30.4.1  Employment

Manual Transmittal

December 31, 2012

Purpose

(1) This transmits revised CCDM 30.4.1, Personnel Administration, Training, and Equal Employment Opportunity; Employment.

Material Changes

(1) CCDM 30.4.1.14.4 was revised to incorporate changes regarding credit hours resulting from the 2011 Counsel—NTEU Agreement.

Effect on Other Documents

CCDM 30.4.1 dated May 18, 2012 is superseded.

Audience

Chief Counsel

Effective Date

(12-31-2012)

Dennis M. Ferrara
Associate Chief Counsel
(Finance and Management)

30.4.1.1  (09-15-2009)
Introduction to Employment Programs

  1. This section provides information on employment matters, including application and selection procedures, Bar Association requirements, background investigations, employee details, voluntary separations, priority placement program, position classification, reassignments, flexiplace, performance assessment, and policies pertaining to recruitment, relocation, and retention bonuses.

30.4.1.2  (02-01-2007)
Senior Executive Service, Executive Resources Boards and Performance Review Board

  1. This subsection covers information about the Senior Executive Service (SES), Executive Resources Boards (ERB), Performance Review Board (PRB) and SES Sabbaticals. It provides guidance in regard to each board's composition and their duties and responsibilities.

30.4.1.2.1  (02-01-2007)
Executive Resources Boards for GS-15 and SES Positions

  1. Within the Office of Chief Counsel, competitive staffing of GS-15 and SES positions are handled through Executive Resources Boards (ERB). These boards, which consist of management officials, are responsible for reviewing applicants for these positions and making selection recommendations to the Chief Counsel.

    1. For positions at the GS-15 level, the Chief Counsel is the selecting official.

    2. SES selections must be approved by the General Counsel.

  2. There are two primary types of boards, National and Local, each of which has its own membership requirements as described in the following subsections.

    1. National Boards handle SES positions and GS-15 Area Counsel positions.

    2. Local Boards handle GS-15 positions, except for GS-15 Area Counsel positions.

  3. It is the policy of the Office of Chief Counsel to hire and maintain a diverse workforce that is comprised of individuals having different racial, gender, religious, cultural, and educational backgrounds, work experiences and perspectives. We will strive to recognize this policy in our ERB activities.

  4. Noncompetitive selection actions, such as the reassignment of a GS-15 or SES employee, may be exempted from the Board process when so authorized by the Chief Counsel and/or his designee. SES actions must, however, be approved by the General Counsel.

30.4.1.2.1.1  (05-18-2012)
National Boards

  1. National ERB boards will generally be composed of no more than five SES executives as described below:

    • The Deputy Chief Counsel (Operations) or the Deputy Chief Counsel (Technical), serving as chairperson

    • The Associate Chief Counsel (Finance and Management) (F&M)

    • The Division Counsel or the Associate Chief Counsel of the affected organization (i.e., organization where position is located)

    • A Division Counsel or an Associate Chief Counsel from outside the affected organization

    • An SES executive from the IRS

  2. In the event the Deputy Chief Counsel (Operations or Technical) is unable or elects not to participate on a board, the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M) will serve as chairperson of the board.

  3. The Deputy Chief Counsel (Operations or Technical) will be responsible for making final determinations with respect to the board members who will participate. The Associate Chief Counsel (F&M) will be responsible for tracking these assignments and making recommendations to the Deputy Chief Counsel (Operations or Technical) on board membership, when appropriate.

  4. A Deputy Division Counsel or Deputy Associate Chief Counsel may serve in lieu of their respective Division Counsel or Associate Chief Counsel at the election of the Deputy Chief Counsel (Operations or Technical).

  5. A quorum of three members must participate, in person or via teleconference, in all board deliberations and decisions, unless an exception is authorized by the board Chairperson to promote the efficiency of the Office of Chief Counsel. Such an exception will normally be authorized only in very rare circumstances in which the unavailability of a board member cannot reasonably be anticipated, and rescheduling would unduly inconvenience the applicants under consideration, or be otherwise impractical. One example might be a situation in which a board member is unexpectedly absent due to illness on the day on which applicant interviews have been scheduled.

