1.4.50  Collection Group Manager, Territory Manager and Area Director Operational Aid

Manual Transmittal

March 21, 2013

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised IRM Part 1, Organization, Finance, and Management, Chapter 4, Resource Guide for Managers, Section 50, Collection Group Manager, Territory Manager and Area Director Operational Aid.

Material Changes

(1) IRM 1.4.50.11.1 clarifies that, during the remittance control review, group managers should confirm and document the accuracy of Form 3210, Document Transmittal.

(2) Exhibit 10, Remittance Processing Transmission Control Review Template, is updated to reflect the requirement to review and document the accuracy of Form 3210.

(3) Editorial changes are also incorporated.

Effect on Other Documents

This material supersedes IRM 1.4.50 dated January 25, 2013.

Audience

Small Business/Self-Employed, Field Collection managers.

Effective Date

(03-21-2013)

Related Resources

IRM resources:

  • IRM 1.4.1.3, Administrative Responsibilities

  • IRM 1.5.2, Uses of Section 1204 Statistics

  • IRM 1.15, Records and Information Management

  • IRM 5.3.1, ENTITY Case Management System

  • IRM 5.13.1, Embedded Quality Administrative Guidelines

  • IRM 6.430.2, Performance Management Program for Evaluating Bargaining Unit and Non Bargaining Unit Employees Assigned to Critical Job Elements (CJEs)

  • IRM 6.751, Discipline and Disciplinary Actions

  • IRM 6.800.2, Employee Benefits, IRS Telework (Flexiplace)Program

  • IRM 10.4.1, Managers Security Handbook

  • IRM 25.1.8, Fraud Handbook, Collection Field Function

Web resources:

  • Centralized Case Processing (CCP): http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/AboutSBSE/aboutccs/ccsprog/casepro/ccpcol

  • Collection Consultation: http://icsweb.web.irs.gov/Docs/HTML/user_guide.htm#cc

  • Critical Job Elements (CJEs): http://hco.web.irs.gov/apps/cje/

  • Embedded Quality: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/mgrsact/eq/collection/default.aspx

  • ENTITY: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/Collection/collsystems/entity/default.aspx

  • Human Capital Office (HCO) website: http://hco.web.irs.gov

  • ICS User Guide:http://icsweb.web.irs.gov/Docs/HTML/user_guide.htm

  • iManage website:http://ss.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/MRC/Pages/CoPsDefault.aspx

  • MY SBSE web: http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/default.aspx

  • 2012 National Agreement II: http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/

  • New Manager Orientation (NMO) Support Center:http://hco.web.irs.gov/apps/leads/nmo.html

  • Section 1203/RRA 98:http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/conperf/1203issues/index.html

  • Telework: http://hco.web.irs.gov/telework/

  • UNAX:http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/bu/pipds/pip/privacy/unax/unax_art/20555.aspx

Scott D. Reisher, Director, Collection Policy

1.4.50.1  (01-25-2013)
Chapter Overview

  1. This chapter discusses responsibilities of managers in Field Collection. The primary focus of this chapter is guidance related to Field Collection case work. While many topics are touched upon in this chapter, comprehensive guidance about all of them cannot be included here. As you use this chapter, remain alert for references to other resources, such as related IRMs and websites and access that guidance as needed to ensure a thorough understanding of topics.

1.4.50.2  (01-25-2013)
Role of the Field Collection Manager

  1. Fundamental responsibilities for all managers are discussed in IRM 1.4.1, Management Roles and Responsibilities. As a field collection manager, you must provide oversight and direction in a number of areas which will result in accomplishing the mission of the Internal Revenue Service. Your oversight responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

    1. Ensuring employee case actions are timely and in accordance with current law, policies, and procedures.

    2. Ensuring employees maintain high standards of professionalism in all contacts with the public, internal customers, and coworkers.

    3. Ensuring employees observe taxpayer rights.

    4. Ensuring employees are aware of ongoing changes to the laws, policies, and procedures that relate to their responsibilities (preferably during group meetings).

    5. Addressing systems issues that impact either internal or external customer needs.

    6. Ensuring cases are assigned timely and that employee workload:
      • Reflects current priorities.
      • Reflects employee experience and skill level.
      • Addresses Servicewide objectives.
      • Protects public interest.
      • Allows for effective case processing.

    7. Helping revenue officers make the appropriate next case decision when necessary.

    8. Ensuring employees are accountable for the appropriateness of their actions.

    9. Providing ongoing employee feedback that is candid and meaningful and will establish a basis for determining an accurate assessment of performance and developmental needs.

    10. Issuing the Critical Job Elements (CJEs) timely in accordance with the 2012 National Agreement II and evaluating employees performance against their CJEs.

    11. Creating and maintaining a work environment that will promote teamwork, positive working relationships, and increased employee satisfaction.

    12. Ensuring employees have necessary functioning equipment and supplies.

    13. Overseeing the time reporting process and ensuring that the group's End of Month (EOM) time and inventory data are accurate and timely.

  2. Your responsibilities also include:

    1. Developing employees.

    2. Evaluating employee performance and providing counseling.

    3. Addressing employee conduct issues.

    4. Fostering good working relationships.

    5. Defining goals and course of action.

    6. Assigning and directing work.

    7. Instructing employees in the application of procedures and guidelines.

    8. Displaying integrity in all actions.

  3. As a manager you are accountable to address performance deficiencies within your group. This may be accomplished through reviews and/or by requiring your concurrence with performing specific actions. For example, if you find that Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) determinations are not being made in accordance with IRM 5.12.2, Federal Tax Liens, Lien Filing Requirements, you can require revenue officers to secure your written approval for all non-filing or extension decisions.
    For additional direction regarding performance issues see Exhibit 1.4.50-6, Suggested Action Steps for Unacceptable Performance.

  4. You must also oversee group remittance processing activities, including monitoring Form(s) 5919, Teller's Error Advice, sent to your group. Procedures are shown in IRM 5.1.2. See IRM 5.1.2.4.6, Responding to Form 5919. Remittance control reviews are addressed in IRM 1.4.50.11.1.

1.4.50.2.1  (01-25-2013)
Communicating Expectations

  1. When a new group is established or a new manager is assigned to an existing group, a meeting with the employees must be held within the first 30 days. At this meeting the manager will communicate expectations to include the following topics:

    • Group procedures

    • Case work

    • Use of time - office/field/telework

    • Timeliness of case activity

    • Reasonable time frames for case actions
      (See IRM 5.1.10.3.1 ,Initial Contact Time Frames ,IRM 5.1.10.7, Case Histories and IRM 5.1.10.8, Timely Follow Up, for timeliness and time frames)

    • Case review schedule

    • Collection Consultations - schedule and structure

    These expectations should also be reviewed at the beginning of each fiscal year.

    Note:

    This meeting is considered a 7114 meeting. Local National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) chapter(s) must be notified of the meeting in accordance with Article 8, Union Rights, of the 2012 National Agreement II .

  2. When a new employee is assigned to an existing group, the group manager must meet with the new employee to discuss managerial expectations (see (1) above) and ensure appropriate on-line Forms 5081 are completed and processed.

    Note:

    This meeting is considered a 7114 meeting. Local National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) chapter(s) must be notified of the meeting in accordance with Article 8, Union Rights, of the 2012 National Agreement II.

1.4.50.2.2  (01-25-2013)
Group Meetings

  1. Regular group meetings will be held as necessary to review items such as the following:

    • Directives from the Territory Manager, Area Director, and Headquarters

    • Procedural memoranda

    • IRM changes

    • Case resolution techniques

    • Changes in condition of employment

    • Automation issues

    • Mandated topics not available on other media

    • General group (employee) concerns

    Note:

    Regular group meetings are not ordinarily considered 7114 meetings. The Union entitlement arises where there is a discussion of a personnel policy, practice or other general condition of employment. For example, a discussion at a group meeting on the need to make timely Trust Fund Recovery Penalty (TFRP) determinations or how to handle a particular type of case would not ordinarily be considered 7114 issues. Managers should seek guidance and advice from their servicing Field LR Section if they are unsure whether an agenda item for a group meeting constitutes a 7114 issue. Article 8 Section 1 of the 2012 National Agreement II also provides guidance on 7114 Meetings.

