small Business Self Employed Division
SE:S:CCS:FPC

1.4.20.1  (05-30-2013)
Overview

  1. This IRM provides managerial guidance and processes for ACS, CSCO, ACS Support (ACSS) Operations and Team Leaders at the Wage and Investment (W&I) and Small Business and Self Employed (SBSE) Field Compliance Services Sites.

  2. This IRM is for ACS, ACSS, and CSCO Operation, Department and Team Managers, and Team Leads at the W&I and SBSE Field Compliance Services Sites

1.4.20.2  (01-20-2012)
The Operation Manager

  1. The Operation Manager is responsible for directing Operation activities, coordinating efforts within the Operation and accomplishing Balanced Measures and objectives identified in the Headquarters Office program and workload scheduling guidelines. Where Operations are divided into Departments, the Department Managers are responsible for coordinating efforts among their teams to ensure consistency.

  2. To accomplish this mission, Operation and/or Department Managers must:

    1. Lead your staff using a balanced measurement approach focusing on what actions are important to achieve our strategic and operational goals;

    2. Generate a productive quantity of work in a quality manner and provide meaningful outreach to all customers. Use management information systems to track your operations/departments performance in accordance with IRM 1.5, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurements Systems Handbook;

    3. Establish and maintain effective communications strategies to ensure that you and your Operation are providing accurate and professional services to internal and external customers in a courteous, timely fashion;

    4. Create an enabling work environment for employees by providing quality leadership, adequate training and effective support services;

    5. Establish practices and controls which emphasize quality of work and effective use of resources;

    6. Ensure efficient use of staff year allocations provided by the Headquarters office, to adhere to a meaningful schedule and work plan and provide consistent high-level customer service;

    7. Establish and conduct regular operational and program reviews to assess effectiveness and identify and correct problems;

    8. Ensure that subordinate managers are aware of the provisions of RRA 98. SeeIRM 1.4.20.9. When conducting work reviews and telephone monitoring, managers should establish that the rights of the taxpayer are protected. Taxpayers requesting to speak to a team manager will be referred to the team manager for priority handling. When the manager is unavailable, the customer should be advised that a manager will call them back. A call back message for a team manager will be considered a priority work assignment and the call will be returned within 24 hours of the customer's call;

    9. Assess workload priorities and use available resources to optimize efficiency and to prevent backlogs of work. A backlog of taxpayer correspondence or third party responses exists if any items are not controlled (i.e. program specific systems; ACS, ASFR, OIC) or worked within five workdays of receipt;

    10. Coordinate recruitment and training efforts, and motivate employees and managers so that the workforce is highly skilled, productive and stable. It is imperative to have in place a structured developmental path for new employees. Managers require highly developed skills and managerial techniques which include time and mentoring. Developing these skills is an on-going learning process;

    11. Recognize that the effectiveness of the Operation depends on subordinate managers. Manage and develop them so that they reach their highest potential as managers and guide them in using their time effectively;

    12. Use management information to identify opportunities for quality improvement and initiate quality improvement projects in those areas so identified;

    13. Achieve an optimum balance of inventory processed and incoming calls answered.

1.4.20.3  (01-20-2012)
Management Information Systems

  1. Operation Managers, Department Managers and Team Managers should use various Information System tools to ensure inventories are being processed properly, sufficient staffing is being provided and utilized, and programs are being worked based on established time-frame requirements. Reports can also be created to give important information on the effectiveness of a specific team or employee.

  2. Operation Managers, Department Managers and Team Managers should ensure that information at the campus team level is available on a regular or as needed basis. The information should be reviewed by the appropriate level of management to allow for immediate correction regarding any situations or problems (i.e. time-frames not being met).

1.4.20.4  (05-30-2013)
ACS Systems Extracts

  1. Each site should have Query Master File (QMF) extracts to allow for a complete picture of the status of inventories in the site. Those extracts should be requested as needed or on a regular basis and be reviewed by the appropriate level of management to look for possible inventory issues or problems.

  2. Systems Analysts have the ability to create, modify and run extracts.

  3. Extracts should be reviewed for various reasons, including but not limited to:

    • Age of the inventory related to past follow-up dates in each inventory,

    • Inventory levels in conjunction with priority case definitions,

    • Closures and new inventory receipts on a weekly basis.

  4. Operation management should identify inventories beyond the time-frames established in Internal Revenue Manual (IRM) 5.19, as well as from Headquarter Operations, and take immediate steps to resolve the situation(s). Some possible solutions include:

    1. Reassignment of work among other operation employees,

    2. Consideration for overtime,

    3. Consideration of details from other functions.

  5. Next level management and Headquarter Operations should be notified when inventory is beyond the established guidelines.

1.4.20.5  (01-20-2012)
Work Plans and Staffing

  1. Work plans play an important role in developing priorities for sites in the use of resources. A work plan is developed by Headquarters with review by the sites. The work plan establishes the resources to be devoted to each program worked in the site.

  2. A work plan is developed for each fiscal year; however, constant review of the current years work schedule and activities play an important role in establishing an effective work plan for the following fiscal year. Employees charging their time under the wrong program can have a drastic impact on the work plan process. All levels of management must be involved with ensuring employees are properly charging their time.

    Note:

    Managers are required to review Forms http://core.publish.no.irs.gov./forms/internal/pdf/22103d11.pdf 3081 thoroughly, to ensure employees are recording their time correctly.

  3. Work plans are used to schedule expected volumes and hours to determine the amount of staffing needed by each site for each program. The process typically begins in early May, at the Headquarter Office, for the following fiscal year.

  4. The initial work plan is developed by Headquarters based on the site history for each program and any expected changes to programs. Those changes, called assumptions, can be related to new programs, new procedures, and/or changes in rates or volumes on one or more programs.

  5. The work plan is broken into three periods, October through December, January through June, and July through September.

  6. Do not assume that the final work plan will be fully funded. Typically, assessments are made to cover funding shortages. If not fully funded, the Business Operating Division (BOD) staff should decide where to cut hours.

  7. Operation Management should be involved in every phase of the work plan process. Day-to-day involvement ensures all employees are charging time to the appropriate code. When the proposed work plan is received:

    1. Review the assumptions and determine if they are valid for your site;

    2. Verify that history was used correctly and assumptions were computed properly;

    3. Verify that the rates are valid; consider changes to employee's experience levels;

    4. Prepare narratives for any proposed changes.

  8. When the work plan is finalized, compute staffing required to meet the work plan. Consider the impact of the number of hours your employees will not be available. Ensure that staffing needed will be available to meet work plan hours.

    1. If current staffing is too low, announce positions.

    2. If current staffing is too high, consider details or reassignments.

  9. Reviews should be completed throughout the year. This includes ensuring that staffing is aligned with the needs of the programs, including evening telephone calls. Monitor employee movement in and out of the operation to ensure that the work plan will be delivered. Adjust hiring during the year based on realization of your projections of details, attrition, and LWOP/AWOL. These staffing projections should be developed to include the expected staff movement and be adjusted on a regular basis. Overtime can also be utilized, if approved, to realize the work plan. Establish work schedules for each appropriate work plan period.

1.4.20.5.1  (01-20-2012)
Work Planning & Control System (WP&C)

  1. WP&C reports are tools that you will use to ensure that your work schedule is being met. It is important that it be reviewed weekly to identify potential problems or issues. The reports can also be helpful in detecting:

    • Receipt/volumes being worked higher than projections

    • Rates not within projections

    • Hours not being charged to codes properly

  2. Reports should be ran each week showing the cumulative figures for the period. The weekly data is added to the year to date cumulative data.

  3. Weekly reports should be kept for a year. After a year, they can be destroyed but the period ending reports should be kept for three years.

  4. Review the WP&C Report for accuracy on a weekly basis. When an error is identified it must be corrected as soon as possible.

  5. The WP&C system provides other valuable reports that should be reviewed and will provide lower level information of possible concerns or issues that need attention. The Operation/Department and Organizational (unit) Report provides volumes, hours and rates at each level. These reports should be reviewed by all levels of management to identify problems. Issues of higher or lower team productivity may be identified, such as not reporting time properly or working more efficiently. Looking at that team may correct a problem or give you a best practice that should be shared with other teams doing like work.

  6. Another report is the Employee Detail Summary. This report is generated weekly and lists hours detailed to and from your organization by Operation and management activity code. The report indicates which of your employees are using other Operation codes and if employees from other Operations are using your codes. This is especially important when you have employees who are detailed to other functions that should be paid by the function to which they are detailed. Weekly review of this report allows corrections to be completed to ensure that all hours are charged to the appropriate Operation.

1.4.20.5.2  (01-20-2012)
Telephone Management

  1. Management of the telephone operation includes the Aspect Automated Call Data (ACD) and use of reports to ensure resources are being utilized effectively and that taxpayer needs are being met.

  2. CustomView is also an effective tool to ensure resources are being effectively utilized. The sites ACS Telephone System Analyst can custom build a canvas to address specific site needs.

  3. Care should be taken when using the Telephone Reports with levels of management within the guidelines of IRM 1.5, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System.

  4. Telephone reports should be reviewed on a regular basis to cover at least the following items:

    • Peak times for calls received and calls abandoned

    • Average Handle Time (AHT)

    • Adherence to employee assignment schedule

    • Employee time utilization

  5. Call Site telephones will be available to our taxpayers from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday. Sites may be asked to handle calls outside of their normal time band to assist in handling calls received nationwide from sites in other time zones. Outgoing calls can be made only between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time for the taxpayer.

1.4.20.6  (01-20-2012)
Financial Reviews

  1. The Financial Review (FR) is the process used to assess programs, financial status and requirements for the various Operations. It is used to identify problems and opportunities and resolve programmatic issues, where appropriate, through the reprogramming or reallocation of resources. If there is a need to realign resources between regular time, training hours and overtime, or if there is a need to move resources between planning periods, the FR process is the vehicle to ensure this is done timely and accurately.

  2. Changes in workload and staffing can have a significant impact on the resource usage. These changes must be taken into consideration during the FR process and appropriate FTE (full-time equivalent) realignments should occur as necessary to address these changes. Throughout the year, financial reviews are conducted to monitor spending compared to the plan and/or schedule. The current spending to schedule is reviewed, projections for the remainder of the period are shown and the yearly total spending is compared to the budget. The goal is to effectively schedule the hours for each period. The spending schedule should be monitored weekly and is usually the responsibility of the Operation’s Technical Advisor.

  3. If it is estimated that the Operation cannot live within the budget, help should be requested from the Headquarter's Finance operation to cover additional spending or decide which programs to cut. If the Operation is not spending to plan and/or schedule, additional hiring, overtime, recalling employees or details to your Operation might be considered. An Operation’s final delivery should not significantly differ from their projected delivery. Every effort should be made to ensure accurate capturing and forecasting of the projected needs within an Operation.

1.4.20.7  (01-20-2012)
Communication

  1. In order to improve organizational performance and increase customer satisfaction, it is important to establish and maintain open and effective communication at all levels of management and with your employees. Establish and maintain effective lines of communication within and outside your activity. Also ensure that all appropriate information is disseminated to impacted functions. All procedures, guidelines and new ideas must be shared with all team managers.