  6. The composition of the board described above is intended as a guideline. In all cases, however, the Board must have at least one person from outside the affected organization.

30.4.1.2.1.2  (02-01-2007)
Local Boards

  1. Local ERB boards will generally be composed of between three and five SES executives or GS-15 managers/management officials as described below:

    • The Division Counsel or Associate Chief Counsel of the affected organization (i.e., organization where position is located), who will serve as chairperson

    • The Area Counsel or the Assistant Chief Counsel of the affected organization

    • The immediate supervisor of the position (if not already represented above)

    • An SES executive or GS-15 manager from outside the affected Division/Associate area

    • At the option of the board chairperson, an SES executive or GS-15 manager from the IRS client organization or Treasury

  2. The Deputy Chief Counsel may participate on any board and serve as chairperson.

  3. Deputy Division Counsel and Deputy Associate Chief Counsel may serve in lieu of their respective Division Counsel or Associate Chief Counsel (including serving as the board chairperson).

  4. The board chairperson is responsible for identifying board members who will serve as members. If needed, assistance in identifying pools of SES and GS-15 managers eligible to participate may be obtained by contacting ERB staff in the office of the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M).

  5. A quorum of three members must participate, in person or via teleconference, in all board deliberations and decisions, unless an exception is authorized by the board chairperson to promote the efficiency of the Office of Chief Counsel. Such an exception will normally be authorized only in very rare circumstances in which the unavailability of a board member cannot reasonably be anticipated, and rescheduling would unduly inconvenience the applicants under consideration, or be otherwise impractical. One example of such an exception might be a situation in which a board member is unexpectedly absent due to illness on the day on which applicant interviews have been scheduled.

  6. The composition of the board described above is intended as a guideline. In all cases, however, the Board must contain a person from outside the affected organization.

30.4.1.2.2  (02-01-2007)
Application and Selection Procedures

  1. Vacancy announcements will normally be advertised for a period of at least four weeks. (SES announcements must be open for a minimum of 14 calendar days.)

  2. Applicants must submit all application materials listed in the vacancy announcement within the prescribed time frames. These materials will normally include:

    • A written application (or resume)

    • A memorandum of interest emphasizing qualifications especially relevant to the position

    • A copy of the most recent performance appraisal

    • A supervisory report

    • For SES positions, a narrative which addresses the position’s Professional/Technical Competencies and the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ)

      Note:

      ECQ statements are not needed from those already certified as SES members or candidates by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

  3. Applications will initially be screened for minimum qualification requirements by staff in the office of the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M). The applications of those candidates who are deemed eligible for the position will then be referred to the Board for a determination as to which candidates are best qualified for the position.

    1. For a bargaining unit (BU) Senior Counsel position, the board uses the "Bargaining Unit GS-15 Rating Sheet" provided by the ERB and, in accordance with the Chief Counsel-NTEU collective bargaining agreement, annotates the four best qualified.

    2. In the unusual event that a BU Senior Counsel vacancy is advertised to an area of consideration beyond the Office of Chief Counsel, the ERB will provide instructions on how to give "first consideration" to Chief Counsel applicants in accordance with the Chief Counsel-NTEU collective bargaining agreement.

    3. Interviews of the best qualified candidates may be conducted at the option of the Board.

  4. After considering the candidates' qualifications (including interviews if conducted), the Board chairperson will prepare a selection recommendation memorandum on behalf of the Board for submission to the Chief Counsel (and General Counsel for SES positions). This memorandum will document the Board’s decisions regarding which candidates were determined to be best qualified, in ranked order whenever possible, and their relative qualifications for the position, including any dissenting opinions.

  5. If the Chief Counsel does not concur in the recommended selection, he/she may make an alternate selection from among the best qualified candidates by preparing a separate memorandum which documents this decision. Otherwise, the Chief Counsel will indicate his/her concurrence by signing the Board’s recommendation.

  6. All SES selections must additionally be reviewed and approved by the General Counsel. New appointments to the SES must also be certified by OPM.