1.4.50.2.3  (01-25-2013)
ENTITY End Of Month (EOM) Processing

  1. You are responsible for reviewing time reported by your employees to ensure accuracy. Using ICS and ENTITY, verify time prior to End of Month (EOM) processing (i.e., no later than COB on the last Friday of the monthly reporting period). Updates/corrections to End of Day (EOD) data occur overnight. Thus, if all EOD activity is not completed and verified by the Friday prior to EOM, delays in processing EOM reports will result. Exhibit 10 in IRM 5.2.1, Collection Time Reporting, provides information about the last Friday of each reporting period and number of expected hours in each period. Consider the following:

    1. You can use ENTITY to verify accuracy of time charges. Review the following: ENTITY Time Report "Hours Verification Report" and, under "View" , the "Weekly Time Verification" . See IRM 5.2.1,Collection Time Reporting, for more information.

    2. Be alert for, and address as appropriate, issues such as potentially excessive administrative or miscellaneous direct time, minimal field time, discrepancies related to credit/comp/holiday/training time, etc.

    3. Ensure that the group secretary performs weekly time verification and checks for daily EOD for all employees.

    4. Monitor case sub codes and consider requesting that ROs validate sub codes monthly to avoid inaccurate time reporting. See IRM 5.3.1.2.3, Case Codes and Subcodes

    5. Refer to IRM 5.2.1.8.1(3), Field Collection Area Procedures, for specific information about GM responsibilities related to time reporting.

1.4.50.3  (01-25-2013)
General Managerial Responsibilities

  1. IRM 1.4.1.3, Administrative Responsibilities, contains information about general managerial responsibilities. Place special emphasis on responsibilities shown in the following sections.

1.4.50.3.1  (01-25-2013)
Administrative

  1. Group Managers are responsible for oversight of certain administrative functions for their employees including, but not limited to:

    1. Maintenance of time and attendance records

    2. Certifying overtime records

    3. Approving scheduled and unscheduled leave

    4. Controlling and approving travel

    5. Maintaining safe working conditions

    6. Holding group meetings

    7. Keeping employees current on all applicable policies and procedures

  2. Other Administrative tasks include, but are not limited to:

    • Ensuring ENTITY End of Month reports are completed correctly by the due date

    • Completing quarterly 1204 self certifications

    • Oversight of supply procurement

    • Maintaining EPF and Drop files for each employee

      Caution:

      You may delegate certain duties to a secretary/ administrative assistant; however, you retain oversight responsibility for those tasks.

  3. Items that you must update individually with each RO annually include, but are not limited to:

    • Form 6774, Receipt of Critical Job Elements and Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers Retention Standard

    • Form 11386, IRS Telework (Flexiplace) Agreement

    • Form 7995 , Outside Employment or Business Activity Request

    • Form 10094, Employee Career Learning Plan

    • Form 6850-BU , Bargaining Unit Performance Appraisal and Recognition Election

  4. Resources:

    • IRM 1.4.1.3, Administrative Responsibilities

    • IRM 1.15.28, Records Management, Records Control Schedule for Collection

    • New Manager Orientation Support Center:http://hco.web.irs.gov/apps/leads/nmo.html

    • iManage website:http://ss.ds.irsnet.gov/sites/MRC/Pages/CoPsDefault.aspx

1.4.50.3.1.1  (01-25-2013)
Employee Performance File (EPF)

  1. You are responsible for establishing and maintaining an EPF for each of your employees.

  2. You are responsible for ensuring the effective use of the EPF by:

    1. Ensuring that the proper documents are included in each EPF.

      Note:

      See IRM 6.430.2.3.5, Employee Performance File (EPF).

    2. Ensuring that filing and purging of performance related documents and records are in compliance with requirements. See (7) below.

    3. Keeping all performance records and documents secured.

    4. Forwarding EPF records of employees transferring to other Treasury Bureaus or to a different post of duty or manager within the Service.

  3. Form 6774, Receipt of Critical Job Elements and Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers Retention Standard, is maintained in the EPF. You must update the form annually and ensure it is signed and dated. See IRM 1.5.3.5, Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers.

  4. Recordation is defined as a manager's written record evaluating an employee in a positive or negative manner. For BU employees, recordation must be furnished to an employee within fifteen (15) workdays of the time the manager becomes aware, or should have been aware, of the event that it addresses. If it is not furnished within fifteen (15) workdays, it cannot become part of the EPF.

    Caution:

    Documentation on ICS regarding the monthly Consultation Process does not qualify as a performance recordation and is not to be included in revenue officers’ EPF folders or used for evaluative purposes.

  5. Electronic signatures may be used on Form 6850-BU, Bargaining Unit Performance Appraisal and Recognition Request, processed through HR Connect; however, paper copies of the form must be maintained in the EPF.

  6. The EPF is maintained in addition to and separate from the Employee Drop File. The EPF is not the same as the Official Personnel File (OPF). See IRM 1.4.1.8.4, Official Personnel File (OPF).

  7. For additional information regarding the specific items to be placed in the EPF and the retention period, refer to:

    • Human Capital Office website at: http://hco.web.irs.gov

    • 2012 National Agreement II, Article 12: http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/

    • IRM 6.430.2.3.5, Employee Performance File (EPF)

    • The local Labor Relations Specialist

    • HR Connect:https://www.hrconnect.treas.gov/psp/hrprod/?cmd=login&languag

1.4.50.3.1.2  (01-25-2013)
Employee Drop File (EDF)

  1. In addition to the EPF, a second file should be established for each employee. This is referred to as the drop file. The Employee Drop File (EDF) is for other documentation not related to performance.

  2. See IRM 1.4.1.8.5(7), Employee Performance File (EPF) for more information.

1.4.50.3.1.3  (01-25-2013)
Medical Information

  1. Employee medical information must be maintained separately from the EPF and EDF.

  2. For more information see IRM 6.630.1.5.4, Safeguarding Medical Information, and the HCO website at: http://hco.web.irs.gov/perfmgmt

1.4.50.3.2  (01-25-2013)
Protecting Taxpayer Rights

  1. A primary responsibility of managers is to monitor employee practices and actions to ensure that taxpayer rights are always observed.

  2. Taxpayer rights include, but are not limited to the following:

    1. Right to privacy

    2. Right to due process

    3. Fair and courteous treatment

    4. Proper notification of third party contacts

    5. Protection from unauthorized disclosure

  3. Section 1203 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA ‘98) calls for the termination of any employee of the Internal Revenue Service if there is a final administrative or judicial determination that the employee willfully committed any act or omission described below:

    1. Failing to obtain required approval signatures when making a seizure

    2. Providing a sworn, false statement in a "material matter" concerning a taxpayer

    3. Violating the constitutional rights of or discriminating against taxpayers or employees

    4. Falsifying or destroying documents to cover a mistake concerning a taxpayer

    5. Receiving a criminal conviction or civil judgment for assault or battery on a taxpayer or employee

    6. Violating the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), IRS regulations or policies to retaliate against or harass taxpayers or employees

    7. Misusing IRC 6103 to conceal information from Congressional inquiry

    8. Failing to file a federal tax return on or before its due date, unless it is due to reasonable cause

    9. Understating federal tax liability, unless it is due to reasonable cause

    10. Threatening an audit for personal gain

  4. There is an important distinction between evaluating performance under CJE 2, Taxpayer Rights, and evaluating compliance with the Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers. See retention standard resources for more information.

  5. Resources:

    • Form 6774, Receipt of Critical Job Elements and Retention Standard,

    • IRM 6.430.2.4.7,Rating Performance Against The Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers

    • IRM 6.430.2.2.5, Discussing The Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers

    • 1203 resources:http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/conperf/1203issues/index.html

    • Retention Standard resources: http://hco.web.irs.gov/perfmgmt/evaluation/evalperf/nonmgrpolicy.html

    • IRM 5.1.23, Taxpayer Representation Procedures for Revenue Officers

    • Office of Professional Responsibility website: http://nhq.no.irs.gov/OPR/

    • Publication 947http://publish.no.irs.gov/getpdf.cgi?catnum=13392, Practice Before the IRS and Power of Attorney

1.4.50.3.2.1  (01-25-2013)
Direct Contact For Taxpayers With/or Requesting Representation

  1. Ensure that your group is in conformance with IRC 7521 , Procedures Involving Taxpayer Interviews. It is also important to ensure that employees comply with guidelines about direct contact with TPs with representatives. Specifically, your employees are required to:

    1. Stop the interview with a taxpayer (unless required by court order) whenever a taxpayer requests to consult with a representative (e.g. accountant, attorney or enrolled agent, who is permitted to represent taxpayers before the IRS).

    2. Obtain your approval to contact the taxpayer instead of the representative, if the representative is responsible for unreasonably delaying the completion of a collection action. See IRM 5.1.23.5(1), By-Passing a Taxpayer's Representative.