  2. Total Quality Measurement (TQM) is defined as a strategic, integrated management system for achieving customer satisfaction. It involves all managers and employees and uses quantitative methods to continuously improve an organization's processes. (For additional information and resources on TQM please refer to Quality Tools Toolkit Online References).

  3. Depending upon the organizational structure and the number of managers, meetings could include all managers and management officials in the operation, or only those who report directly to the Operation Manager. If attendance is restricted, Department Managers must hold regular staff meetings for their subordinate managers. If team managers do not attend Operation level meetings, the Operation Manager may need to enhance their sense of identification with the Operation management team. This may be done by having each Department Manager bring one team manager on a rotating basis, to the staff meetings, or by including all managers in monthly Operation staff meetings; or by sharing operational meeting minutes with all frontline managers.

  4. Training Coordinators may attend staff meetings. Any performance problems or technical changes may indicate a need for additional training for managers and/or employees. Training Coordinators must be involved in identifying areas in which additional training may be needed. The Training Coordinator will schedule any training/workshops for the Operation as needed.

  5. Technical changes may need to be made in course material before training new employees. The full support of the teams are needed to promote training involvement as a way to help keep pace with day-to-day operations.

  6. The Planning and Analysis (P&A) Analysts may attend staff meetings. They may be of great assistance for the management team in identifying technical/procedural deficiencies within each Operation, and in assisting in the development or delivery of workshops. The Training Coordinator and the P&A Analyst will work closely together in the identification of needed training.

  7. Tools to gather and disseminate information include the following:

    • IRS Home Page

    • Servicewide Electronic Research Program (SERP) and the news flash on SERP

    • Voice Messaging System (VMS)

    • ASPECT Messaging System

    • News Releases, Bulletins, and E-mail

    • IDRS MESSG File and Campus Bulletins

    • Meetings for daily and weekly updates

    • Program Help Screens

    • Integrated Case Processing (ICP) Calendar

    • Meeting Minutes

    • Office Communicator

    • Sharepoint

    • ELMS (Enterprise Learning Management System

  8. Oral communication should be expressed in a precise and meaningful way. Whenever possible, contact employees directly. It is also important that all employees be kept informed by receiving copies of written documents timely that contain guidance that will have an impact on their job expectations and performance. Include follow-up communications to help ensure clarity.

  9. Ensure that all Collection Representatives (CR) receive the Quality Communication Training before they begin assisting taxpayers.

  10. Managers must encourage recommendations from their employees for improving communications or new forms of information sharing.

  11. In order to encourage your employees to express their concerns, report problems and make suggestions, you need to create a climate for open communication. It is essential that you ask for and listen to feedback from all levels of the organization. You should also ensure information received from upper levels of the organization is forwarded down. Encourage employees to utilize the ESP (Employee Suggestion Program) to promote active participation in problem resolution.

1.4.20.7.1  (01-20-2012)
Meetings

  1. Another significant aspect of effective communications is scheduling meetings with your managers. These meetings should be held as needed and focus on:

    1. Disseminating important procedural and management information (including safety in cases of certain threats initiated by customers)

    2. Reporting progress on objectives;

    3. Identifying areas needing improvement and developing strategies on how to accomplish them;

    4. Identifying areas in which resources shifts may be needed to meet workload requirements;

    5. Promoting communication and cooperation among managers and employees;

    6. Reinforcing objectives.

    7. Establishing follow-up timeframes for review of strategy development.

  2. Operation Managers should schedule at least one "All Employees" meeting annually, more if needed, to be visible to employees and discuss successes within the Operation.

  3. Frontline/Team Managers will hold meetings with their employees at a minimum of one per week to disseminate procedural changes, to provide guidance on problem trends found in work reviews, to report progress on objectives, to provide informal training and to solicit questions

  4. To enhance the effectiveness of your meetings:

    1. Keep them brief;

    2. Solicit agenda items in advance when possible;

    3. Prepare and provide in advance the agenda items you want to cover; including responses to solicited topics when available.

    4. Issue brief minutes promptly after the meeting to document the meeting. These minutes must be recorded, distributed and a copy filed for reference. Documentation should indicate date of the meeting, management/employees in attendance, and topics discussed.

  5. Encourage the participation of National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) at all appropriate meetings in order to demonstrate your commitment to open communications.

    Note:

    NTEU must be invited to meetings where changes in working conditions or issues involving critical elements are discussed. These are considered "7114" meetings which require a union steward to be present. See the National Agreement contract for all requirements.

1.4.20.8  (01-20-2012)
Coordination With Other Functions

  1. Your employees are required to contact other functions in some situations and should be advised to notify you (or a designated person) when they have questions or problems in dealing with the other functions.

  2. When you identify an issue that may have a significant impact or lead to increased difficulties with other functions, upper management needs to be informed immediately in order to assist in resolving the issue.

1.4.20.8.1  (05-30-2013)
ACS Support Function

  1. The relationship between a call site and the ACS Support(ACSS) Function is very important to ensure that ACS work continues to flow smoothly without taxpayer impact. Most actions taken by a call site employee activate other actions at the support site. Each site can easily be overwhelmed with work if there is no close coordination, especially if there is a change in work priorities which impacts customers, (i.e. massive request for letters or realignment of resources). This type of coordination would assist all in ensuring the same level of support is continued. The Support site handles taxpayer and incoming third party correspondence. The Support Site handles all mass mail outs generated from the call sites and in most instances, the majority of taxpayer and third party correspondence. These inventories and correspondence must be worked in a timely manner to eliminate possible negative impact to the taxpayer (i.e. erroneous levy or lien) by the call site. Each item of mail received in any ACSS Operation must be date-stamped upon receipt into the Operation and the envelope should be maintained with the correspondence. In addition to call site initiated correspondence, they also process the undeliverable mail.

  2. Each support site must have a tracking mechanism in place to ensure that all letters, levies and listings are received timely from the Information System Division (ISD). Immediate resolution of any problem is imperative to reduce potential negative impact to the customer or case timeliness. Resolution may include finding the missing output or having it reproduced. If a resolution can not be taken timely, then the support site must take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the computer systems; IDRS, AMS, and ACS do not reflect inaccurate data.

  3. The Support staff should utilize telephone calls to maximize case resolution when working correspondence or support functions. When an employee works a support program, they should take the next appropriate action and route the account to the next function/team for case processing. If additional information is needed to resolve the case or an insufficient response is received, and a telephone number is available from IDRS or on the notice, ACSS and W&I Compliance Services Collection Operations (CSCO) must make out calls (one phone attempt for SBSE CSCO employees) prior to sending a letter to the taxpayer.

1.4.20.9  (01-20-2012)
Controls

  1. Restructuring & Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98), Section 1204, prohibits the use of records of tax enforcement results to evaluate employees, impose or suggest production quotas or goals with respect to such employees. This applies to all employees regardless of position held or location in which the work is performed. For purpose of implementing this section, IRM 1.5 refers to employees exercising judgment in determining tax liability or ability to pay as" Section 1204 Employees" .

  2. RRA 98, Section 1204, requires all appropriate supervisors to certify quarterly, by letter to the Commissioner, whether or not tax enforcement results are being used in a manner that is prohibited. Records of Tax Enforcement Results (ROTERs) or Tax Enforcement Results (TERs) should not be used to evaluate employees, or to impose or suggest production quotas and goals with respect to such employees "Appropriate supervisors" are defined as the highest ranking executive in an operational or functional division that supervises, directly or indirectly, one or more section 1204 employees. The appropriate supervisor can delegate responsibility to lower level managers within their organization.

  3. For more information on the Quarterly Certification Process, refer to IRM 1.5.3, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System, RRA 98 Section 1204 Self-certification and the Independent Review Process. Tools include:

    • IRM 21, Customer Account Services

    • IRM 13, Taxpayer Advocate Service

    • IRM 5.19.7, Campus Compliance Programs

    • IRM 5.19.1 thru 9, ACS Program Processing Procedures

  4. Certain actions require managerial approval. Depending upon employee experience levels, Operation and Department Managers may require approval of other actions (i.e. routing of lien filing cases to R7 to ensure that FM10s are requested by GS-6 or higher CRs; or GS-8 if the employee is not in the Compliance Collection function, transfer actions to the field, or the queue). Inappropriate actions can be detected by frequently reviewing employee Temporary Employee Action Code History (TEACH) listings, which contains all actions an employee performed during a given day.

  5. Based on your sites Operation and Department Managers requirements, the site should establish controls for travel advances and vouchers to ensure the prompt liquidation of advances and prompt filing of travel vouchers.

  6. The following website can provide information regarding travel: http://govtrip.com/govtrip/site/index.jsp. You can get domestic per diem information under the heading of Program and Services Travel and Relocation at http://irweb.irs.gov. Organizational policy requires that all travel be paid with government credit cards. Imprest funds may be available for special circumstances.

  7. An operational level control should be established to ensure that listings generated by the computer room are received and worked, and a follow-up initiated as necessary.

  8. A control should be established within the Operation or within each Department to control property such as headsets, Documents 6209, and LEM's.

  9. Operation/Department Managers should:

    1. Review, periodically, third party correspondence awaiting processing in function I7 and batch taxpayer correspondence awaiting processing, in function R1 for call site, and S4 for ACS Support, to determine its age and thus the timeliness of correspondence processing. Each item of mail in any ACS Operation must be date-stamped upon receipt and the envelope should be maintained with the correspondence. This is necessary to ensure timely filed Collection Due Process requests from our external customers or his/her authorized representative.

    2. Review for quality, transfers to R7–FM10 request, R5–Levy Issuance, revenue officers or the queue, releases of levy, and RD90, 91, and 93 dispositions, which do not require managerial approval. The employee's TEACH list can help in facilitating these types of reviews. TEACH reviews, as well as reviews of the aged case listing, should be completed within locally established time-frames.

    3. Engage periodically in telephone monitoring to detect trends and to advise team managers of issues needing their attention;

    4. Spot-check the technical adequacy of team manager's approvals. This can be accomplished by selecting cases from the team manager's TEACH list;

    5. Conduct operational reviews at least once a year;

    6. Ensure Security reviews are performed, at least, on a quarterly basis.

    7. Operation Mangers can also review similar samples to ensure task completion.

    8. High Dollar (Buffalo): Operation Managers should ensure that reviews on files maintained on case dispositions and relevant Non-ACS or IDRS prints.( i.e., ChoicePoint) are regularly reviewed.

1.4.20.10  (01-20-2012)
Operational Reviews

  1. An operational review is a review of a subordinate manager and his or her organizational component and is imperative for his or her growth and the efficiency of the operation. Accomplishments should be praised, areas needing improvement identified, recommendations recorded, target completion dates established and a follow-up review for the implementation of procedural improvement scheduled. The review should also cover Employee Satisfaction in the teams and include receiving feedback from the managers' employees either in writing or through focus group meetings. The review is an opportunity to improve overall effectiveness of the teams, departments and Operation.

  2. These reviews may be of organizational as well as individual performance. The review should be:

    • Evaluative and direct

    • Completed annually (unless more frequent reviews are warranted either to address inexperience or poor performance)

  3. While operational review results may be used in merit pay evaluations, they are reviews of organizational as well as individual performance, and therefore should not be limited to merit pay issues or documented in merit pay format.