  7. If a previously advertised vacancy becomes vacant within three months of the original selection, the Chief Counsel may authorize an alternate selection to be made from the best qualified candidates. If no selection is made from the original announcement, and/or additional vacancies subsequently arise, the Chief Counsel may authorize new/additional selections when it is determined that it is in the Office’s best interest to do so, and that a sufficient pool of best qualified candidates was recruited under the original announcement.

30.4.1.2.3  (05-18-2012)
Performance Review Board

  1. The Performance Review Board (PRB) makes recommendations to the Chief Counsel concerning performance appraisals and ratings, performance awards and awards of rank, and performs other duties requested by the Chief Counsel or General Counsel or as required under General Counsel Directive No. 15. The role that the Planning and Management Division (CC:FM:PM) plays within this process can be found in CCDM 30.1.1.3.4.3, Strategic and Program Plan.

  2. The PRB services all components of the Office of Chief Counsel, and is responsible for the review of all Counsel SES executives, except the Deputy Chief Counsels (Technical or Operations), who are reviewed by a second Board consisting of the Deputy General Counsel, and two other IRS or Treasury SES executives designated by the Chief Counsel.

  3. OPM requires that the PRB consists of three or more members. At least one of the members should have previous PRB experience. The PRB will generally consist of:

    • The Deputy Chief Counsel (Operations) or (Technical) as Chairperson

    • An Associate or Deputy Associate Chief Counsel

    • A Division or Deputy Division Counsel

    • Two other Counsel or IRS SES executives designated by the PRB Chairperson

      Note:

      At their option, the General Counsel and/or IRS Commissioner may also elect to designate an SES executive to participate on the PRB.

  4. PRB members serve for approximately one year, usually beginning in early October. The names of the PRB members must be published in the Federal Register.

  5. A member of the PRB may disqualify himself/herself when the PRB is considering the performance of a particular executive. When the performance of a member of the PRB is being evaluated, that member shall not participate and shall excuse themselves from the meeting.

30.4.1.2.4  (02-01-2007)
SES Sabbaticals

  1. Treasury Personnel Management Bulletin (TPMB) 81-9, dated November 3, 1981, outlines the policy for applying for and granting SES Sabbaticals. Members of the Senior Executive Service who meet the eligibility requirements and wish to avail themselves of this program must submit the required material to the Deputy Chief Counsel (Operations or Technical) in the time frames established by TPMB 81-9.

30.4.1.3  (02-01-2007)
Attorneys

  1. This subsection establishes policies for the recruitment, employment, and merit promotion of attorneys in the Office of Chief Counsel.

30.4.1.3.1  (02-01-2007)
Recruiting Policies and Programs

  1. Director, Human Resources Division. Under the direction of the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M), the Director, Human Resources Division (HR) has the responsibility to coordinate and execute the attorney recruiting programs, and to conduct a continuing review of these programs. More specifically, the Director will:

    1. Participate with the Chief Counsel, Associate Chief Counsel (F&M), and other supervisory officials in establishing staffing needs and allocations

    2. Issue national guidelines and instructions on recruiting plans, methods, reports, and procedures

    3. Conduct recruiting conferences and seminars

    4. Direct, coordinate, and review recruiting programs and campaigns to determine progress and to advise the Chief Counsel, the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M), and other supervisory officials, as appropriate, on the solution of problems

    5. Serve as the recognized central point of contact for law school students in their filing of the necessary applications for employment

    6. Screen all applications and circulate them throughout the Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel offices

    7. Reply promptly to all employment inquiries and inform all applicants of their selection or non-selection for employment

  2. Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel. Under the general direction of the Director, Human Resources Division, Associate Chief Counsels/Division Counsels have the responsibility to support attorney recruiting activities and programs at law schools located within their geographic area. More specifically, Associate Chief Counsels/Division Counsels will:

    1. Furnish recruiting literature and other related information to the law schools in their areas

    2. Schedule interviews at the law schools or field counsel offices of applicants after having screened their applications

    3. Prepare reports of all Office interviews and keep HR currently informed in this regard

    4. Meet with law school officials, faculty members, and placement officers at appropriate times to maintain good relationships and communications with the law schools