      Exception:

      Per IRM 5.1.23.5(6), ,By-Passing a Taxpayer’s Representative, the IRS may work directly with a taxpayer to resolve an issue on the taxpayer's account if: The taxpayer initiates the contact to resolve the issue on the account and/or the taxpayer expresses a specific desire to resolve the issue without the involvement of the representative after the IRS employee has advised the taxpayer of the current representation. The taxpayer’s desire to have the IRS work directly with the taxpayer instead of the representative must be properly documented in the case file.

  2. Examples of steps you can take to ensure compliance by your employees are:

    • Group meetings

    • Case reviews

    • Workload reviews

    • Field visitations

    • Office visitations

    • Taxpayer/representative inquiries (if necessary)

1.4.50.3.2.2  (01-25-2013)
Recording Taxpayer Interviews

  1. A taxpayer or representative may request to use audio or video equipment to record an in-person interview. See IRM 5.1.12.4, Taxpayer Requests to Record an In-Person Interview, for information on responding to such requests. The right to make an audio recording does not extend to telephone interviews.

1.4.50.3.2.3  (01-25-2013)
Fair Debt Collection Practices

  1. Internal Revenue Code § 6304, Fair Tax Collection Practices, imposes certain restrictions with respect to tax collection. During a case review or upon receiving a complaint from a taxpayer, you may identify a potential violation of those restrictions. Potential employee violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) must be reported to the local Labor Relations Specialist by the close of the next business day following notification of the alleged violation.

  2. To ensure collected data is complete and accurate, use the following FDCPA issue codes when reporting the potential violation. Labor Relations uses these codes for tracking on the Automated Labor and Employee Relations Tracking System (ALERTS).

    • 141/ Fair Tax Collection Unusual Contact with Taxpayer

    • 142 /Direct Contact with Taxpayer without Representative or Taxpayer Consent

    • 143/ Contact at Taxpayer Employment without Consent

    • 144/ Harassment/Abuse Use/Threat of Use

    • 145/ Use of Obscene or Profane Language to Abuse

    • 146/ Continuous Telephone Calls with Intent to Harass

    • 147/ Telephone Calls to Taxpayer without Meaningful Disclosure of Identity

  3. If violations are confirmed, work with your LR Specialist to determine the next appropriate action.

  4. Resources:

    • IRM 5.1.10.2, Fair Tax Collection Practices

    • IRM 1.5.3.5, Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers

    • IRM 6.430.2.4.7, Rating Performance Against The Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers.

1.4.50.3.2.4  (01-25-2013)
Ex Parte Communication With Appeals/GM Action Necessary

  1. An “ex parte communication” is a communication that takes place between any Appeals employee and employees of other IRS functions, without the taxpayer/representative being given an opportunity to participate in the communication. Revenue Procedure 2012-18, Ex Parte Communications between Appeals and other Internal Revenue Service Employees, applies to communications that take place after May 15, 2012, and clarifies the rules about ex parte communications.

  2. Prior to approving CDP cases for transmittal to Appeals, review Form 12153-A, Referral Request for CDP Hearing and Request for CDPTS Input, to ensure that narrative statements are limited to a neutral list of documents and neutral statements regarding actions taken and documented in the case history without any further discussion regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the taxpayer’s appeal. Ensure that no prohibited ex parte communications are included before approving the transmittal of the case to Appeals.

  3. You must ensure that no prohibited ex parte communications are included in TFRP case files and ICS/ATFR case history before approving the transmittal of the case to Advisory. Document your concurrence in the ICS case history. See IRM 5.7.6, Trust Fund Penalty Assessment Action, for additional guidance on manager responsibilities for TFRP protest cases.

  4. If a taxpayer submits a written appeal after a (non-TFRP) Penalty Abatement Request is denied and Appeals consideration is necessary, ROs will forward the appeal to you for review and concurrence. Ensure that the ICS history is attached to the appeal request and that no prohibited ex parte communications are included before approving the transmittal of the case to Appeals. If the case history contains commentary that is determined to violate the ex parte communication rules, take appropriate action, which could include sharing the information with the taxpayer, or following ICS history removal procedures detailed in IRM 5.1.10.7, Case Histories.

  5. If the appeal contains new information that requires additional investigation or ICS documentation, the RO must secure managerial concurrence of decision to sustain penalty abatement denial. If the RO is unable to make contact with the taxpayer within a reasonable time period, the RO will forward the case file to the GM and the GM will take the following actions:

    • Prepare a letter to the taxpayer that identifies the new information and a brief summary of the results of the additional investigation.

    • Document issuance of the letter to the taxpayer in the ICS history and attach a copy of the letter to the taxpayer appeal.

    • You must ensure that the ICS history is attached to the appeal request and that no prohibited ex parte communications are included before approving the transmittal of the case to Appeals.

  6. Fast Track Mediation (FTM) can be used for TFRP protests as well as CDP and Equivalent Hearing (EH). The prohibition against ex parte communications between Appeals employees and originating function employees does not apply to FTM because the Appeals employees are not acting in their traditional Appeals settlement role. Ex parte communications, such as a private caucus between the Appeals mediator and Collection employees during the course of the mediation session, is permissible under the ex parte communication rules.

  7. Resources:

    • IRM 5.1.9.5, Communications with Appeals

    • IRM 5.1.9.3.3.2, Preparing Case for Transmittal to Appeals

    • IRM 5.1.9.3.8, CDP and Equivalent Hearing Fast Track Mediation (FTM)

    • IRM 5.1.15.16.4, Penalty Denial and Appeals

    • SBSE IGM 05-0812-062, Ex Parte Communications with Appeals

    • IRM 5.7.6, Trust Fund Penalty Assessment Actions

    • IRM 5.15.15.16.4, Penalty Denial and Appeals

    • IRM 8.1.10.4, Opportunity to Participate

1.4.50.3.3  (01-25-2013)
IDRS Security

  1. IDRS security briefings are included in the mandatory Annual On-Line Briefings. IDRS security should also be reinforced through discussions at group/unit meetings.

  2. Employees should be reminded to complete Form 11377, Taxpayer Data Access, if an account is inadvertently accessed or otherwise applicable.

  3. IRM 10.8.34, IDRS Security Controls, requires managers to review periodic IDRS Security reports for their groups. In Field Collection, primary responsibility for those reviews rests with Collection Information Technology & Security (CITS). You may be contacted by a CITS representative if they are unable to resolve a potentially questionable access made by one of your employees.

  4. Generally, CITS will contact you via secure email. If contacted, take the following steps:

    • Take appropriate action to determine whether or not there was a business reason for the access. Actions may include conversations with the employee, review of case inventory, review of IDRS case controls, use of IDRS Online Reports Services (IORS) queries, review of audit trails, determining if access was by automated process, etc.

    • Provide feedback about your findings to CITS within five business days of their request

  5. Resources:

    • IRM 10.8.34, Information Technology (IT) Security, IDRS Security Controls

    • Form 11377, Taxpayer Data Access

    • UNAX resources:http://irweb.irs.gov/AboutIRS/bu/pipds/pip/privacy/unax/unax_art/20555.aspx

1.4.50.3.4  (01-25-2013)
Employee Safety/Security

  1. Safety and security is a high priority. You must become familiar with your responsibilities to ensure workplace safety for everyone.

  2. See IRM 5.1.3 ,Safety, Security, and Control for information about safety and security topics including armed escorts for revenue officers.

  3. Resources:

    • Doc 12109, The IRS Supervisors Guide to Conduct and Discipline and Related Topics, http://publish.no.irs.gov/getpdf.cgi?catnum=37270

    • Employee Resource Center (ERC): http://erc.web.irs.gov/

    • Safety and Health Information Management System (SHIMS)https://shims.treas.gov/shims/web/MenuClaimant10.html

1.4.50.3.5  (01-25-2013)
Working With NTEU

  1. Group Managers who supervise bargaining unit (BU) employees must:

    1. Notify the requisite chapter(s) regarding 7114 meetings when you plan to discuss changes in personnel policies, practices, and working conditions with your employees. Generally, five workdays notice is provided. See Article 8 of the 2012 National Agreement II at: http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/

    2. Make sure employees have the opportunity to be represented at formal discussions regarding employee grievances , other personnel matters, and conduct issues.

  2. See Article 8 of the 2012 National Agreement II for more information about how to identify 7114 meetings. Contact your LR Specialist if you need assistance to determine if a meeting is a 7114 meeting.

  3. Resources:

    • IRM 1.4.1.4, Agreements with NTEU or contact the local Labor Relations Specialist.