1.4.20.10.1  (01-20-2012)
Frequency

  1. Each operation and department manager should complete an operational review of each subordinate component every year. Department Managers will review teams and the Operation Managers will review departments. Where there are no departments the Operation Managers will review teams. Reviews performed on the Operation in its entirety may be completed by the Operations’ Director, Headquarters, or Planning and Analysis operation.

  2. Conduct more frequent follow-up reviews when warranted by indicators such as statistical data out of the acceptable range, lack of experience on the part of the subordinate manager, or poor results from prior reviews. These reviews should also have established follow-up review dates scheduled for any areas showing minimal/no improvement.

  3. Each Operation and Department Manager will maintain an operational review schedule showing the date of the prior review and the scheduled and actual review dates for each component for which he or she is responsible.

  4. Each Operation and Department Manager should review the managers Position Description and Performance Management System (PMS) expectations prior to starting the review.

  5. Each Department Manager will set required reviews for each Department, including:

    • Age of Inventory

    • Inventory levels

    • Receipts and closures

    • Telephone contacts (where applicable)

    • On-line adjustments

    • Work in process

    • Closed cases

    • High Dollar Process

    • High Income Process

    • Partial Pay Installment Agreement Process

    • Direct Debit Installment Agreement Process

    • Required meeting minutes documented

    • Managers/Employees EPF’s

1.4.20.10.2  (01-20-2012)
Coverage

  1. Operational reviews of a team are performed by a Department or Operation (when there is no Department Manager at the site) Manager. To perform the Operational review additional information may be provided by the operations analyst or technical advisor when available. These reviews should include at least the following issues, but others may be added at the discretion of the reviewer.

    1. Employee assignments - Do the assignments allow the team to meet established priorities? Are they fairly distributed? Are experienced staff members utilized effectively? What assistance is provided to employees when given new assignments? Are the assignments within the employee’s position description? Has the manager certified the employee’s position description accurately reflects the duties of the assigned position?

    2. Employee feedback provided timely and effectively including case reviews, mid-year and annual evaluations - How are the documents shared with the employees? Are the actions performed timely and do they include both negative and positive feedback? Is there substance to the completed reviews? Are contract requirements covered if the performance has decreased? Are the ratings supported by the reviews? Are all IRS rules followed in documentation including Section 1204 and disclosure requirements? For more information visit the following website: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/supportingsbse/strategicplanning/sect1204/default.aspx.

    3. Desk instructions maintained in the team?

    4. Quality of documentation in Employee Performance Folders (EPF) and employee drop files. Is outdated material purged timely? Quality of documentation in Employee Performance Folders (EPF) and employee drop files. Is outdated material purged timely.

    5. Effectiveness of communications within the team - Are regular scheduled meetings held? Is information available for employees unable to attend the meetings such as meeting minutes and e-mails? Is the manager involved with their employees on a daily basis? Are employees encouraged to raise issues and are they handled? What does the manager do to encourage a positive working environment? Do employees have the needed access to the manager and work leader to complete their assignments? How is the work leader utilized to assist employees? Is appropriate follow-up addressed and completed timely on issues raised? Are employees aware of the IRS Operation; Department and Team goals?

    6. Employee Survey - How does the manager utilize the Employee surveys to enhance Employee Satisfaction, Customer Satisfaction and Business Results? Has the manager "gotten behind the numbers?" What actions has the manager taken to continuously improve their team? Is there documentation as to those actions taken? Have elevated issues on ES Tracker been addresses/resolved?

    7. The manager's use of time, identification of problems and implementation of solutions - Does the manager handle issues at the lowest level possible? Does the manager use the Management model (Plan, Do, Review, Revise)? Are all three balanced measures (Customer Satisfaction, Employee Satisfaction, and Business Results) considered in resolving problems? Are manager approval inventories kept current according to national or local guidelines ?

    8. A sampling of work ( telephone monitoring, cases selected from TEACH listings and case reviews).

    9. The manager's use of the reports to improve the individual employee performance and overall team performance (i.e. Aspect, EQRS)

    10. Maintenance of reference materials - IRM maintenance and availability within the team.

    11. Timekeeping and employees' time reporting - Use of the ADC telephone reports, DITTO (Digitally Integrated Time Tally for the Operation), or other timekeeping controls to ensure adherence to hours of duty. Place special emphasis on common problem areas such as clerical support, on the job instruction, and front-end screening of incoming calls.

    12. The team managers' technical ability - Do they keep abreast of procedural changes? Do they review SERP Alerts? Do they attend CPE annually or technical training when scheduled?

    13. Actions the manager has taken to improve the employee's quality of work - Are the team employees aware of the top 5 errors being made? Are workshops provided/documented addressing these error trends? Is employee input requested and utilized to improve the overall effectiveness of the team?

    14. Fair and timely actions taken to address employee issues - Are leave problems being addressed? Is FMLA being tracked for identified hours approved? Are necessary actions being taken to improve employee's performing below the acceptable level? Are follow-ups conducted timely and followed through when necessary? Is follow-up documentation recorded, signed by manager/employee and placed in EPF?

    15. Use of management information reports - How are the reports being used to enhance the team's performance? What reports are the managers utilizing? Review IRM 1.5, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System Handbook, to ensure reports are being used properly.

    16. Identification of any actions the manager has implemented or completed above and beyond what is expected including special duties or assignments.

    17. Communications within the unit (meetings minutes with required content information; seeIRM 1.4.20.7.1; floor supervision, informal communication, and listening skills).

    Note:

    To ensure complete program coverage, a representative sampling of work under the jurisdiction of the team or team manager should be reviewed.

  2. The scope of operational reviews by an Operation Manager of a Department should include, at least, the issues below. Others may be added at the discretion of the reviewer.

    1. The Department Manager's operational review schedule (timeliness). Do they contain substance and provide assistance to improving the effectiveness of the manager and team?

    2. The documented operational reviews conducted by the Department Manager should contain: adequacy of scope and depth, identification of action items, recommendations, establishment of completion dates, and documentation of follow-up.

    3. A sampling of work (e.g., telephone monitoring), employee EPF's, team manager's review schedules, etc., to assess the accuracy of the Department Manager operational review.

    4. Communications within the department. Are there regular meetings? Are they documented as required (see IRM 1.4.20.7.1 ? What communications tools are used? Is needed information communicated timely? Do the managers feel free to raise issues and are they addressed? Is feedback provided on job performance? Are managers encouraged to work together? What is done to try to improve consistency between teams? What is the Department Manager doing to communicate with the frontline employees?

    5. All EPF's and drop files maintained by the Department Manager. For more information regarding Records Management, see the Records and Information Management website at http://awss.web.irs.gov/refm/logisticsmanagement/recordsmanagement/recordslifecyclesupport.aspx.

    6. Use of reports and other indicators to identify areas requiring attention - Are they used in communicating goals and team assignments? What reports are being used? Is the manager getting behind the numbers?

    7. The Department Manager's use of time, identification of problems, and implementation of solutions. Are problems handled at the lowest level possible? Are issues that need to be raised allowed for appropriate review or feedback? Are the three balanced measures considered in resolving problems? Is the management model utilized? For more information on the management model please access Performance Management for Managers of CJE Employees http://hco.web.irs.gov/pdf/pmmgrscjeemps.pdf.

    8. Are issues with individual managers and employees being handled including leave and performance issues? Is FMLA being tracked for identified hours approved?

    9. What actions are taking place to improve the quality of the work being performed in the department? Are targeted workshops provided and documented?

    10. Are the Employee surveys being utilized to improve overall Employee Satisfaction, Customer satisfaction and Business Results? Are issues elevated on ES Tracker addressed, monitored, and updated timely? What activities have taken place to allow managers more time to coach and mentor their employees?

1.4.20.10.3  (01-20-2012)
Depth

  1. A Department Manager's review should cover a majority of the team's and employees responsibilities.

    Example:

    At least 50% of the EPF's should be reviewed. If problems are identified, an action plan must be established and a follow-up date for completion documented. Further review should take place at least within the next quarter. Action items requiring follow-up should be documented addressing accomplishments and areas still showing deficiencies.

  2. An Operation Manager's review must cover a majority of all operational reviews completed by the Department Manager and EPF's maintained by the Department Manager. The Operation Manager should also sample work in the teams to validate the Department Manager's reviews. The sampled work must include telephone monitoring (if the Position Description and CJE’s establish phone requirements). The depth of this sampling should be influenced by such factors as statistical indicators, prior review results, training needs of subordinate managers, perceived organizational health, and analysis of preliminary results. For more information see IRM 1.4.17.

    Example:

    If a Department Manager's review of a team indicates a team manager provides constructive telephone monitoring feedback, and the Operation Manager's sampling of one or two EPF's validates this, then further sampling would not be warranted. If the Operation Manager's sampling of one or two EPF's shows deficiency in the team manager's monitoring documentation, the Operation Manager should sample more (possibly all) EPF's in the team.

    In addition, the Operation Manager or delegated authority, such as the Operations' Quality Team or Analyst (if applicable), should then also sample telephone monitoring documentation throughout this department,

1.4.20.10.4  (01-20-2012)
Documentation and Follow-up

  1. Each operational review must be documented in a memorandum from the reviewer to the manager of the component reviewed. It is not intended that the review be completed all at once. Any item reviewed before the scheduled operational review should not be repeated. However, the results of such reviews should be included in the documented annual review. The memorandum should be issued promptly upon completion of the review. For purposes of assessing the timeliness of the review, the memorandum date will be the same as the review completion date. To provide continuity and a record of the problems and progress of each organizational component, maintain the review memorandums and all follow-up action items in file folders or binders by organizational component. A signed and dated copy of the initialed memorandum(s) and all follow-up documentation must be placed in the EPF of the appropriate manager for future use in the evaluation process.

  2. Managers must follow up to ensure accomplishment of action items identified in their reviews. Whenever an action item is documented, give a date for completion;. Use a desk calendar or other device to trigger the follow-up. One method to document follow-up is to leave a few blank lines below each action item in the review memorandum. The reviewer can then document follow-up results directly on the file copy of the review memo and will not have to initiate another memorandum describing the follow-up.

  3. The follow-up should be performed timely and include actions taken on problems identified, updated progress actions taken towards completion and any further actions identified requiring additional follow-up documented with a second date for completion.

1.4.20.11  (01-20-2012)
Program Reviews

  1. The best opportunity to improve the overall Operation of a program or function is with our employees' input. Employee input and suggestions should always be considered. New employees to the operation, function or program provide an excellent opportunity to question procedures that have been in place for a long period of time and offer suggestions for improvement. Rotation of assignments provide an opportunity for another point of view to be included in working the program.

  2. A program review is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a specific work process, procedure or any aspect thereof. The scope of the review is not limited to any organizational component. The primary purpose is to identify procedural and/or work flow problems and procedural or processing techniques to enhance productivity.

  3. Program reviews should be conducted based on implementation of new programs, statistical indicators, backlogs, feedback from the employees or customers, or other problem indicators. They should also be conducted on a periodic basis in high-risk areas (areas in which procedural breakdown are either likely, such as correspondence processing, or unacceptable, such as remittance processing and security).