    5. Arrange for attorneys of the Office to speak at the law schools within the geographic area for the purpose of explaining the programs, objectives, operations, hiring needs, etc., of the Office of Chief Counsel, and stimulate interest in the Office

    6. Coordinate the arrangements for speakers from the Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel offices

    7. Keep HR informed of recruitment program problems and developments at the law schools within the area

    8. Serve as the recognized geographic area point of student contact for the law schools within the geographic area to answer questions and transmit applications received for employment to HR for review

    9. Notify HR of selection of Honors Program, Regular Program and Summer applicants and forward hiring memos to HR to make job offers

  3. Where possible, Associate Chief Counsel (General Legal Services) attorneys should visit law school campuses that have Labor Law Programs for the purpose of holding recruiting meetings of students enrolled in such programs. For those law schools in areas other than the metropolitan area in which the GLS area office is located, such visitations should normally be conducted only when the General Legal Services attorney is in that area on case-related travel.

  4. In the spring or fall of each year, the Office should visit law schools and speak with students to acquaint them with the work of the Office and opportunities for employment. This program is intended to maximize student awareness of the Office and to provide them with helpful information in order that they may consider the advisability of applying for employment under the Honors Program.

    1. Every effort should be made to answer fully any questions that the students may have, and make recruitment brochures and employment applications available for distribution to interested students.

    2. The representative of the Office at these meetings should be an attorney or supervisor who has a thorough knowledge of the Chief Counsel organization.

    3. Applicants should be advised that a completed application package must be received by HR to help facilitate formal interviews on campus or in the office.

30.4.1.3.1.1  (02-01-2007)
Attorney Interviews

  1. Those who conduct interviews will be expected to have precise information about the nature of the positions that are available and about fringe benefits, advancement opportunities, the educational and experience requirements of the positions, and how selections for appointments are made. Due to the importance of the interviewing process, only GS-14 attorneys or higher should conduct interviews.

  2. The interview is the only method by which the Office can judge applicants outside of their "paper" qualifications. The Chief Counsel application form is designed to elicit much of the information which interviewers in the past have had to spend valuable interview time to obtain. Thus, the interviewer should be free to find out more about the applicant and to answer any questions the applicant may have. Applicants interested in General Legal Services (GLS) work should be interviewed by GLS attorneys where possible.

  3. Applicants will be subject to a second interview if they have been determined to be acceptable for employment by the initial interviewer. Ordinarily, an offer of employment will not be made under any of the programs unless the applicant has been interviewed by two officials of the Office. In such case, the initial interviewer will see to it that a second interviewer is immediately available to talk with the applicant to avoid the necessity of a second visit to the office.

    Caution:

    The second interviewer must be at the GS-15 level or higher, if the first interviewer is a grade GS-14 or lower. There should be no less than one GS-15 interviewer.

  4. Interview expenses may be requested of and authorized by the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M) on a case-by-case basis. Authorization may be granted in unusual circumstances based upon the interviewees’ accomplishments which indicate that he/she is of an exceptional caliber.

  5. Each interviewer will complete a separate Form 12990, Interview Data. Interviewers should promptly return interview data sheets along with the original application package to HR when so requested.

  6. Interviewers should check the application package to ensure that it is properly completed. Interviewers should be aware that pursuant to the Privacy Act, the first time information is requested from the individual, either orally (i.e., at an interview) or in writing, a copy of the "Privacy Act and Paperwork Reduction Notice" , which is on the reverse side of the application form, must be provided to the applicant. Interviews should not be conducted until the applicant has completed an application form that has the "Notice" printed on it.

  7. Checklist. All interviewers should be certain that applicants understand the following:

    1. Criteria and eligibility for the Honors, Regular, and Summer Programs

    2. All appointments are subject to a background investigation which will be conducted during the first year of employment as described in CCDM 30.4.1.5, Investigations.

    3. Three-year Commitment Rule. Counsel generally requires a three-year employment commitment although provisions exist for commitments of two-year duration. The interviewer should explain to applicants that if they were to leave the Office in violation of their two- or three-year commitment without a release, they ordinarily would not be considered for re-employment by the Office and that a breach of commitment will be noted in any letter furnished to prospective employers and others concerning the individual's employment history.