    • 2012 National Agreement II: http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/

1.4.50.3.6  (01-25-2013)
Functional Security Reviews

  1. You (or your designated representative) will conduct annual security reviews per guidance in IRM 10.4.1.8.1, Functional Reviews. The review must be documented and a copy of the documentation provided to the next level of management. You may use Form 12149, Functional Security Review for Managers, to document your review. If another form of documentation (such as a memo) is used, ensure that it covers all items shown on Form 12149 and contains the printed name/title of reviewer, signature of reviewer, and date of review.

  2. Refer to IRM 10.4.1, Managers Security Handbook, for servicewide guidance about your responsibilities.

    Note:

    As of October 7, 2008, IRM 10.4.1, Managers Security Handbook, replaced IRM 1.4.6, Managers Security Handbook, published in 2003.

  3. If your reviews reflect that employees repeatedly fail to observe security protocols, contact your LR specialist to determine the next appropriate action.

1.4.50.4  (01-25-2013)
Employee Development/Training

  1. See IRM 1.4.1.7, Employee Development, for a full discussion of your responsibilities.

  2. Group manager roles and responsibilities in the area of employee development and training include but are not limited to:

    1. Overseeing orientation of new employees

    2. Overseeing training for new employees (formal and on-the-job)

    3. Training and developing other employees including professional/technical and clerical staff

    4. Assisting and advising employees preparing a Career Learning Plan (CLP)

    5. Delegating acting managerial assignments

    6. Continuing education for employees to maintain and update knowledge and proficiency in technical areas

    7. Providing opportunities such as details to facilitate career development

    8. Ensuring employees have a working knowledge of tools to perform their duties (e.g., ICS, ATFR, ALS, etc.)

  3. You can find more information at the Human Capital Office website: http://hco.web.irs.gov which includes information on:

    • Servicewide Training and Briefing Programs

    • Policy and Procedural Guidance

    • Other related training resource sites, IRS Learning Center etc.

  4. For your BU employees, also see the 2012 National Agreement II, http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/ (Article 30) or contact the local Human Resources Specialist.

  5. Resources:

    • Enterprise Learning Management System (ELMS); https://elms.web.irs.gov/

    • IRM 1.4.1.7, Employee Development .

    • HCO website: http://hco.web.irs.gov

1.4.50.4.1  (01-25-2013)
Consultation Process

  1. Collection Consultation (CC) resources include this IRM, Chapter 31 of the ICS User Guide, the Collection Consultation section of the ICS User Guide web page and the CC mailbox. The ICS User Guide contains information about the CC application in ICS including Business Priorities, REV priority annotation, reminders, scheduling, etc. The ICS web page contains CC video resources as well as historical information about the CC program. See "Resources" at the end of this section for related links.

    Note:

    Use the CC mailbox at:*CCIonICS to report technical or programming problems with the Collection Consultation program or reports.

  2. The Consultation Process is designed to facilitate managerial engagement and knowledge sharing in an informal setting. The process is focused on Business Priority cases not being actively reviewed for performance evaluation. There is no prescribed number of business priority cases for which consultations must be conducted. Each GM may select and consult on a subset of cases which have been deemed business priority.

    Caution:

    There are certain situations in which cases and/or revenue officers are not to be included in the consultation process. See IRM 1.4.50.4.1.1.

  3. At the beginning of each year, you should confer with your TM to develop a consultation plan for the group. The plan should include a determination of the type and frequency of consultations planned for each RO. Monthly consultations are expected for most ROs; however, less frequent consultations may be appropriate for seasoned employees who need little oversight. Consultations should occur at least quarterly to give adequate attention to all ROs.

  4. Business Priority cases in the Collection Consultation process contain one or more of the following indicators:

    • CSED

    • ASED

    • FTD Alerts over 45 days

    • Lapses in activity of greater than 60 days

    • No initial contact within prescribed time frames

    • Pyramiding since RO assignment

    • Federal contractor cases (FedCntrctr)

    • Certain employment tax cases with no record of NFTL filing

    • Any case designated by the GM as a Business Priority

  5. Consider consulting on all cases designated as Fed Cntrctr (Federal Contractor) to ensure those cases are developed per the guidelines in IRM 5.7.9,Federal Contractors.

    Note:

    ICS will systemically identify cases with a Transaction Code (TC) 971 Action Code (AC) 647 on the Masterfile and place them into the consultation process as a Fed Cntrctr in the Business Priority category.

  6. Unlike case reviews, which focus on the quality of the revenue officer's casework as evidenced by case documentation, the consultation process focuses on quality through discussion and interaction between the manager and the revenue officer. Active listening is critical to this process to ensure appropriate issues are raised, proper actions and resolutions are identified and necessary skills are transferred.

  7. The Consultation Process is designed to ensure that cases move as efficiently as possible. Consultations emphasize timely contacts and actions that facilitate appropriate case resolutions.

  8. The process requires discussions on cases in each revenue officer's inventory to determine:

    1. The Proposed Actions (from consultation pick list)

    2. The Planned Completion Date - the date the Proposed Actions are planned to be completed

    3. The Plan of Action that will resolve the case or move the case toward resolution

    4. The presence of complex issues and possible resolution of these issues

    5. The timeliness of contacts

    6. The proposed case resolution and closing date

  9. As noted above, the actual discussion of case issues is critical to the consultation process. Documentation requirements are minimal but should include the following:

    1. At least one Proposed Action from the consultation pick list.

    2. A Planned Completion Date - this is the intended date for the Proposed Action(s). The planned completion date should be set prior to the reminder date for the next consultation to ensure that the actions have been completed and the results can be discussed on the next reminder date.

    3. A Plan of Action that includes specific actions that will be taken to move the case toward resolution, target dates, plus comments in the narrative section that identify how (FP, CNC, IA, etc.) and when the RO plans to close the case .

      Reminder:

      Avoid using a narrative that is merely a summary of actions that have already been taken.

    4. The Date for the next consultation. The group manager and revenue officer should determine the amount of time that will be needed to complete the Proposed Actions and other case actions necessary to move the case forward and set the next reminder date accordingly.

    Within 24 hours of completion of the case consultation, you should ensure the CC reminder is updated. This will make an electronic copy of the comments available to the revenue officer to ensure they have a clear understanding of their future actions.

    Note:

    Ensure that your employee has access to his/her calendar during consultations so that dates/actions agreed upon do not conflict with other scheduled activity.

  10. Case history and/or case files should be available for reference and discussion, if warranted, during the consultation process. This may prove to be very helpful when consulting with revenue officers who are newly assigned to a group, weak in determining effective case actions, etc. To be most effective, a face-to-face consultation is preferred, but there may be situations in which consultations are completed via telephone.

  11. Consultation documentation does not meet requirements for evaluative documentation. However, it is not inconceivable that a consultation discussion will give rise to questions concerning a revenue officer's performance. In those situations, it would be appropriate to discontinue the consultation discussion and move the case(s) with questions regarding the revenue officers performance to the formal review process.

  12. It will not be uncommon for cases to move back and forth between EQRS and the Collection Consultation process.

  13. Resources:

    • Collection Consultation: http://icsweb.web.irs.gov/Docs/HTML/user_guide.htm#cc

    • Chapter 31, Collection Consultations, in the ICS User Guide:http://icsweb.web.irs.gov/Docs/HTML/user_guide.htm#cc

    • Collection Consultation mailbox: *CCIonICS

1.4.50.4.1.1  (01-25-2013)
Collection Consultation Exclusions

  1. Generally, cases that are being actively reviewed for evaluative purposes in compliance with other sections of this handbook are excluded from the consultation process for a period of time.

  2. The table below provides information about systemic exclusions related to reviews conducted in EQRS. Remain alert to systemic considerations when determining if you will conduct a consultation on a particular case. See IRM 1.4.50.4.1.2.

    Reminder:

    Systemic programming in ICS will set reminder dates that are intended to "exclude" actively reviewed cases from collection consultation for a period of time; however, you should remain alert to the time lag between EQRS input and EQRS weekly data sharing with ICS .

    If ... And ... Then ...
    Case is reviewed (evaluative) via EQRS All of the following conditions exist:
    • Follow up review is scheduled in the EQRS system

    • A "Shared With Employee " date is entered in the EQRS system

    • REV annotation is present

    Case is systemically excluded from the CC process until after the scheduled follow up review date. See IRM 1.4.50.4.1.2 for additional information.
    Case is reviewed (evaluative) via EQRS All of the following conditions exist:
    • Follow up review is not scheduled in the EQRS system

    • Case meets definition of CC Business Priority

    • A "Shared With Employee " date is entered in the EQRS system

    • REV annotation is not present

    Case is systemically excluded from the collection consultation process for 60 days. See IRM 1.4.50.4.1.2 for additional information.