  4. Any level of management may identify the need for a program review, but the review should be initiated by the level of management which has responsibility for the total program. The actual conducting of the review may be delegated to a lower level manager or to a technician. Conducting a program review could be a good developmental experience.

  5. Program reviews should be documented in a memorandum for the record, which should identify the purpose, background, methodology and findings. Additionally, action items, recommendations, target dates and responsible parties should be identified. The initiator of the review should follow up timely on target dates.

  6. To prevent duplication of effort and provide necessary documentation, the documentation describing program review results should be maintained at the Operation level. If the results have national impact, they should be shared with the appropriate BOD Analyst.

1.4.20.12  (01-20-2012)
Enforcement Statistics

  1. IRM 1.5.2, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System, prohibits the use of Records of Tax Enforcement Results (ROTERs) and Tax Enforcement Results (TERs) in evaluations or to impose or suggest goals or quotas for Collection employees and their immediate managers. This applies to any employee responsible for making enforcement determinations.

  2. In addition to evaluations, ROTERs or TERs cannot be considered in selecting employees for promotions or in performance recognition.

  3. Each manager (all levels) must certify that they have not used ROTERs or TERs each quarter. The certification must include a detailed description of all incidents and the corrective actions. Managers should become familiar with the IRM 1.5.2, which provides guidance on the proper use of statistics.

  4. Managers should discuss methods for staying abreast of the operation's compliance with the proper use of enforcement statistics so that all understand what is expected. Sample reviews are required of items such as : evaluations, work reviews, team meeting notes.

1.4.20.13  (01-20-2012)
Priorities

  1. A primary responsibility of the Operation Manager is to balance staff with workload. This may involve shifting personnel between departments or teams to prevent backlogs or unanticipated workload demands.

  2. The Operation Manager should deploy the staff to prevent backlogs in the most critical areas (i.e., correspondence, incoming calls, TAO cases, Congressional cases). Workload and resources must be evaluated on an Operational level rather than the Departmental level in order to take maximum advantage of all available resources so that the most critical workloads receive first attention. In work scheduling ,Department and Front-line managers are instructed to elevate resource surplus/shortfall conditions to the Operation Manager.

  3. Beyond those critical areas in which no backlogs can be tolerated, the Operation Manager must ensure efficient application of staffing to the workload. The key consideration is the prioritizing of each functional workload. Staffing should be balanced to ensure its application to the highest priority cases in each workload before application to lower priority cases in any workload.

  4. The shifting of resources between CSCO, ACS Call sites, and ACS Support sites will enable the Operation to process all priorities of all functional workloads. When this is not possible and a shortfall occurs that requires high priorities to become backlogged for more than 45 days after the follow-up date has expired, the Operation Manager should advise their Director of the condition.

1.4.20.13.1  (01-20-2012)
Downtime Contingency Plan

  1. Under an enterprise telephone system, calls are routed using Enterprise Queue (EQ) technology. The current Joint Operation Center (JOC) web page, http://joc.enterprise.irs.gov, has the criteria to be used to request a site closure due to a system outage. A site should follow this criteria if needed applications such as ACS or IDRS are down. Every effort must be made to handle the calls within your directorship prior to Enterprise routing. Refer to IRM 5.19.5.3.10(13) for specific instructions on handling calls in the ACS Call sites when experiencing system problems. However, when calls are re-routed, there is a need to assign work for your employees to complete until the system is restored. If down time is scheduled, any of the items listed below could be utilized.

  2. Each call site, ACS Support site, and CSCO operation should have a contingency plan of operation in place to be used when downtime occurs. The plan should include options that are available for short term or long term down time.

  3. Suggested short-term actions include:

    1. Conduct Team meetings;

    2. Adjust read time or provide additional read time ;

    3. Make directory assistance calls from lists (if available)

    4. Conduct mini-training sessions.

    5. Identify inventories that can be worked if only one of the two systems is down;

    6. Consider clerical work, if co-located within a Support function.

    7. Have employees take any required or elective ELMS courses online

  4. If significant downtime is expected, the above items could be used on a larger scale or some of the following can be considered:

    1. Move up longer scheduled training sessions if possible (i.e., CPEs)

    2. Possible details outside of ACS

    3. Liberal leave

  5. Generally, downtime contingency plans are developed and maintained at the Operation and/or department level. However, first-line managers should be aware of the plan's contents, and should be prepared to implement them upon notification. Some sites utilize a net send to instruct employees on the plan of action to take (i.e., work green screen if ACSWeb is not functional, etc.).

1.4.20.14  (01-20-2012)
Taxpayer Rights

  1. Restructuring and Reform Act (RRA)'98, Section 1203 contains important sections that all IRS employees should thoroughly understand and take very seriously. RRA '98 provides for the mandatory termination of any IRS employee who willfully commits any of the 10 specific acts or omissions under various specific instances of misconduct. Consult the RRA '98 Section 1203 Procedural Handbook, http://core.publish.no.irs.gov/docs/pdf/27823f02.pdf, for detailed procedures.

  2. Managers must be sure that employees know and observe the rights of customers. Taxpayers have the right to prompt, courteous, and impartial treatment. In dealing with taxpayers, employees should:

    1. Assume that each taxpayer wants to comply, unless circumstances of the case indicate otherwise;

    2. Try to put him/her self in the taxpayer's position;

    3. Seek to identify the taxpayer's problem;

    4. Try to resolve the immediate problem and at the same time prevent future problems;

    5. Try to resolve a taxpayer's problem without referring him/her elsewhere;

    6. Allow the taxpayer to appeal to the supervisor if he/she feels the decision is unfair;

    7. Maintain a business like and professional manner.

1.4.20.14.1  (01-20-2012)
Unauthorized Disclosure

  1. As a Front-line manager, you should report any suspected unauthorized disclosures to your local TIGTA Office.

  2. It is not within the scope of your authority to make a determination on whether sanctions should be imposed against an employee for a willful or inadvertent violation of the disclosure laws. This will be determined by the Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration (TIGTA).

    Note:

    A willful act is one where there is an intentional violation of a known legal duty.

  3. If one of your employees receives a complaint or summons in a civil suit containing allegations of unauthorized disclosure, immediately contact your local Disclosure Officer and notify TIGTA.

    Note:

    Please see IRM 11.3.38.6 and IRM 11.3.38.6.1 for a contrast of willful versus inadvertent improper disclosures.

1.4.20.14.2  (01-20-2012)
Collections Appeals Program (CAP)

  1. ACS and CSCO managers will be involved with Collection Appeal Program (CAP) issues, which are liens, levies, seizures, and Installment Agreement terminations.

  2. 2.If a taxpayer is told by an IRS employee that a lien, levy or seizure action has been or will be taken, or that an Installment Agreement is rejected or terminated or proposed to terminate, the taxpayer can appeal the action

  3. Customers are informed about the existence of their appeal rights in Publication 594 , What You Should Know About the IRS Collection Process , which is sent with the final notice (CP 504, Letter 11, or equivalent). CP 523, Installment Agreement Default Notice, informs the customer of his/her right to an independent appeal. (A provision of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights 2 (TBOR2) gives taxpayers appeal rights once they are notified that the Service intends to terminate their installment agreement.) Publication 1660, Collection Appeal Rights for Liens, Levies, Seizures and Installment Agreement Terminations, includes information on how to appeal.

  4. When your employee has advised a customer that a lien or levy action will be taken, or if the action has been taken, the customer has the right to appeal this action. However, before the case is referred for Appeals consideration, the customer must first discuss the problem with the manager. IRM 5.19.8.4.16 contains procedures for the CAP.

  5. As a Front-line manager, you will take the call immediately, if possible, so a call back message will not be necessary. If you must call back, it should be made within 24 hours of the customer's call.

    Note:

    These callbacks cannot be re-delegated.

  6. If the customer does not agree with your decision, verbally advise the customer the case will be forwarded to Appeals through the CAP Coordinator. The coordinator or originating manager will then hand-carry or fax the complete file, within 2 days of your conference with the taxpayer, to the appropriate Appeals Office for final resolution.

  7. Ensure the collection activity is suspended while the case is in Appeals. Appeals have agreed to process these cases within 5 days, and will notify management of their decision.

1.4.20.15  (01-20-2012)
The Performance Management System

  1. The Performance Management System (PMS) is the appraisal system used to evaluate Internal Revenue Service employees. It consists of an ongoing process of planning expectations, monitoring, evaluating and recognizing performance. Leaders use the system to inform an employee of what is important and expected of an employee in performing his or her job. The Service's performance management system is designed to strengthen the linkages between Performance Management and the Service's mission, strategic business goals, business plans and the Balanced Measurement System. This Agreement is intended to establish annual performance expectations in this regard. As described below, those critical expectations consist of three parts: Responsibilities that are common to all IRS managers, Commitments that are specific to each, and a Retention Standard for fair and equitable treatment of taxpayers. These performance expectations (set at the beginning of each fiscal year) serve as the basis for a manager's annual performance evaluation.

  2. The performance agreements for executives, Leaders and management officials (Forms 12450, A or B) consist of the following categories:

    • Responsibilities - represent the core values of the Service, what is important to us as an organization and are common to all executives, Leaders and management officials

    • Commitments - distinct actions/desired results to be achieved during the performance period

    • Summary Evaluation - balances the Retention Standard, Responsibilities and Commitments to determine the final rating

  3. Critical Job Element (CJE) - The performance plan for employees is composed of critical job elements and performance standards that serve as the basis for assessing performance. CJEs establish a link between organizational performance (balanced measures) and individual performance. They are specifically developed for each IRS occupation by teams composed of managers and employee subject-matter-experts. For more information please use the link provided to visit the CJE Resource Center: http://hco.web.irs.gov/apps/cje/. It consists of the following: Work assignments or responsibilities of such importance that unacceptable performance in one element determines the employee's overall performance to be unacceptable

    1. Performance aspect - a portion of the CJE which describes the requirements of the position

    2. Performance standard – found within each CJE and which describes how well an employee must do his or her job to accomplish the work objectives effectively

  4. Retention Standard - Both the performance agreements for executives, Leaders and management officials and the performance plans for employees contain the Retention Standard mandated by the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998. All employees are required to be evaluated on the fair and equitable treatment of taxpayers. If an employee does not meet the retention standard, he or she will be considered as having failed a CJE and will be ineligible for certain personnel actions, such as a performance award, a within-grade increase, a career ladder promotion and competition for a promotion. If the employee has not conducted duties with potential impact on taxpayer issues or outcomes during the performance period, you should check the "Not Applicable" block on the Retention Standard form.

  5. Types of Recognition/Awards granted at the IRS - Employee recognition is designed to reward and recognize employees, either individually or as a member of a team or group, for their performance, adopted suggestion ideas, or other exemplary contributions to the Service's mission. Employee recognition may include monetary awards, time-off without charge to leave, honorary recognition (e.g. plaques, certificates, etc.), informal recognition items, or a combination thereof. See Exhibits 1.4.20-1 and 1.4.20-2 for a list of the various forms of recognition.

    1. Processing: Form 9127, Recommendation for Recognition, (or other locally authorized award approval document) shall be used to recommend, approve, certify and authorize payment of an employee, team or group award.