      Note:

      See CCDM 30.4.1.3.3 for detailed information concerning the nature and extent of this commitment and the criteria under which attorneys will be released from their employment commitments.

    4. The Office of Chief Counsel does a substantial amount of legal work which does not involve substantive tax law. Criminal tax work involves general substantive and procedural criminal law. General Legal Services attorneys handle legal cases and problems involving labor law, Government contracts, tort law, and administrative law. Disclosure litigation work involves, among other things, matters arising under the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act, and problems arising from requests for discovery under court procedural rules.

    5. Applicants who profess an interest solely in substantive tax work should be urged to indicate that on their applications; interviewers should also note it in their evaluations. Likewise, applicants who are interested only in other areas of Chief Counsel work should so specify. Applicants are, of course, not required to list any particular work preferences and will not receive less consideration for appointment if they fail to indicate a specific division or function in which they are interested.

  8. Interviewers should evaluate applicants as if applicants would be working for them. The Office depends on the evaluation of the interviewers to select among many well-qualified applicants. Interview data sheets should contain constructive comments; however, when an applicant is not being recommended, one or two explanatory sentences are all that is usually necessary.

  9. Interviewers should include an evaluation of the writing sample submitted in their interview data sheets. An original paper, such as a seminar paper, is more desirable than a law review article or similar document which has been edited a number of times. Since much of the work product of the Office of Chief Counsel is written, the interviewers should review the paper, having in mind the question: "Is this paper of the quality expected by the Office of Chief Counsel?"

  10. In selecting applicants for employment, HR relies heavily on the recommendation of the interviewer and the interview data sheet. In the interview data sheet, the conclusions stated under "comments" and the recommendation should coincide. Since the Office has many more applicants than vacancies, it is essential in recommending applicants for employment that the interviewers be fair but critical and carefully consider whether they would want to have the applicants working with or for them. Supervisors may contact HR for an example of a completed Form 12990, Interview Data sheet.

30.4.1.3.1.2  (02-01-2007)
Honors Program

  1. Applicants for this program must be third-year law students who have graduated from an American Bar Association accredited law school and will take a bar examination shortly after graduation. Applicants may receive a full time appointment prior to graduation and taking the bar. Generally, applicants will not report for duty until after taking the bar exam. Counsel may consider allowing an applicant to report to duty prior to taking the bar exam; however, this practice is not strongly encouraged.

    1. Any applicant who reports to duty before admission to the bar will receive an appointment as a law clerk. Once proof of admission to the bar is submitted, the law clerk is automatically designated as an attorney.

    2. If the clerk is not admitted to the bar within 14 months after appointment, employment is terminated.

  2. In addition, applicants ordinarily should be in the top third of their law school class, or have performed at a comparable level at those law schools which do not rank their classes.

  3. Those qualifying for the Honors Program with a J.D. are employed at grade GS-11 Step 8; those with an LL.M degree in Tax or Labor law at GS-12 Step 4.

  4. Applications for employment under this program will be accepted throughout the year.

  5. Applicants will be informed of their selection or non-selection in writing.

30.4.1.3.1.3  (02-01-2007)
Regular Program

  1. The Regular Program for GS-12 through GS-14 positions and vacancies for GS-15 positions is open to applicants who have graduated from an American Bar Association accredited law school and possess a J.D. degree. Applicants must also:

    1. Have passed a bar examination

    2. Be admitted to the bar

    3. Be in good standing

  2. Professional experience following law school will be considered in determining the appropriate grade level an applicant is qualified for. To qualify for a particular grade level, a year of experience with the nature of the legal tax work and the level of responsibility characteristic of the next lower grade is required. In addition, the following length of experience is required:

    • GS-12 – 1 year of general legal experience

    • GS-13 – 1 year of general legal experience, plus l year of legal tax experience

    • GS-14 – 1 year of general legal experience, plus 2 years of legal tax experience

    • GS-15 – 1 year of general legal experience, plus 3 years of legal tax experience

      Note:

      For GLS positions, GLS-related legal experience is required instead of tax experience.