  3. There are several other situations in which cases and/or revenue officers are not to be included in the consultation process:

    1. Cases assigned to a probationary revenue officer because the employee has an OJI and a prescribed review process during the first year.

    2. Cases assigned to a revenue officer who has been determined to be less than fully successful. Under this circumstance, cases are to be subject to full case reviews and consideration given to contacting Labor Relations for additional guidance and actions.

      Note:

      Review the ICS User Guide, Chapter 31, for information about excluding an employee in this context.

    3. Cases assigned to non-field revenue officers. For example, a revenue officer assigned to Insolvency.

    4. Cases assigned to revenue representatives and similar positions.

    5. ATAT CIPs until such time as there are TDA, TDI, Combo or FTD Alert issuances on the taxpayer.

1.4.50.4.1.2  (01-25-2013)
CC Systemic Considerations

  1. Collection Consultations are accessed through ICS.

  2. Certain EQRS data is shared with ICS on a weekly basis. You must enter a "Shared With Employee Date" in the EQRS case review or ICS will not be able to systemically set the appropriate reminder date for cases reviewed in the EQ system.

  3. Nightly ICS processing screens for the REV annotation and CC business priorities. See the ICS User Guide, Chapter 31 for more information.

    Note:

    Cases meeting the criteria in the table below are considered “systemically excluded" from the CC process based on the reminder date related to EQRS review data. These cases are not removed from the reminder list displayed in the CC application on ICS.

    If ... And ... Then ...
    Case is reviewed (evaluative) via EQRS All of the following conditions exist:
    • Follow up review is scheduled in the EQRS system

    • A "Shared With Employee " date is entered in the EQRS system

    • ICS annotates the case with a REV priority after the EQ data is received

    • ICS sets the CC reminder date to the date of the follow up review shown on the EQ record

    • Once the reminder date is more than 30 days past, ICS sets the reminder date to zero and the REV annotation is removed.

    Case is reviewed (evaluative) via EQRS All of the following conditions exist:
    • Follow up review is not scheduled in the EQRS system

    • Case meets definition of CC Business Priority (see above)

    • A "Shared With Employee " date is entered in the EQRS system

    • ICS sets the CC reminder date to 60 days from the "Shared With Employee " date if the current reminder is less than that date.

    • The reminder date is not reset if the current CC reminder date is greater than 60 days from the "Shared With Employee " date

1.4.50.5  (01-25-2013)
Performance Management

  1. The three balanced measures are: Employee Satisfaction, Customer Satisfaction and Business Results. These three balanced measures are part of every individual and organizational performance evaluation system within IRS.

  2. IRM 6.430.2, Performance Management Program for Evaluating Bargaining Unit and Non Bargaining Unit Employees Assigned to Critical Job Elements (CJEs), contains detailed guidance about evaluating performance. Refer to that IRM as well as the following information when evaluating performance.

1.4.50.5.1  (01-25-2013)
Performance Evaluation

  1. Preparing performance evaluations is one of your most important responsibilities. In carrying out this duty, you will observe how the employees are performing their duties and responsibilities to ensure that they are working efficiently and effectively to accomplish assigned tasks.

  2. Because you are responsible for implementing the policies and directives relative to performance evaluations, you should thoroughly familiarize yourself with all facets of performance appraisal/evaluation information including, but not limited to:

    1. Performance expectations

    2. Mid-year and periodic performance reviews

    3. Annual ratings

    4. Acceptable level of competence

    5. Unacceptable/ minimally successful performance

    6. Competitive promotion appraisals

    7. Employee Performance files (EPFs)

    8. Performance and recognition awards

  3. A formal performance evaluation serves:

    1. As a record of performance to support, recommend and initiate actions such as within-grade increases, promotions, award recommendations, reassignments, details and adverse actions such as demotion or separation.

    2. To provide an employee with a basis for additional training and development.

    3. As a tool to improve the performance of individual employees.

  4. For employees new to the government, the first year of employment is a probationary period during which the employee must demonstrate successful performance and the capability to be promoted to the next grade level (if applicable). See IRM 6.430.2.4.3, Employees Serving Probationary Periods.

  5. Work closely with employees who are performing poorly, including probationary employees. Provide them with guidance/direction designed to assist them in improving performance. If performance improves, document the improvement accordingly. If performance fails to improve, refer to IRM 6.430.2, Performance Management Program for Evaluating Bargaining Unit and Non Bargaining Unit Employees Assigned to Critical Job Elements (CJEs), and seek appropriate advice to determine next steps.

    Caution:

    Seek advice from your TM and LR Specialist as soon as you recognize that the performance of an employee is unacceptable.

  6. Documentation of Performance

    1. Providing feedback to the employee (positive and constructive ) is essential to maintaining and/or improving their performance

    2. Keep an employee's overall performance in mind when you discuss work and other activities. Let them know when some aspect of performance may influence their performance rating, a promotional opportunity or other personnel action.

    3. Recordation serves as a snapshot of employee performance. Adequate documentation will remind you of changes in performance over the rating period.

    Reminder:

    Notify employees of decreased work performance per guidance in IRM 6.430.2.3.3, Acknowledging Decreased Work Performance.

  7. When writing review narratives be concise, but descriptive enough to provide an accurate picture of the strengths, development needs, and accomplishments of the employee in each CJE. See IRM 6.430.2.4.6, Completing Appraisal Narratives.

  8. Performance evaluations provide a uniform means for a written evaluation and rating of each employee's proficiency.

    • IRM 1.5, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System, describes how balanced measures are used to support individual as well as organizational performance. The three balanced measures are : Employee Satisfaction, Customer Satisfaction, and Business Results. These three balanced measures are part of every individual and organizational performance evaluation system within IRS.

    • IRM 1.5.2, Uses of Section 1204 Statistics, provides specific guidance for SB/SE use of measures. This IRM provides information about the prohibition on the use of records of tax enforcement results (ROTERs) to evaluate employees or to impose or suggest production quotas or goals.

  9. Formal employee evaluations represent the sum of what you have observed in each employee's work, using feedback, reviews, visitations and other techniques discussed in this manual. Consider the following when evaluating performance for an annual appraisal:

    • Position description

    • Critical Job Elements (CJEs)

    • Mid-year and other progress reviews

    • Employee’s work products (management briefings, memos)

    • Employee’s self-assessment

    • Feedback from taxpayers and other customers

    • Team assignments and contributions to work group

    • Special achievements

  10. Each employee will receive an annual performance evaluation. See information about Performance Appraisal Due Dates in the 2012 National Agreement II, Article 12, Exhibit 12-1.

  11. Employees may submit a self-assessment, limited to four pages in length, no later than the last workday of his or her annual appraisal rating period. See IRM 6.430.2.4.5, Self-Assessments and IRM 6.430.2.6(3), Conducting the Performance Appraisal Meeting.

  12. Use only the work requirements of the particular position or specific work standards established by the Service to make Acceptable Level of Competence Determinations (i.e. determination that employee is performing at a fully successful level).

  13. For information on the suggested steps to make unacceptable performance determinations , see Exhibit 1.4.50-6 .

  14. Resources:

    1. Human Capital Office website: http://hco.web.irs.gov. At this website you will find the CJE Resource Center, Manager Guide for Employee Performance, Performance Awards information, forms, etc.

    2. 2012 National Agreement II http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/ (Articles 7, 12, 17, 18 and 40)

    3. IRM 1.4.1, Resource Guide for Managers, Management Roles and Responsibilities

    4. IRM 6.430.2.3.3, Acknowledging Decreased Work Performance

    5. IRM 6.432, Reduction in Grade and Removal Based on Unacceptable Performance

    6. IRM 6.451, Employee Performance and Utilization - Awards and Recognition

    7. Other portions of IRM, Part 6, Human Resources Management

    8. The local Labor Relations specialist

1.4.50.5.2  (01-25-2013)
Reviews (Overview)

  1. Providing ongoing employee feedback that is candid and meaningful is essential to employee satisfaction and is an integral part of the group manager’s responsibilities. Reviews of employee work should serve to:

    1. Assess the employee’s effectiveness in meeting the expectations established in their Critical Job Elements.

    2. Determine the employee’s efficiency in carrying out the laws, procedures, and policies of the Service.

    3. Identify and address performance problems.

    4. Evaluate the employee's ability to properly plan and schedule field, office, and telework activity.

    5. Ensure the employee is taking timely and appropriate actions to bring the case to a prompt and proper resolution.

    6. Assess employee effectiveness in developmental case assignments.

    7. Determine the employee's effectiveness in meeting the IRS Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers.

  2. All reviews relating to a revenue officer's case work must be in writing. Managers must use EQRS to review individual cases, but other types of performance observation lend themselves to other methods. For reviews that consider RO activity across multiple cases (e.g., time utilization, office/field observation) a summary narrative, such as a memorandum, may be substituted.
    The EQRS Individual Feedback Report provides a record of your ratings and the narrative comments in which the revenue officer’s performance is summarized. Become familiar with IRM 5.13.2 , Embedded Quality Attribute Definitions and Document 12359, Embedded Quality Job Aid (Collection) which provide specific guidance related to Embedded Quality attributes and how to use them.