  6. Leader's Responsibilities - Managers have a responsibility to ensure the timely completion of administrative actions. Below is a list of some of those actions:

    • Ensuring the Leader’s or management official’s performance agreement or employee’s critical job elements accurately reflect the expectations you and the organization have of the employee.

    • Issuance of the performance plan to the employee in a timely manner; at the beginning of the performance period. Within the first 30 days, employees sign the appropriate retention standard document (Form 6774 - Receipt of Critical Job Elements and Retention Standard; TD F 35-07 - Executive Performance Agreement,http://core.publish.no.irs.gov/othergov/pdf/51075h07.pdf; 12450-A - Manager Performance Agreement, http://core.publish.no.irs.gov/forms/internal/pdf/28621j05.pdf,12450-B - Management Official Performance Agreement Form,http://core.publish.no.irs.gov/forms/internal/pdf/28775j05.pdf and 12450-D - Management/Program Analyst Performance Agreement http://core.publish.no.irs.gov/forms/internal/pdf/36528g10.pdf) to acknowledge receipt of the standard. Employees must sign a new receipt even if their performance standards (CJEs or responsibilities/commitments) have not changed from the prior year. The manager files the signed receipt in the employee personnel file (EPF).

    • Thoroughly discussing the plan with the employee

    • Ensuring the employee understands what is expected of him or her

    • Obtaining the employee's signature on the appropriate forms and filing them in the employee's Employee Performance Folder (EPF). Both the receipt and acknowledgement of the retention standard and the ratings are filed in the EPF and retained for three years.

    • Providing meaningful feedback to the employee during the rating period including conducting the mandatory mid-year progress review

    • Requesting the employee provide a self-assessment near the end of the rating period.

    • Completing the employee’s annual appraisal and discussing the results with the employee. At the end of the performance period, managers indicate whether the retention standard is "Met,"" Not Met," or "Not Applicable" and the appraisal form (Form 6850, 12450, or TD F35-07) is filed in the employee personnel file (EPF).

    • Recognizing the employee’s performance with performance awards when appropriate. For more information please access the following web site:http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/supportingsbse/strategicplanning/dl/downloads_getfile.aspx?id=15443.

1.4.20.16  (01-20-2012)
Administrative Tasks

  1. Managers have a variety of administrative responsibilities, some of which are not directly related to the daily management of employee work. The following text outlines some of these administrative areas.

1.4.20.16.1  (01-20-2012)
Employee Appraisals Mid-year Progress Reviews

  1. The progress review must be documented in writing to aid discussion and to verify that it has taken place. However, you are not required to write a comprehensive narrative as you would for an Annual appraisal. If the employee is performing at a fully successful or better level, the narrative need only address the employee's overall performance in general terms, without the specificity required for an annual appraisal.

  2. If the employee's performance is less than fully successful, you need to give more specific information and include a plan of action to help the employee to improve. A warning at the mid-year progress review should be documented if the employee's performance may result in the evaluation being lowered at their next annual rating period.

  3. Critical job elements must be noted in the progress review. The manager will advise the employee of the level of performance required and provide examples of both strong and weak areas of performance.

1.4.20.16.2  (01-20-2012)
Employee Performance Folders

  1. To ensure consistency and equitable treatment of all employees Servicewide, the Employee Performance Folder (EPF), including the official ratings of record, must be maintained and secured by the manager of record in his/her office. Managers must maintain an EPF for each employee. The folder provides for assembling significant data, which will assist in evaluating employees.

  2. EPF items are intended to be representative work samples and should be prepared as frequently as possible. Managers should be alert to potential EPF items when reviewing work in process, completed cases submitted for approval, and telephone monitoring.

  3. EPF items should be keyed to the critical job elements and standards of the position description. When completed regularly and discussed with the employee, EPF items will keep the employee fully apprised of his or her performance. The contents of the EPF should form the basis for performance appraisals.

  4. The following is a list of mandatory forms that are required to be included in an Employee Personnel Folder:

    • Form 6774: Receipt of Performance Plan

    • Form 6850: Copy of most recent, and subsequent evaluation appraisals

    • A copy of the employee’s Position Description (PD) and Current Critical Job Elements (CJE's) - Performance Plan

    • Applicable standards if the employee is under a measured plan

    • Copies of mid-year and other performance related material ( for example: Telephone monitoring /and or TEACH reviews; promotion appraisal data, probationary certification, removal or performance related awards)

    • Performance counseling ( employees statements of disagreement with evaluations should be attached to appropriate evaluation)

    • Aged Case Listing (CSCO)

    • Employee rebuttal statements

    • interim appraisals and or reports such as evaluations of details, task force participation or instructor assignments.

    • Copies of letters of commendation, awards, or congratulatory letters regarding the employee's work

      Note:

      For more information about what is required to be included in an employees EPF you can search the APM website at, http://apm.web.irs.gov and http://erc.web.irs.gov/DOCS/2002/AWSS/PS/EPFGuideForManagers.htm

  5. The following material should not be included as documentation in the performance folders:

    • Documentation related to any non-performance matter or adverse action that is based purely on non-performance reasons,

    • Negative material, which has not been discussed or acknowledged by the employee within 15 days of its development or receipt. (See the Article 12, Section 9 on Evaluative Recordation in the current National Agreement II).

    • Files, ratings, certifications and appraisals entered on Forms 6850, which exceed the 4 year retention period. Material older than 12 months may be used for historical reference purposes only. Please refer to http://amp.web.irs.gov for additional guidance.

      Reminder:

      Under no circumstances will evaluation material older than 12 months be used in the preparation of a performance appraisal or its re-validation.

  6. Review performance folder material periodically (at least yearly) and keep it current. No purpose is served by maintaining historical files after the problems observed have been corrected. Acting Unit/Team Managers who are detailed for more than an occasional managerial absence should be alert for performance data to include in the EPF. Remind acting managers of National Agreement II requirements regarding items of recordation.

    Note:

    All documentation placed in an employee's EPF must be signed and dated by the employee or notated "employee refused to sign."

1.4.20.16.3  (05-30-2013)
Employee Performance Data

  1. Managers have numerous opportunities, both formal and informal, to observe and evaluate employee performance. The National Agreement II sets forth criteria under which these observations can or cannot be used in performance appraisals.

  2. It is important to understand what types of data can be used in evaluating employees. In general, there are three types of employee information:

    • Performance Indicators

    • Embedded Quality (EQ)/Smart Data Collection Instrument (DCI)

    • Recordation

    They are discussed in the following paragraphs.

  3. Performance Indicators: Statistical data contained in management reports must not be used in evaluating employee performance (this is prohibited by law), but may be used as "performance indicators." A performance indicator is anything positive or negative that directs a managers attention to some aspect of employee performance. Under this concept, managers can review and analyze individual statistics such as number of calls made, average talk and display times, number of cases accessed, etc. This may indicate some area of performance to investigate further. The actual performance evaluation of an employee shall continue to be made by traditional evaluative methods, for example, work reviews, monitoring, and personal observation. When management relies upon performance indicators, the statistical data must be shared with the employee during the counseling session. This reflects our commitment to be as open as possible with employees when statistical information is involved. Performance indicators may also help you identify training needs.

  4. Embedded Quality (EQ) /Smart Data Collection Instrument (DCI): The EQ system summarizes five quality measures, or buckets:

    • Timeliness

    • Professionalism

    • Customer Accuracy

    • Regulator Accuracy

    • Procedural Accuracy

  5. Recordation: Written documentation that has been shared with the employee. Recordation can be positive or negative and can be in any written form (i.e., memorandum). This documentation must be shared with the employee within 15 (work) days of its development if it is used in a performance appraisal. The National Agreement II, on Evaluative Recordation, discusses the requirements for sharing negative recordation, and for attaching employee rebuttals, if any.

    Note:

    Although the National Agreement II specifically requires sharing negative recordation, it is a good managerial practice to share positive recordation as well. Timely receipt of positive feedback can reinforce good employee performance, as well as boost morale.

  6. All Ratings of Record must be reviewed and approved by a higher level official than the Appraising official. In carrying out these responsibilities, approving officials shall pay particular attention to the difficulty of the standards and the strictness of the application of the ratings to ensure employees are rated fairly. Only those employees whose performance exceeds normal expectations are rated at levels above Fully Successful. Ratings of Record may not be communicated to employees until approved by a higher level of management.

  7. Employee Drop File: Aside from maintaining an EPF, managers are responsible for also maintaining what is referred to as a "Drop File" or "Manager's File" . This file consists of information regarding the employee that is not performance related. Samples of items to be included in this file would be:

    • Attendance and leave counseling

    • Training requirement completions

    • Conduct issues and counseling

    • Medical information is no longer kept in the EPF folder. Per Labor Relation guidelines, this must be kept in a separate folder and stored in a locked cabinet.

  8. Leave Counseling : Managers have a responsibility to maintain accurate leave records for their employee's. Managers should also cover leave issues with their employees on a regular basis in the form of leave counseling. Managers should follow the practices established within their local jurisdiction.

1.4.20.16.4  (03-06-2014)
Security

  1. Managers and ACS Systems Analysts are responsible for reviewing the Employee Listing by Name, requesting profile changes on applicable applications, such as ACS, IDRS, and AOIC, and enabling terminals for their employees. Managers should ensure their employees' IDRS profiles allow them to perform their assigned tasks.

  2. When an employee is expected to be away from their terminal for more than two weeks or longer the employee should lock their profile to avoid being locked out by Data Security. The CC LOKME is used to lock IDRS. Please refer to IRM 2.3.9.11 for additional information.

    Note:

    Command code LOKME input can be found in IRM 2.3.9-4

  3. Managers and employees have a legal obligation to protect the confidentiality of tax information and to prevent the unauthorized access to, or destruction of, IRS files. To provide for the security of equipment, government documents, and return information, managers must ensure that:

    1. Copies of tax returns, internal documents, etc., are properly shredded before disposal;

    2. Visitors are channeled to a receptionist or other employee so that they do not have unauthorized access to the work area. Advise all employees to question strangers in the work area;

    3. Employees should clear their desk of confidential material at the end of the workday, and sign-off all systems.

    4. "Official Use Only" documents are protected per IRM 1.16.1, Physical Security.

    5. Fax machines and printers should be checked at the end of your tour of duty for government documents or return information;

    6. Employees should always lock their terminals when leaving their work station.

1.4.20.17  (01-20-2012)
Team Approach to Processing

  1. Each site is responsible for all actions taken on cases that reside on their data base, including efforts to locate the taxpayer, contact with the taxpayers or third parties, correspondence processing etc. The case remains in the sites inventory until it is closed or transferred. Most management reports are available at the team level. In those sites using the team approach, managers approve work belonging to employees assigned to their team. Valid Call Site Teams are designated by an alphabetical character from A through Z. The maintenance of this parameter table, which allows for creation of new teams when a need arises, is the responsibility of the campus management.