  3. An LL.M. degree in the field of the position (tax or GLS-related field) may be substituted for the one year of the general legal experience listed above.

  4. Applicants ordinarily should have been in the top one-third of their law school class, or have performed at a comparable level at those law schools that do not rank their classes.

30.4.1.3.1.4  (02-01-2007)
Summer Intern Program

  1. A number of first- and second-year law students will ordinarily be employed by the Office as interns during the summer months. The period of employment generally will be during the months of June, July, and August and will not exceed 89 days. However, if necessary, a summer appointment of a shorter duration, or one which begins earlier or later, can be arranged. Interns can be assigned to any Counsel office.

  2. Announcements of the forthcoming Summer Intern Program will be sent to law schools accredited by the American Bar Association and all interested students will be invited to apply. The purpose of the program is twofold:

    • To give outstanding law students the opportunity to gain practical legal experience with the Office

    • To give the Office an opportunity to evaluate the potential of the student for permanent employment

  3. Appointments under this program are made at the grade GS-7 level for first-year students and GS-9 level for second-year students. Applicants will be notified of their selection or non-selection in writing.

  4. Because of the increased emphasis on the Summer Law Clerk Program for recruiting purposes Form 9163, Summer Intern Evaluation, should be completed by the supervisor as soon as the law clerk leaves. This is a critical and detailed evaluation of the law clerk's performance, including a recommendation for or against hiring for permanent employment. The evaluation should be sent to HR within one week after the law clerk's departure.

  5. Law clerks will be asked to evaluate the Summer Law Clerk Program. Supervisors should notify the law clerks that they are to send their evaluations of the Summer Law Clerk Program, including any suggestions about the program, to HR before they leave the Office.

  6. Summer law clerks who are interested in being considered for permanent employment with the Office should, upon termination of their summer employment, forward to HR a current Chief Counsel Application package.

30.4.1.3.1.5  (02-01-2007)
Law Student Volunteer Intern Program

  1. The Office of Chief Counsel authorizes the use of the Law Student Volunteer Intern Program to provide opportunities for students to become familiar with the Office while gaining practical work experience, to encourage the interchange of ideas between the Office and law schools concerning career options and to expand recruitment sources by allowing firsthand observation of potential employees.

  2. Use of such student volunteer services must be planned to avoid conflict with the summer intern program. In addition, no indication should be given to student volunteers that they will receive special preference for employment as summer interns.

  3. Law students selected as volunteers in this program are prohibited from simultaneous outside employment that would result in a conflict of interest or give the appearance of a conflict of interest.

  4. The Human Resources Division is designated as the coordinator of the program, and is responsible for promulgating internal instructions and serving as the point of contact with the law schools. Every effort will be made to inform students about employment opportunities.

  5. Law Student Volunteer Interns may have access to returns and return information to the same extent that attorneys or tax law specialists have access to such material. It is the obligation of the students' supervisors to brief the students on their responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of the tax information they obtain in the course of their service. Interns may not disclose any returns or return information obtained in any manner except as authorized by IRC § 6103(h)(1), (k)(6), and (l)(4).

  6. This program will be periodically reviewed to assess its statutory and regulatory compliance and its effectiveness in accomplishing the goals and objectives of the Office of Chief Counsel in this area.

30.4.1.3.1.5.1  (02-01-2007)
Law Student Volunteer Intern Program Requirements

  1. This program is available to any law school accredited by the American Bar Association that has agreed to execute an agreement similar to Form 13702, Law Student Volunteer Intern Program Agreement. Agreements with the schools and students will be executed by HR for all interns located in Washington, DC; agreements for field offices will be executed by designated Field Counsel. Generally, this agreement will require the students to work a minimum of 12 hours per week in increments of at least 4 hours per day, for a total minimum of 150 hours per period. (A period is a school's normal grading period.)

  2. Students must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis, meet the normal Honors Program criteria for employment with the Office, and be willing to comply with the provisions of the agreement described above.

  3. Students will be eligible to participate if they are enrolled in the second semester of their second year of law school, are third-year law students, or are graduate law students.