  3. At the beginning of the fiscal year, group managers will develop a review schedule for the group that includes all mandatory reviews and optional reviews. Optional reviews may include additional office or field visitations, time and workload reviews, etc. The review schedule should provide for a fair and accurate assessment of the employee's overall performance throughout the rating period.

  4. Mandatory reviews represent the minimum review requirements that must be completed for each employee. It is intended that the minimum requirements will provide managers with the opportunity to spend more time reviewing and developing revenue officers that need additional feedback and assistance.
    Mandatory reviews include:

    1. One or more annual field visitations or office observations with each revenue officer.

    2. One or more time utilization reviews with each revenue officer.

    3. Mid-Year appraisals/reviews. The mid-year appraisal should occur at the mid-point (six-months) of the employee's appraisal period.

    4. Annual case reviews. See IRM 1.4.50.5.2.2.

  5. When necessary, based on case reviews, other forms of review, the consultation process, field or office observation, etc., you have the authority to require your employee to obtain your approval before taking subsequent case actions.

    Example:

    Employees who inappropriately extend deadlines or delay case actions can be required to obtain your approval of their extensions in the future so as not to delay timely case resolution. The ICS Calendar is an excellent tool that can assist the GM and RO when Workload Management issues are found.

  6. Group managers will continually review information gathering activities by their employees. See IRM 5.1.3.7.1, Information Gathering Guidelines, for additional guidance

  7. For additional guidance on preparing reviews, narratives, and appraisals see:

    • IRM 1.4.1.8, Performance Management

    • Exhibit 1.4.50-7, Collection Group Managers’ EQRS Review Documents, Form 6850, and Narrative, General Guide

    • IRM 5.1.3.7.1, Information Gathering Guidelines

    • IRM 6.430.2, Performance Management Program for Evaluating Bargaining Unit and Non Bargaining Unit Employees Assigned to Critical Job Elements (CJEs)

    Note:

    Operational review aids for Territory Managers and Area Directors are presented in IRM 1.4.50.13, Exhibit 1.4.50-8 and Exhibit 1.4.50-9.

1.4.50.5.2.1  (01-25-2013)
Case Reviews

  1. Choose a sufficient number of cases for review to ensure a thorough evaluation of each employee’s performance. Reviews should be tailored to individual needs. Scheduling of the analysis may be announced or unannounced at the option of local management.

    Note:

    See IRM 1.4.50.5.2.2, Requirements for Annual Performance Case Reviews, for minimum review requirements.

  2. Ensure case selection contains a mix of cases representative of the revenue officers assigned inventory. At a minimum, fifty percent of cases selected for review will be consistent with current priorities in the business plan. In addition to pyramiders, consider in-business trust fund, CSED/ASED, large dollar, cases with FPLP indicators, and no activity cases. Emphasize cases in these categories on which there have been ten or more touches and cases that have been assigned for more than 120 calendar days. When reviewing BMF cases, the appropriateness of Letter 903 actions and timeliness of TFRP activity should be considered. See IRM 5.7.2.1, Overview of the Letter 903 Process.

  3. Work submitted for approval or closure also provides an opportunity to evaluate individual performance as well as the overall quality of your group's product. When reviewing cases submitted for approval or closure, look for performance that reflects an employee's adherence to IRM standards as well as other established policies and procedures. See IRM 1.4.50.5.2.5, Work Submitted for Approval/Closure.

    Caution:

    Confine your written review to work performed during the employees current rating period.

  4. Use the Embedded Quality Review System (EQRS) for individual case reviews. The review items on the EQRS Individual Feedback Report correspond with the performance standards of a revenue officer’s critical job elements. In general, deficiencies relating to a critical job element should be noted as an area of special concern if found in 25 percent or more of the cases reviewed. There may be instances where a single deficiency (e.g., expired statute) is critical. The attribute narrative should summarize the revenue officer’s performance for each individual case reviewed.

  5. You must also summarize the employee's overall performance on all cases reviewed, including the results of time utilization reviews, field/office visitations, etc., as part of your mid-year and/or annual performance assessment. Narrative feedback should address positive as well as negative aspects of an employee's performance. See Exhibit 1.4.50-7, Collection Group Managers’ EQRS Review Documents, Form 6850, and Narrative, General Guide.

  6. As part of the case review, prepare the EQRS Individual Feedback Report in duplicate and include all applicable case data. Both you and the revenue officer must sign it. Give the original Individual Feedback Report to the revenue officer for action on case recommendations. Retain the duplicate in the employee's performance file (EPF) for follow-up. Discuss all recommended actions entered on the Individual Feedback Report with the revenue officer to ensure that there is a complete understanding regarding your observations and direction.

  7. If you have directed specific case actions, a follow-up review should be scheduled 60-90 days after the initial review to ensure your instructions are being followed and the case is moving toward resolution. Follow-up review will generally be limited to the cases in which a follow-up review has been scheduled unless you need to see other cases to document a performance trend. Using EQRS, prepare a narrative conveying the results of the follow-up review.

  8. Written performance feedback (Individual Feedback Report, 6067, memorandum, etc.) must be provided to the employee within 15 work days. The 15 day time frame starts from the time the supervisor becomes aware of, or should have been aware of, the event addressed in the recordation/feedback item.

  9. Use the ICS History pick list to note "Case Reviewed" and the date of the review in the case history. Although you may suggest or request specific actions in the case history, you should avoid making numerous case decisions for the revenue officer. Documentation of an evaluative nature should not be entered in the case history.

    Note:

    A systemically generated history entry will appear in ICS based on the date shown the "Shared with Employee Date" section of the EQ review. The EQ system provides weekly (not daily) inputs to ICS, thus there may be a delay in the appearance of this history entry.

  10. As part of any case review, determine if the assigned grade level is still accurate. See IRM 1.4.50.10.1 , Case Grade.

  11. During case reviews ensure that TP rights have been observed, particularly with respect to direct contact provisions. See IRM 5.1.23.3.2.3, Written Communication to a Taxpayer’s Representative and IRM 5.1.23.5, By-Passing a Taxpayer’s Representative.

  12. Resources:

    • Embedded Quality:http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/mgrsact/eq/collection/default.aspx

    • CJE Resource Center:http://hco.web.irs.gov/apps/cje/index.htm

    • IRM 5.7.2.1, Letter 903 (DO)

    • IRM 5.13.1, Embedded Quality Administrative Guidelines

    • IRM 6.430.2.4.9, Rating CJEs

1.4.50.5.2.2  (01-25-2013)
Requirements for Annual Performance Case Reviews

  1. For revenue officers GS-09 and below and all revenue officers rated less than fully successful, select a minimum of twelve (12) cases per year for review that meet the criteria in IRM 1.4.50.5.2.1. Review at least half of the cases prior to the mid-year progress review.

  2. For revenue officers GS-11 and above that are rated fully successful or higher, select a minimum of eight (8) cases per year for review that meet the criteria in IRM 1.4.50.5.2.1. Review at least half of the cases prior to the mid-year progress review.

  3. Review plans should be tailored to fit the needs of individual revenue officers.

  4. Use EQRS attributes, case summary narratives and performance summaries for all reviews conducted during the rating period to create performance feedback. Feedback must indicate to the employee how they are meeting or not meeting the EQRS attributes and aspects of the critical job elements.

  5. Provide the employee with the narrative within 15 work days and place a copy of the document in the Employee's Performance File.

  6. The mandatory field/office visitation and time utilization reviews mentioned in IRM 1.4.50.5.2.3, Field and Office Observations, and IRM 1.4.50.5.2.4, Time Utilization Review are in addition to the minimum case review requirement.

1.4.50.5.2.3  (01-25-2013)
Field and Office Observations

  1. Observing the revenue officer during face-to-face contacts, either in the field or office, provides an excellent opportunity for you to assess his/her:

    1. Ability to conduct interviews

    2. Ability to communicate and interact with taxpayers

    3. Knowledge of policies and procedures

    4. Ability to deliver fair and courteous treatment to all taxpayers


  2. Conduct one or more annual field visitations or office observations with each revenue officer. When possible, conduct the field/office observation during the initial contact with the taxpayer.