  2. Each team has a Lead, CR or Tax Examining Assistant (TEA), who is responsible for relieving the manager of excess technical work. In addition to the above, the Lead is responsible for distributing and balancing the workload among employees and monitoring the status and progress of the work assigned to ensure timely completion. The Lead assures that all employees have enough work to utilize their work time efficiently. Day to day adjustments of work are made in accordance with established priorities. When absences occur, the lead assists the manager by informing employees of changes in assignment in order to balance the workload. The incumbent provides on-the-job training, instructs employees in specific tasks, and answers questions on procedures, policies and directives. Side-by-side monitoring/reviews can be conducted with trainees or to address performance issues, to provide constructive feedback (non-evaluative and/or evaluative) for the purpose of improving skills and/or documenting performance. The Lead keeps the manager informed of all patterns or trends observed which indicate potential problems in case processing and/or training needs. The Lead acts for the manager in his/her absence. When not performing lead duties, the incumbent performs the duties of a team CR and/or tax examiner as stated in their position description.

1.4.20.18  (01-20-2012)
Workload Management

  1. Managing the workload requires the establishment of controls, adherence to work priorities, proper staff scheduling and assignment of work, and involvement in the daily operation of the team. Workload reviews are performed primarily for the following reasons:

    • Make an objective assessment of an employee's performance

    • Protect the rights of customers

    • Identify training needs

  2. Work reviews should focus on effective case resolution according to IRM guidelines.

  3. In addition, reviews should focus not only on your employee's ability to complete his/her assignments, but also on their ability to set priorities and complete assignments independently and expeditiously

  4. Due to the variety and complexity of work categories, managers must ensure that:

    1. All work processes receive appropriate priority processing

    2. Adequate staffing is available

    3. Controls are established to monitor the paper workflow

    4. Employees are properly trained

    5. Imbalances in work inventory are corrected expeditiously

  5. Managing the workload in the contact functions (Predictive Dialer Program) requires the establishment of priorities which will enable the team manager to conduct an outgoing call program while ensuring that customer service is provided to taxpayers as effectively as possible. Proper staff scheduling and assignment of work to handle incoming and outgoing telephone calls will require daily involvement in the teams. There will be peak and non-peak periods in the incoming call operation. Therefore, the systems analyst should keep department/team managers informed if staffing needs to be realigned.

  6. Managing the inventory in the Research and Investigation functions requires the establishment of workflow controls, assignment schedules, quality review checkpoints, monitoring and performance review schedules, and time-frames to complete certain work items such as mail processing, list processing, and other clerical assignments. CSCO maintains it's own workflow management protocols based on established campus direction.

  7. Managing call site programs requires establishing a work schedule assigning individual responsibility for receiving incoming calls, functional inventory, and lunch and break schedules. The ACS Support schedule should identify clerical employee(s) responsible for processing the mail, reviewing letters, list processing etc. This schedule should also include assigning TEA employees responsibilities for processing support programs. In preparing the schedule, consider the following factors:

    • Approved leave, training, etc.

    • JOC telephone schedule requirements

    • Inventory on hand at the end of the prior week in each team

      Note:

      Inventory reports can distort the true picture of a teams performance or backlog situation.

    • Clerical duties such as updating locator services (directories) and the IRM, miscellaneous typing and filing, and other support services

    • Monthly, quarterly and/or annual activities your employees have with organizations outside of your Operation (i.e. Special Emphasis Programs, NTEU Steward meetings, annual conventions or conferences and unique celebrations in your area of the country).

  8. Rotate work assignments to ensure that all employees are fully trained in all areas and to provide sufficient evaluative information of their work performance.

1.4.20.18.1  (01-20-2012)
Compliance Nature of Workload

  1. Your employees may answer telephones, make outgoing telephone contacts, work written referrals of taxpayer inquiries or correspondence, or work other paper processes. This work is outside of the AUR, CAWR and FUTA current year program processes.

  2. Compliance Managers in campuses and area offices are responsible for managing one, all, or any combination of the following:

    • Telephone operations

    • Paper operations

    • ACS inventories

  3. Proper workload management is essential for timely responses to customers and prompt account transactions. Due to the variety and complexity of work in Compliance Service, managers must be familiar with the many aspects to managing workloads such as:

    • Establishing controls and priorities

    • Requesting adequate staffing and terminals

    • Conducting reviews

    • Processing work within established time frames

    • Correcting imbalances in work inventory

    • Providing adequate training

    • Being involved in the daily operation of the unit

    • Managing time effectively

    • Using available reports and management tools to monitor the operation

  4. All workloads must be processed using the guidelines provided in the following IRMs:

    • IRM Part 4 - Examining Process

    • IRM Part 5 - Collecting Process

    • IRM Part 13 - Taxpayer Advocate Service

    • IRM Part 20 - Penalty and Interest

    • IRM Part 21 - Customer Account Services

    • IRM Part 25 - Special topics

      Note:

      Please note this list is not all inclusive.

  5. There are peak and non-peak periods in each function to be aware of in planning for staffing and training. They can be anticipated by doing the following:

    • Looking at current work schedules and work plans

    • Checking historical data

    • Getting updated information from the Operations and/or Department Manager

  6. Once you have determined your peak and non-peak periods, prepare for workload peaks in the following manner:

    1. Cross-train employees on all programs worked in the unit

    2. Recall seasonal employees in time to give them refresher training

    3. Hire additional staff if necessary

    4. Survey other areas for staff available for details

    5. Ensure you have an employee trained to access NMF information

    6. Consider the use of overtime

1.4.20.18.1.1  (01-20-2012)
Collection Managerial Reports

  1. As a Compliance manager, you are also responsible for ensuring that the workload is being managed in a timely and efficient manner. In order to properly manage workload, you must be familiar with productivity, control, inventory, quality and customer satisfaction reports.

  2. Inventory reports can be found on the Control-D Web Access (CTDWA), which replaced the Electronic On-line Network System (EONS). CTDWA is an inventory system that reduces print output and allows quicker access and greater report management for users to their respective report files. Complete OL-5081 to request access to the CTDWA.

  3. The following information reports can be accessed through CTDWA:

    • CCA42/42 - Collection Branch Team Inventory Report

    • CCA 42/43 - Collection Branch Day Overage Report

    • CCA 42/44 - IDRS Multiple Case Control Report.

    • PCC 6040 SC WP & C Performance and Cost Report

  4. Inventory reports may also be generated through AMS. Complete OL-5081 to request access to AMS.

  5. IDRS reports may be reviewed to determine the overall age of controlled inventory for groups. IDRS reports also provide individual controlled inventory reports and must be monitored to ensure that all cases are controlled and worked timely.

  6. Additional information on these reports and others can be found in IRM 3.30, Work Planning and Control, IRM 5.2, Collection Reports, and IRM 21.2, Systems and Research Programs.

  7. It is your responsibility to ensure that all data reflected in the summary reports is accurate. In order to determine accuracy, verify the hours used under your organization with your employee’s time sheets. Also, verify the receipts and closures shown with your employee’s individual inventory reports.

  8. You may generate quality reports using the Embedded Quality Review System (EQRS). EQRS reports are available in three categories:

    • Employee Reports - Quality attributes are mapped to employee critical job elements (CJEs) and performance aspects. This ties the quality of a case directly to an employee's appraisal. There are two types of employee evaluative reports available:
      - Individual Review Feedback Report
      - Cumulative Review Feedback Report

    • Organization Reports - Can be generated for any organizational segment down to a team level. The available reports include:
      - Organizational Cumulative Report
      - Top Ten Defects/Successes Report
      - Customer Accuracy Driver Report
      - Days to Closure Report (Unweighted)
      - Time in Inventory Report
      - EQRS/NQRS Comparison Report

    • Ad Hoc Reports - Allows the user to specify report parameters, giving the user much more flexibility in retrieving data.

  9. Complete OL-5081 to request access to EQRS. Additional information for EQRS can be found in IRM 21.10, Embedded Quality (EQ) Program for Accounts Management, Compliance Services, Field Assistance and TE/GE.

  10. For more information concerning the Customer Satisfaction Survey, see IRM 1.4.20.33, Manager's Responsibility to the Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS).

1.4.20.18.2  (01-20-2012)
Automated Offer in Compromise (AOIC)

  1. The OIC program utilizes the Automated Offer in Compromise (AOIC) application to track and control most offers in compromise.

  2. Offers that are not loaded on AOIC include; Department of Justice(DOJ) settlement case and offers secured and worked solely in Appeals under the Collection Due Process (CDP). These offers are manually monitored and controlled on IDRS.

  3. The AOIC web system shares a common database that contains relevant OIC information used by:

    • The Centralized Offer in Compromise (COIC) sites.

    • Area/Territory Offices.

    • Campus Compliance Services

    • Taxpayer Advocate Service

  4. The program allows the user to process, view and track the status of each offer and also generate forms, letters, and managerial reports.

    Note:

    Additional guidance can be found in IRM 1.4.54 – Offer in Compromise Managers – Centralized Offer in Compromise program Guide

1.4.20.18.2.1  (01-20-2012)
Nature of OIC Workload

  1. Taxpayers send Form 656, Offer in Compromise, to one of the two COIC sites; located at the Memphis or Brookhaven Campus.

  2. COIC determines if the OIC is processable, builds the case and forwards processable offers to offer examiners at the sites or to a field office for evaluation.

  3. Accepted offers are sent to one of the two compliance campuses for monitoring terms of the OIC. Monitoring campuses: Brookhaven and Memphis. Offers are routed to the appropriate site based on state mapping found on SERP under the Who /or Where tab.

  4. Returned offers are mailed back to the taxpayer with a cover letter.

1.4.20.18.2.2  (01-20-2012)
OIC Managerial Reports

  1. Each segment of the AOIC program contains a set of reports to be used and is compiled monthly from the AOIC for compliance campus.

    Note:

    Additional information relating to OIC managerial reports can be found in IRM 1.4.54 Offer in Compromise Managers Centralized Offer in Compromise Program Guide and the AOIC User guide on SERP under job aids.

1.4.20.18.2.3  (01-20-2012)
Campus Mandatory OIC Reviews

  1. Campus management must review the following reports to determine if timely and appropriate actions have been addressed during the OIC monitoring process. Procedures for accessing all the reports can be found on SERP, in the Collection Process job aid “Automated Offer in Compromise”.

    • New Work (NW) Listing: This lists show new incoming cases from the territory and COIC offices; these cases have not been accepted into the campus inventory. Generate a NW list every 21 days to validate receipt of case files and required documentation. Case files not received as listed and those received with incomplete or missing required documentation should be resolved within 15 days. These cases will be placed in NW sub code MC ( missing case) and IC ( incomplete case). Those not resolved in the 15-day time frame will be returned to originator and the AOIC history documented.

    • Journal Payment Due Date Report: This report must be generated monthly via AOIC using the following date parameters: 01-01-1995 to 21 days prior to the run date.

    • OIC Follow-up Listing: This listing must be reviewed bi-monthly. Query the AOIC system with a beginning date of 01-01-1995 to 21 days prior to the run date. A corresponding entry should be in the case history for each item on the follow up listing

      Note:

      If there is a lien on the account, a follow- up must be set every 21 days to monitor for full payment.

    • Open Refund Recoupment Report: This report must be generated by June 30 and November 30 each year.

    • Other Investigations (OIs): Generate a report quarterly on Form 2209, Other Investigations, with a beginning date 90 days prior to the run date to determine over due responses. Instruct tax examiners to follow up with the Territory or COIC to ensure OIs are being addressed and responses received.