  3. During your observations evaluate the revenue officer for:

    1. Ability to secure material information necessary to determine appropriate case direction

    2. Delivery of fair and courteous treatment of taxpayers

    3. Ability to address the various rights of the taxpayer (Pub. 1, Pub. 594, IRC 6320 and 6330, Collection Appeals Program)

    4. Ability to recognize and respond to taxpayer concerns, issues, and interests

    5. Pre-contact preparation

    6. Itinerary planning

    7. Effective use of time

    8. Ability to manage difficult, unexpected, complex or unusual circumstances

    9. Ability to appropriately recognize and address third party contact situations

    10. Observation of proper disclosure requirements

  4. Provide feedback based on all of your observations using a summary narrative, such as a memorandum.

  5. Resources:

    • CJE Resource Center:http://hco.web.irs.gov/apps/cje/

    • IRM 5.1.17, Third Party Contacts

    • IRM 6.430.2.2.1, Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers

    • IRM 11.3.1, Introduction to Disclosure

1.4.50.5.2.4  (01-25-2013)
Time Utilization Reviews

  1. Conduct one or more Time Utilization Review annually with each revenue officer. Use the Time Utilization Review to measure the overall effectiveness of the RO's office, field, and/or telework. Make observations regarding work quality as appropriate, but the purpose of this review is to evaluate employee performance in effective use of time and accuracy of documentation.

  2. Conduct the Time Utilization Review within fifteen (15) workdays of the day selected.

  3. Time Utilization Reviews should be unannounced. Document the review with a memorandum or Form 6067 to summarize your observations.

    TECHNIQUE:

    • Evaluate whether time spent on case actions matches the time charged as well as the nature and complexity of what is required in each case

    • Evaluate whether the case actions taken are likely to move the case toward resolution

    • Identify unproductive/inefficient activity and make recommendations for improvement

    Example:

    You notice that the RO spent several hours completing initial analysis on cases in preparation for a field day, even though some of the cases did not appear to warrant that degree of preparation. Explain that a “one size fits all” approach is not efficient. It would be reasonable to recommend that the RO consider dollar amount, complexity, grade of the case, and other readily identifiable issues to determine the scope of initial analysis needed. The objective is to conduct the amount of research and analysis necessary to formulate a resolution plan.

    Example:

    You notice that RO activity on four of six delinquent return cases worked on the same day consisted of repeat phone calls to obtain delinquent Form 941 tax returns instead of using the appropriate 6020(b) process. Provide your expectation that, in the future, the RO will use the 6020(b) process when appropriate. When 6020(b) would not be appropriate, the RO should document the case history to reflect the reason.

  4. Documentation should be shared with the RO and maintained as part of the EPF to be used in preparation of the Mid-Year/Annual Appraisal.

  5. IRM 5.1.30, Resolution Directed Approach to Casework and IRM 5.1.31, Workload Management may assist you in formulating guidance during these reviews.

1.4.50.5.2.5  (01-25-2013)
Work Submitted for Approval/Closure

  1. When work is submitted to you for approval, you have an opportunity to evaluate your employees' performance. This also enables you to prevent deficiencies. Check for accuracy and level of quality before approving reports of currently not collectible taxes, installment agreements, requests for adjustment, seizure documents, TFRP investigations and recommendations, fraud referrals, and any other document prior to submission to another function. The quality of the work that leaves your group is a reflection on you as a group manager.

  2. For reminders about some specific items to check while reviewing work submitted for approval, refer to Exhibit 1.4.50-2. That exhibit is not an exhaustive list of requirements. Always refer to topical IRM sections if you have questions.

1.4.50.5.3  (01-25-2013)
Use of Statistical Data/Section 1204 /ROTERs

  1. Section 1204 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98) prohibits the use of Records of Tax Enforcement Results (ROTERs) to evaluate employees or to impose/suggest production quotas/goals for any employee.

  2. IRM 1.5.2, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System, The IRS Balanced Performance Measurement System, provides guidance to prevent the use of statistics to:

    1. Evaluate employees or

    2. Impose or suggest production quotas or goals with respect to such employees.

  3. You are prohibited from using records of tax enforcement results (ROTERs) to evaluate any employee who exercises judgment with regard to determining tax liability or ability to pay. ROTERs are data, statistics, compilations of information or other numerical or quantitative recordations of the tax enforcement results reached in one or more cases. This prohibition includes:

    • Self-assessments

    • Awards narratives

    • Case/workload reviews

    • Performance plans

    • Narrative feedback to evaluations

    Note:

    ROTERS do not include tax enforcement results of individual cases when used to determine whether an employee exercised appropriate judgment in pursuing enforcement of the tax laws based upon a review of the employee’s work on that individual case.

  4. You are also prohibited from using ROTERs to impose or suggest production goals or quotas for employees or groups of employees. Examples of prohibited ROTERs include:

    • Number of delinquent returns secured

    • Number of delinquent returns secured with full payment

    • Full payment rate

    • Number of seizures made

    • Number of levies issued

    • Number of OICs recommended for acceptance

    • Number of accounts reported currently not collectible

  5. Resources:

    • IRM 1.5.1, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System, The IRS Balanced Performance Measurement System

    • IRM 1.5.2, Managing Statistics in a Balanced Measurement System, Uses of Section 1204 Statistics

    • IRM 1.5.3.7, Section 1204 Quarterly Certification Requirements

    • Internal Controls/Sec 1204 http://cfo.fin.irs.gov/CPIC/CPIC_Home.htm

    • Section 1204 : http://mysbse.web.irs.gov/supportingsbse/strategicplanning/default.aspx

1.4.50.5.3.1  (01-25-2013)
Tax Enforcement Results (TERs)

  1. A Tax Enforcement Result (TER) is the outcome produced by an IRS employee's exercise of judgment in recommending or determining whether or how the IRS should pursue enforcement of tax laws.

  2. TERs may be discussed in employee reviews (but not employee evaluations) to determine if the employee exercised appropriate judgment, used time efficiently, and applied the laws in one or more cases properly. See IRM 1.5.2.5.1, Permitted Use of TERs.

1.4.50.5.3.2  (01-25-2013)
Regulation 801/ Quantity & Quality Measures

  1. Regulation 801 implements the provisions of Section 1204 of the Internal Revenue Service Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (RRA 98), provides rules relating to the establishment of a balanced performance measurement system and sets forth rules governing the use of ROTERs.

  2. Quantity measures consist of outcome neutral production and resource data that does not contain information regarding the tax enforcement result (TER) reached in any case involving particular taxpayers. Examples of quantity measures include:

    • Cases started

    • Cases closed

    • Time per case

  3. Performance measures based in whole or in part on quantity measures will not be used to evaluate the performance of any non-supervisory employee who is responsible for exercising judgment with respect to tax enforcement results.

  4. The quality review of the handling of collection cases focuses on such factors as whether employees devoted an appropriate amount of time to a matter, properly analyzed the facts, complied with statutory, regulatory and IRS procedures, etc.

  5. Employees who are responsible for exercising judgment with respect to tax enforcement results in taxpayer cases may be evaluated on work done in such cases only in the context of their critical elements and standards.

  6. Resources:

    • IRM 1.5.2.7, Quantity Measures

    • IRM 1.5.2.8, Quality Measures

1.4.50.5.4  (01-25-2013)
Retention Standard

  1. Regulation 801 provides that, in addition to all other criteria required to be used in the evaluation of employee performance, all employees of the IRS will be evaluated on whether they provided fair and equitable treatment to taxpayers.

  2. Form 6774, Receipt of Critical Job Elements and Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers Retention Standard, is maintained in the EPF.

  3. Resources:

    • IRM 1.5.3.5, Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers

    • IRM 6.430.2.4.7,Rating Performance Against The Retention Standard for the Fair and Equitable Treatment of Taxpayers

    • Retention Standard resources: http://hco.web.irs.gov/perfmgmt/evaluation/evalperf/nonmgrpolicy.html

1.4.50.5.5  (01-25-2013)
Within Grade Increase

  1. An employee shall be advanced in pay to the next higher step of their grade upon meeting the following requirements:

    1. Required waiting period completed

    2. No equivalent increase in pay received during the required waiting period

    3. Fully successful performance in each of the critical job elements of their position

  2. Use only the work requirements of the particular position or specific work standards established by the Service to make Acceptable Level of Competence Determinations (i.e. determination that employee is performing at a fully successful level).

    Reminder:

    See IRM 6.430.2.5.4, Within-Grade Increase (WGI) Determination

  3. For information on steps to follow when an employee is not meeting an acceptable level of competence, see Exhibit 1.4.50-5.