    • Aged 5M Inventory Listing: This listing must be reviewed monthly.Query the AOIC system with a beginning date of 01-01-1995 to 30 days prior to the run date

    • Open Collateral Report: This report should be run annually in November with a follow up within 60 days

    • Employee (Open) Inventory Report: This report must be generated monthly for each employee to ensure timely intake into inventory and appropriateness of actions

    • Closed Offer Deposit Disposition Report: This report must be generated monthly to ensure that deposits have been disposed of for rejected/withdrawn or terminated offers

    • Open Offers: Generate an AOIC report, quarterly, on current open offers for all statuses except Journal Payment and 5M to determine if they are in the correct status and that timely and effective action is being taken.

  2. Use the AOIC Follow-up Report to ensure that the Follow-up screen was updated and case actions were timely and appropriate

1.4.20.18.2.4  (01-20-2012)
Area AOIC Managerial Reviews

  1. The amount of compromised liability determines whether counsel approval is required for accepted offers.

  2. Potential rejected offers require mandatory review by an independent reviewer.

  3. Rejected, withdrawn, processable returns and accepted offers are randomly selected for quality review and shipped to the quality review site.

  4. When accepted offers are reviewed; the Form 656, Form 7249 and the Acceptance Letter are forwarded to the compliance campus so that the monitoring process is not held up due to quality review.

  5. When the quality review is completed, the originals are sent to the appropriate campus to be associated with the copy file.

1.4.20.18.3  (05-30-2013)
Use of Management Information Systems

  1. Team managers will utilize the following telephone management information reports:

    • Employee Time Summary - Crystal Report

    • Activity Report - Crystal Report

    • Daily/Weekly Employee Time Summary - Ready Report

    • eWFM

    • Standard or locally developed Custom View Reports - Director

    • And any other pertinent reports - RTA

  2. Team managers will utilize the following inventory management information reports:

    • Inventory Reports - QMF

    • Daily Workload - ACS MR00

    • Teach List - ACS ER00, Team, Empl,Num or QMF

    • Employee Summary Report - ES00,OPT,Emp,Num

    • Time Statistics Report - TS00

  3. These reports provide useful employee performance data and assist in the management of a Team's inventory and telephone operation. These reports will provide a total picture of an individual employee's or Team's performance.

1.4.20.18.4  (05-30-2013)
Priorities

  1. Managers must set workload priorities for their team to address critical areas (i.e., incoming call operation, TAOs, correspondence, levy inventories, and over aged functional inventory). Workload and resource balancing is subject to Operation approval.

  2. ACS inventories are sequenced for next case processing within a two tiered priority system. Generally, workload in a higher tier must be exhausted before the system moves to a lower tier. The two tiers are:

    • time constraint, and

    • priority and scheduled follow-up date

  3. Time constraint sequencing is used to identify the best time to call the taxpayer. The time constraint should not apply to Research or Investigation functional inventory.

  4. Priority and scheduled follow-up date sequencing applies to all functions. It is essentially a method that ensures first-in first-out processing within priority. The cases are accessed in the following order:

    • Highest priority (i.e. 0, 1, etc.)

    • Oldest follow-up date within priority

    • Oldest ACS establishment cycle within follow-up date; this allows all higher priority cases to be accessed before any lower priority cases.

    CSCO maintains workflow management consistent with established local protocols.

  5. .ACS Call Site workable inventories are determined based on inventory segments and “Consolidated Decision Analytics” (CDA) identify high priority inventory cases which is first priority.

  6. CSCO maintains workflow management consistent with established local protocols.

  7. Ensure correspondence is screened according to established CSCO program protocols based on campus direction. Identify documents (for re-routing) belonging to other employees to associate with suspense files. Managers must ensure that correspondence is expeditiously routed to the proper function. Depending on the CSCO Department, work will be batched in volumes of 25 or less, assigned a locally determined batch control number and dispensed according to established campus direction.

1.4.20.18.5  (01-20-2012)
Accounts Management Services (AMS)

  1. Account Management Services (AMS) is the successor application to Integrated Case Processing (ICP) and Desktop Integration (DI). It pulls information from many different IDRS and CFOL command codes and presents it in an easy to understand case summary. AMS serves as an inventory control system for taxpayer correspondence, electronic 911 and 4442 referrals, and various transcripts. Tools such as forms, letters, Payoff Calculator, and Financial Statement pre-populate taxpayer data and assist with case analysis and calculations. AMS also connects to other applications such as Automated Collection Systems (via ACSWeb), Automated Underreporter (AUR), Automated Trust Fund Recovery (ATFR), Correspondence Imaging System (CIS), Enterprise Logistics Information Technology (ELITE), Employee User Portal (EUP), Reasonable Cause Assistant (RCA), and Remittance Transaction Research (RTR).

  2. AMS emphasizes the sharing of key business data, increasing the availability of new tools, and integrating the access of these capabilities into a common interface. This allows any taxpayer contact, whether face-to-face, by phone, or by correspondence is documented and accessible by any IRS employee responding to taxpayer inquiries and working taxpayer compliance issues. Unique to AMS is the ability for any user to leave detailed case history narratives. This allows information to be shared across multiple functions working the taxpayer’s account. The enhanced efficiency of the “One Stop” concept of customer service reduces the length of time in which taxpayer inquires are handled and reduces the time frame in which enforcement activities are conducted. Frontline employees have access to more complete information, enabling them to better respond to taxpayer inquiries, address all issues, and provide resolution. This reduces the need for subsequent taxpayer contact or correspondence on the same issue. In addition, the ability to enhance customer service ties directly to the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of taxpayers with the IRS, which in turn influences taxpayer compliance.

  3. Training for all features in AMS is available through Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS). On the AMS Home Page, users can select the Help button in the upper right corner to find self help user guides and job aids detailing how to use the different features. Users may access additional information about AMS updates, current issues, tips and hints, as well as job aids and facilitator guides on the AMS website. AMS also posts information to SERP in the Local/Sites/Other tab (click here).

  4. The MITS AMS help desk provides routine and emergency alerts through email. Updates, new features, expected and unexpected outage information is sent out to all users with an active OL5081 for AMS. Others may subscribe to these alerts by sending an email to majordomo@adc.is.irs.gov and typing" subscribe ams-announce" on the first line in the body of the email.

1.4.20.18.5.1  (01-20-2012)
AMS Access

  1. Access to AMS is not universal and is determined by each Headquarters. Please contact your Headquarters analyst if you are not sure whether your function has access. If your function does not have access, your Headquarters will need to submit a Unified Work Request (UWR).

  2. Functions with access to AMS are set up with profiles established by their Headquarters. This means each function will have different access to various forms, letters, and tools. Users may have access to only one functional profile at a time.

  3. AMS does not require a unique user identification or password. AMS uses IDRS to validate a user’s identity. This means every user who wants access to AMS must first be an IDRS user. Department or Operations managers who may not otherwise use IDRS still need IDRS to get AMS access. They should obtain IDRS access through Online 5081 (OL5081) and request the addition of command codes SUMRY and TXMOD be included in their profiles to meet the minimum requirement.

  4. After IDRS access is obtained, the manager or employee needs to complete an OL5081 request for AMS access. In OL5081, browse for AMS to see a list of the different AMS profiles available. They are based on BOD, campus, location, and function.

  5. Certain features will not be available without the correct command codes. For example, the screen for Update Taxpayer Entity will not contain the ability to change addresses or phone numbers without the command codes ENREQ, INCHG/BNCHG, TELEA, TELEC, or TELED. Managers or IDRS security representatives must add these command codes in IDRS before these features can be used in AMS. If these command codes are added while the user is signed on, he/she will need to sign off then sign back on to AMS and IDRS before the command codes will be recognized by these systems.

  6. Managers or users should use the delete feature in OL5081 when they no longer require AMS access.

  7. If a user moves to a different function, even if they will need AMS in their new area, he/she or their manager will need to first delete their current AMS profile through OL5081. Deletion of the current profile is necessary BEFORE submitting a second OL5081 to add the new profile.

  8. Simultaneous with the OL5081 process, every AMS user needs to register with the Employee User Portal (EUP). This is needed for AMS to check the Negative TIN table which contains TINs for family, friends, or others where account access would create an Unauthorized Access (UNAX) situation. To register:

    • From the IRS home page, in the top right corner under Employee Tools/Services

    • Click on Technology.

    • Click on Employee User Portal (EUP).

    • Click on Employee User Portal (EUP) again.

    • On the home page of EUP click Register for EUP access. Follow the instructions for User Registration. Once you choose a password, click on submit.

    • You will be given the message" Registration Successful" .

    • Read the instruction on the Acknowledgement Screen.

    • Click on logout in the top right corner.

    • Wait for an email with your registration token.

    • Once you have received the token, log back into the EUP system.

    • Using your SEID and the password you created, click on submit. You will then be asked to enter the token you received.

    • Click on submit. You will receive a message "Registration Token Successful" and the system will automatically direct you to the "Welcome Page" .

    • The registration process is the only thing needed by AMS. If other features within EUP are needed, separate OL5081 requests will need to be completed for the other features. They are separate from AMS.

  9. The OL5081 process will set up the basic profile for each user. Managers should review each of their employees’ profiles to add any other features, inventories, skills or thresholds needed.

1.4.20.18.5.2  (01-20-2012)
AMS Management Tools

  1. AMS offers a number of tools to assist managers in making various functionality or systems available to their employees. In the left hand navigation panel, managers should select My Profile to review their own information. If any changes are needed, managers should request changes from their site’s System Security Officer (SSO). The SSO is usually the same person who has security responsibilities for IDRS or ACS, but may be anyone designated by their operation.

  2. Managers can review their employees’ profiles by selecting “Profile Management”, then “User Profile” in the left navigation panel on AMS. A list of employees assigned to them will be displayed. Select the name of the employee, then “View/Modify”. The profile screen will display information such as name, pseudonym, group, user role, title, telephone number, fax number, email address, and IDRS campus. Managers and SSOs may modify this information. It also shows what profile was chosen from the OL5081 process.

  3. At the top of the profile page, there are several other tabs you may select to perform various updates. For example, select “Application Tools” to see a list of the various features available for you to choose to give your employee. If your employee is eligible for an available application, click on it and select “Add”. All applications your employee has access to are shown in the “Selected “ box as well as anything you may add. If you want to remove a “Selected” application, click on it and select “Remove”. You must select “Save All & Exit” to make these changes permanent. RCA and RTR are not considered a basic part of the user profile. If you choose either of these applications for your employee, remember to have them complete Reasonable Cause Penalty Abatement training on ELMS before granting access to RCA and complete an OL5081 for RTR before access is given.

  4. Another tab on your employee’s profile page is “Inventories”. In Compliance, ACS Support and CSCO show taxpayer correspondence and some transcripts in AMS inventory. Choose the inventory type from the drop down menu. Under “Available Skills”, it shows the OFP types you can assign to your employee. Follow the instructions in IRM 1.4.20.17.6.2(3) for adding and/or removing selected OFPs. The threshold and the gatekeeper skill can also be selected. Skills and thresholds must be set for each employee in order to receive work. You must select “Save All & Exit” to make these changes permanent.