1.4.50.5.6  (01-25-2013)
Evaluation Due Dates

  1. Each employee will receive an annual performance evaluation. The due date of an evaluation for any particular employee is based upon the last digit of the employee’s Social Security Number (SSN). Refer to the 2012 National Agreement II, Article 12, Exhibit 12-1 at: http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/

1.4.50.5.7  (01-25-2013)
Discipline/Disciplinary Actions

  1. Discipline is defined as measures taken by management that are intended to correct employee misconduct, and encourage employee conduct in compliance with the standards of conduct, policies, goals, work procedures, and office practices of the IRS and the Federal Service. Employees must adhere to all known conditions and standards of conduct established to provide for the orderly and efficient administration of the Internal Revenue Service.

  2. Employees who fail to comply with standards of conduct, work procedures, and office practices will be subject to disciplinary action designed to correct the violation and motivate the employee to become a productive member of the Internal Revenue Service.

  3. You are responsible for establishing and maintaining effective discipline within your work group. You must explain the work requirements and other standards your employees are expected to meet.

  4. When disciplinary action is required, it must be fair, equitable, impartial and as timely as possible.

  5. A guide to assist you in determining appropriate penalties to correct improper conduct can be found in IRM 6.751.1, Exhibit 1.

  6. Ensure that you discuss and co-ordinate all proposed disciplinary actions with your Labor Relations Specialist.

  7. Resources:

    • IRM 6.751, Discipline and Disciplinary Actions.

    • IRM 6.752, Disciplinary Suspensions and Adverse Actions.

    • Document 12109, The IRS Supervisors Guide to Conduct and Discipline and Related Topics.

    • The 2012 National Agreement II, Articles 38 and 39http://hco.web.irs.gov/lrer/negagree/natagree/

1.4.50.6  (01-25-2013)
Telework

  1. Telework (formerly known as Flexiplace) is a program that permits your employees to work at home or at other approved locations other than the assigned post of duty.

  2. There are two (3) forms of telework:

    1. Frequent

    2. Recurring

    3. Ad Hoc

  3. See Article 50, Section 1B of the 2012 National Agreement II for more information about types of telework.

1.4.50.6.1  (01-25-2013)
Managing In a Telework Environment

  1. Managing an employee participating in telework is essentially no different than managing an employee in the office. Ensure that your actions are in compliance with any applicable Local Telework Agreement (if one exists) as well as the 2012 National Agreement II. The employee on telework is still held accountable for the Rules of Conduct, Critical Job Elements, Time and Attendance, Ethics, and all other regulations applicable to their position.

  2. Per Article 50, Section 1F of the 2012 National Agreement II: telework is not a replacement for dependent/family care.

  3. If you determine that an employee's work appears to be degrading from "Fully Successful" or is below a "Fully Successful" rating, you should review Article 50 Section 2 of the 2012 National Agreement II to determine whether the employee's continuation on Telework is appropriate. This occurs when any Critical Job Element (CJE) rating equals "2" or below.

    Ensure that your reasons for removal are well documented. This documentation may include but is not limited to EQRS Individual and/or Cumulative Feedback Reports, Form 6850 or memoranda. You must ensure that the employee is aware of the situation and you should then monitor their work product closely and develop a plan for improving that employee’s work, just as you would for an employee not on telework. There is no prohibition per the 2012 National Agreement II on any type of performance review following a period in which an employee has worked at their telework site. Reviews may include "Time Utilization" , "Time and Activity" , or other performance based review. Ensure this also conforms with any applicable local Area agreement as well. The types and amount of time expended on telework should be comparable to time in the office. For example, there should not be increased amounts of administrative or miscellaneous time, or increased time charged to cases with minimal actions taken.

  4. You should ensure that revenue officers are responsive to all customers. They must check voice mail and email (when accessible) to ensure external as well as internal customers (including managers) receive responses timely. It is appropriate for an employee to check their VMS and email prior to going to lunch and some time prior to ending their day. Employees supplied with pagers and cell phones should be expected to be more responsive.

  5. You have the right to direct a telework employee to report to the office when necessary. For example, when having meetings, which include group meetings, case reviews, the Consultation Process, training, etc. This should be planned so that the employee has ample time to report to the office during their regular commute time. When an employee plans or decides to make field calls during a telework day the manager should be informed. This is referenced under Article 50, Section 5A of the 2012 National Agreement II.

  6. Article 50 of the 2012 National Agreement II addresses telework issues. Sections pertinent to the management of employees in a telework environment are listed below:

    1. A supervisor’s official relationship with, authority over, and accountability for an employee participating in the Service’s Telework Program is no different than his or her relationship with, authority over, and accountability for employees who are not participating in the Telework Program. In this regard, the supervisor retains the authority to review, determine, and approve participation in this program (Article 50/Section 1A-5).

    2. Revenue officers may participate in "frequent" telework. Subject to approval by their supervisor, frequent telework permits the revenue officer to work at an approved location remote to the assigned post-of-duty (POD) more than eighty (80) hours monthly (Article 50/Section 1B).

    3. Revenue officers approved for a recurring telework arrangement may work at the approved telework site for 80 hours or less per month (Article 50/Section 1B).

    4. Participants may be permitted to work at approved telework sites for full days or a portion of a day.

      Reminder:

      Unless as otherwise provided by Article 50/Section1C of the National Agreement: there is no limitation on how the work schedule may be configured as long as the scheduling is not disruptive to the work that remains in the office nor causes an unreasonable burden on those who choose not to work a telework arrangement.

    5. Management has the right to meet with employees to give assignments and to review work as necessary at either the official duty station, approved Telework location, or a mutually agreed upon site. (Article 50/Section 4C) This does not mean that 24 hour notification or union presence is required, but 24 hour notification is suggested.

    6. Employees must provide the supervisor and/or clerk in advance with all the specific information regarding their work schedule, type of work to be performed and location of the alternate work place. This includes the obligation to inform the supervisor when they are unable to perform work due to illness or other circumstances during the Telework tour of duty (TOD) and requesting appropriate leave (Article50/Section 5A-1).

    7. Employees must contact the office to report time, to retrieve messages, and to notify the supervisor and/or clerk of changes in work locations (Article 50/Section 5A).

    8. In order to ensure accountability, a participating employee and his/her supervisor must communicate at least one time during each pay period to verify the employee’s time and attendance (Article 50/Section 6F). In addition to this, the manager should ensure that the revenue officer will EOD, uploading all time and activity at least once per week. See IRM 5.2.1.8.1, Field Collection Area Procedures, for more information about time reporting and End of Month (EOM) guidelines.

  7. Resources:

    • IRM 6.800.2, Employee Benefits, IRS Telework (Flexiplace)Program

    • Document 12524, IRS Telework (Flexiplace) Program, Managers' Desk Guide:http://publish.no.irs.gov/getpdf.cgi?catnum=50988

    • IRS Telework Program website :http://hco.web.irs.gov/telework/

1.4.50.6.2  (01-25-2013)
Interaction With Employees On Telework

  1. Your official relationship with, authority over, and accountability for an employee participating in the Service's Telework Program is no different than that for employees who are not participating in the program.

  2. Your responsibilities include:

    1. Meeting with your employees at least once a year for the purpose of discussing, reviewing and updating the Telework Agreement.

    2. Directing telework employees to report to the office due to special circumstances.

    3. Meeting with employees to give assignments and review their work as necessary at the official duty station, approved work site that includes their home, or mutually agreed upon site.

    4. Inspecting the employee's work site when appropriate. You may visit the telework site, with twenty- four (24) hours notice, to ensure that Information Systems (IS) and sensitive information procedures are in place.

      Reminder:

      Work site inspections are not expected to be routinely conducted. Inspect as necessary to verify IS/sensitive information procedures.

    5. As with non-remote employees, be proactive in identifying opportunities to rate CJE 1, Workplace Interaction/Involvement/Enviornment.

  3. For an employee to remain on the Telework Program, they must:

    1. Remain "Fully Successful" or above.

    2. Not be subject to a conduct investigation in which management has sufficient evidence of serious wrongdoing that would impact the integrity and efficiency of the Service.

    3. Continue to stay in compliance with Article 50, Section 2 of the 2012 National Agreement II.

  4. If any of the above circumstances do not apply, the employee may be suspended from telework pending resolution of the performance and/or conduct investigation situations.

  5. For further information, contact the local Labor Relations Specialist. You can also refer to the 2012 National Agreement II, Article 50. Coordinate proposed changes to telework arrangements with your LR specialist.


More Internal Revenue Manual