  5. Use the Web Links tab on your employee’s profile page to set up links to specific websites or online IRM references. Assign the link a name and copy the URL from the website or page. Up to five links can be set up. Your employee can also set these links themselves. You must select “Save All & Exit” to make the changes permanent.

  6. Another important feature to set up is the second link under “Profile Management”. The “Group Profile” link opens the “Group Address” page. Input the address you want to appear on all of the group’s forms including the 10321, fax cover page, or any other form that requires this information. Select “Add/Modify” to make the change permanent.

1.4.20.18.5.3  (01-20-2012)
AMS Reports

  1. AMS provides managers with a variety of reports that have been pre-defined by Headquarters. In AMS, select the Reports link under the Tools section in the left hand navigation panel. Different functions have different reports. Different levels of management such as frontline, operations, and headquarters will have access to different group, site, or BOD level reports.

  2. All users have access to the TIN Summary report to view accounts they have accessed themselves. Frontline managers have access to all TIN Summary reports for each of their employees. Reports can be viewed for specific date ranges from today’s date going back thirty days.

  3. ACS call site managers will continue to obtain their reports through ACS or ACSWeb Manager.

  4. CSCO and ACS Support have access to various inventory reports such as daily or weekly starting and ending inventories for all OFPs or specific OFPs; by individual, group or operation. There are also reports to show skills assigned to each employee as well as their current thresholds.

  5. ACS Support managers will ensure all inventories are sorted and batched in AMS within 24 hours (not including holidays or weekends) of receipt. During peak season, it will be batched into AMS within 48 hours.

  6. CSCO managers will ensure all inventories are sorted and batched in AMS within 3 days of receipt in the Operation. (Peak processing timeframes can be found in the W&I CSCO Operating Guidelines.)

  7. Written requests received in CSCO and ACS Support Operations must be controlled within 14 days from the IRS received date or 3 business days from the operation received date. When a final response cannot be initiated within 30 days, an interim response will be initiated by the 30th calendar day from the IRS received date.

    Note:

    Sites using AMS for controlling and monitoring inventory follow AMS guidelines for case control and acknowledgment of taxpayer correspondence.


    If correspondence is received from a previous area after the 30 days expires and no interim letter was issued, you must send an interim letter within five business days of receipt in your area. See IRM 5.19.1.1(7). Follow all other IDRS control procedures in IRM 21.5.1.4.2.2.

  8. Managers should routinely access reports to determine the timeliness and volume of work being completed. This assists in scheduling employees to remain current with priority work and conducting reviews.

1.4.20.18.6  (05-30-2013)
Scheduling

  1. The key to managing a successful team is utilizing proper scheduling techniques in order to ensure that objectives are met. This entails scheduling available resources against these objectives and executing the schedule to the extent of the resource capabilities.

  2. Managers should be cognizant of rotating their employees in a manner which ensures that all critical element standards are observed.

  3. Managers must review staffing levels and work plans to ensure sufficient staffing within the team is available at all times to process the workload.

  4. Incoming calls are the highest priority and proper scheduling must be accomplished in order to maximize customer service and satisfaction. If an out call is necessary for case resolution, calls should only be made between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. local time. If contacting a Power of Attorney (POA), contact should be made during routine business hours (8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. local time. Local time is determined by the time the call is received by the taxpayer, not when the call is placed by ACS.

  5. To schedule off-terminal inventories, use anticipated receipts plus on-hand documents/lists identified from local controls and experience.

1.4.20.19  (01-20-2012)
Paper Documents and Mail Processing

  1. Clerical staff sorts third party responses and tax return information. The kind of managerial controls used will be determined by the volume of work and the number of employees involved.

  2. If volume is low, visual control should be adequate. Have the work sorted by type and receipt date and kept in bins, trays, or shelves where it is visible. Check periodically during the work day to ensure first-in, first-out processing and to ensure that backlogs do not develop.

  3. If volume is high, have work matched (by type and receipt date) and maintain a control log showing the assignment of batches to individual employees. This will help to ensure first-in, first-out processing and to identify work needing follow-up.

  4. Taxpayer correspondence will be processed within teams.

    • Team R1 processes taxpayer correspondence on ACS call site cases.

    • Team R6 Processes Installment Agreement Requests.

    • Team S4 processes correspondence received in ACS Support

  5. Ensure all correspondence is screened against ACS to identify documents (for re-routing) belonging to other employees and to associate with other suspense file documents. Managers must ensure that correspondence meeting TAO criteria is expeditiously routed to R2 (or to the Taxpayer Advocate Office). During all screening, an indicator should be put in Comments to alert other call site/support employees that correspondence is being processed. Batches of 25 documents or less should be established and given a locally determined batch control number.

  6. Mail received through electronic team mailboxes and the walk-in mailbox should be printed to ensure timely processing of the request. The electronic team mailboxes are required to be processed within 5 days of receipt and the walk-in mailbox must be processed within one hour. Team Leads will send count of the electronic receipts to the clerical unit to add to the weekly inventory report.

  7. Maintain a control log showing the date and employee to whom each batch is assigned, the number of documents, and the completion date. Use this control to ensure batches are processed in the order received and to follow up on late completions.

  8. When ever possible maintain batch integrity throughout processing. This means the batch remains intact and individual documents are not removed until the batch is completed. This promotes timely processing, keeps employees from retaining cases, and allows the manager access to the entire batch when doing a review.

1.4.20.19.1  (01-20-2012)
Mail Processing

  1. Clerks distribute incoming and outgoing mail. Employees assigned this duty should be thoroughly familiar with:

    • routing procedures,

    • the difference between correspondence, Collection Due Processing (CDP) requests, correspondence for cases assigned to other employees and mis-directed mail,

    • form ordering procedures, and

    • routing and shipping procedures including frequency, method and addresses

  2. Date stamp all incoming mail; this helps managers in other teams assess the timeliness of their work. Keep a log showing the volume of mail received by type each day (for example, third party responses, tax returns, taxpayer correspondence and other program criteria). This will assist management in long term planning.

  3. Make periodic visual inspections. By reviewing the contents of the mail sorting bins, the manager can increase the timeliness and accuracy of the work.

1.4.20.20  (01-20-2012)
Employee Work Reviews

  1. To assist employee performance, verify the rights of the taxpayer are protected, identify training needs, and assess the quality of the work product, a systemic process of reviewing the work of employees is required. Since the work in the team can be varied, review methods may include the following:

    • Telephone Monitoring

    • Temporary Employee Action Code History (TEACH Reviews)

    • Paper Processing Reviews

    • Clerical Reviews

    • Bin Reviews

    • Security Reviews

    • IDRS (Integrated Data Retrieval System) adjustment reviews (See IRM 1.4.17.2.3.3 ).

    • AMS reviews

    • Workload reviews and on-line reviews

    • Non-evaluation reviews

    • Evaluative reviews

    All reviews listed above, with the exception of clerical, bin, IDRS and AMS reviews, must be completed on a Data Collection Instrument (DCI) via the Embedded Quality Review System (EQRS).

  2. Review results are linked, by attribute scoring, directly to the employee's Critical Job Elements (CJEs). It is the manager's responsibility to schedule employee reviews in a manner which will permit the employees to obtain documentation for as many aspects of their CJEs as possible.

  3. Employees, other than Collection Representatives (CR) and Tax Examining Assistants (TEA) who do not make regular outgoing calls and are not scheduled to take incoming calls, but instead process correspondence, will receive a minimum of one review per month (e.g., paper document, TEACH review).

  4. A review schedule should be maintained which lists all employees in the team and the completion date of evaluative reviews. When the required number of reviews are not timely completed, notate the reason on the schedule. Since these schedules will be reviewed by Department and Operation managers during their operational reviews, retain the schedules until completion of the operational reviews.

  5. Evaluative reviews/telephone monitors are completed as formal documentation of employees' performance that feed into their annual performance evaluation. The manager must sign the reviews and share the feedback with the employees in a timely fashion. In accordance with the National Agreement II guidelines, Leads may provide supplemental evaluative reviews; however, the manager must sign and share the reviews with the employees.

  6. All ACS Collection Representatives must receive a minimum of two telephone monitoring evaluative reviews per month, plus one TEACH Review per quarter. A TEACH review will consist of at least 5 cases or 10 paper documents for each review. Managers have the option to schedule a TEACH or paper document review depending on employee assignments. There should be a balance of these reviews throughout the year. Non-evaluative reviews/telephone monitors should be conducted to address training or performance issues. These reviews may be conducted by managers, lead CRs or On-the-Job Instructors (OJIs). This type of review can include working side by side with the employee, dual jack telephone monitoring, a review of calls recorded by Contact Recording and case reviews for the purpose of skill and job performance enhancement when deemed necessary.

  7. The shared signed evaluative review (DCI) must be filed in the employee's EPF, and a copy provided to the employee.

1.4.20.20.1  (01-20-2012)
ACS Activity Reviews (TEACH File)

  1. In addition to the required call site monthly telephone monitoring review, managers/lead CRs are required to document reviews of at least five cases processed by each employee every quarter for evaluation purposes. ACS Support managers/lead TEA's should conduct three (3) Paper Document reviews .

  2. If it is determined that additional documentation is needed on an employee's performance, increase the number of evaluative reviews as necessary. In this situation the employee should be notified of the change in advance.

1.4.20.20.1.1  (01-20-2012)
Evaluative TEACH Review

  1. Use the ACS system to request a display of all cases processed by an employee up to a given point in the processing day, or request a hard copy print for review the next day, of all cases processed the preceding day.

  2. There are several methods you can use to select cases for review as described below:

    • Random Sample

    • Every XX case

    • Sample based on patterns; for this type of sample, analyze the number of cases processed and look for patterns. Examples of patterns to look for are:

      Example:

      frequent incidence of History Code OAXX, which may indicate incomplete processing

      Example:

      history codes which are inappropriate to the function (e.g. TFOJ, or LT28) or the History Code and definer seem incompatible (e.g. TOC1, LV01)

      Example:

      frequent appearance of TFRO or TFQU actions

  3. A TEACH list review should consist of no less than five cases. A separate DCI must be prepared for each case. Select ACS Case Processing as the product line when inputting ACS TEACH reviews into EQRS.

  4. All managers must ensure the proper paperwork is completed through the Embedded Quality process.

1.4.20.20.2  (01-20-2012)
Telephone Monitoring

  1. Monitoring employee telephone calls and providing feedback will be one of the most important aspects of an ACS manager's job. Managers will be spending a significant amount of time on this activity.

  2. Each telephone monitor should review a complete call. Do not interrupt a live monitored conversation unless an error is being made that would adversely impact the accuracy or timely processing of the taxpayer's account. When this occurs, activate the barge-in feature to alert the employee to put the call on hold while the issue is discussed privately.

  3. Monitoring results should reflect the performance observed. Do not assume that promised processing actions will take place after the contact. A manager should ensure that all actions evaluated actually took place.

  4. Select ACS Phones as the product line when inputting monitoring information to EQRS.

  5. If it is determined that additional reviews are needed, based on an employee's performance or training needs, the manager may increase the number of reviews as necessary. The employee should be notified during counseling of the additional monitoring in advance.


More Internal Revenue Manual