  4. Generally, students must have successfully completed a course in Federal taxation to qualify. Those interested in General Legal Services work should have completed some relevant course work, such as Government contracts or labor law.

  5. Students must be recommended by the dean or other representative of the school. Such recommendation will include the student's subject area preference. Students will be selected for the program by the interested Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel.

  6. The Office will ensure that students perform educationally related work assignments.

  7. While no office is required to participate in the program, generally there will be no more than one student accepted in a branch or in a group. This is to enhance the effective use and supervision of the students. Generally, students in this program will not work in the same office in which an intern is working under the summer program.

  8. Students will be evaluated on the work performed and their potential for employment. A copy of Form 9163 will be forwarded to HR. Only that portion of the evaluation pertaining to the work performed will be forwarded to the law school.

  9. Students may be terminated at any time without cause by Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel after consultation with the appropriate law school dean or other representative of the school.

  10. The Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel offices will select and appoint their own students. Upon selection, but at least 30 days prior to the anticipated entry date, the Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel office will send the following forms to the student:

    • Form 13702, Law Student Volunteer Intern Program Agreement

    • SF 87, Fingerprint Card

    • OF 306, Declaration for Federal Employment

    Note:

    Instructions accompanying these forms should advise the students to complete and return them to HR at least 10 days prior to the anticipated reporting date.

  11. Each area will prepare a SF 52 with student’s work schedule (days and hours per week) along with a forwarding address.

30.4.1.3.1.6  (02-01-2007)
Student Volunteer Program

  1. Non-law and law school students may apply to the student volunteer program. Under this program, students will perform a range of duties for the office. These duties are not necessarily comparable with those assigned to a law student volunteer intern. Students will not receive compensation for services rendered, nor are they required to be enrolled in an accredited course in conjunction with their volunteer service. Students will be eligible to participate if they are enrolled in any college or university. Pursuant to ABA guidelines, first year law students participating in this program should work no more than twenty hours per week during the school year.

  2. The Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel offices will select their own student volunteers. If the student is enrolled in a law school, prior approval must be granted by the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M).

  3. Use of such student volunteer services must be planned to avoid conflict with the summer program and the law student volunteer intern program. Generally, students in this program will not work in the same office in which an intern is working under the summer program or the law student intern volunteer program. Law students are required to sign a written acknowledgment ( Form 13700, Student Volunteer Acknowledgment Statement), that this is not a formal intern program. No indication should be given to student volunteers of an expectation for future employment with the Office.

  4. Students selected as volunteers in this program are prohibited from simultaneous outside employment that would result in a conflict of interest or give the appearance of a conflict of interest.

  5. The Human Resources Division is designated as the coordinator of the program.

  6. Upon selection, but at least 30 days prior to the anticipated entry date, the Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel office will send the following forms to the student:

    • SF 87, Fingerprint Card

    • OF 306, Declaration for Federal Employment

    • Student Volunteer Acknowledgment Statement

      Note:

      Instructions accompanying these forms should advise the students to complete and return them to HR at least 10 days prior to the anticipated reporting date.

  7. Student volunteers may have access to returns and return information to the same extent that attorneys or tax law specialists have access to such material. It is the obligation of the students’ supervisors to brief the students on their responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of the tax information they obtain in the course of their service. Students may not disclose any returns or return information obtained in any manner except as authorized by IRC § 6103(h)(1), (k)(6), and (l)(4).

  8. Students will be evaluated on the work performed in a manner as set forth in Form 9163, Summer Intern Evaluation. Only that portion of the evaluation pertaining to the work performed should be completed and submitted to the Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel with a copy forwarded to HR.

  9. Student volunteers under this program may be terminated at any time without cause by Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel.

30.4.1.3.2  (02-01-2007)
Bar Association; Tax Court & Supreme Court Admissions

  1. This subsection sets forth the policy concerning bar membership requirements and examinations, bar association activities, and admission to the U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.

30.4.1.3.2.1  (02-01-2007)
Bar Membership Requirements

  1. Admission to the bar is a condition of employment as an attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel. If not already admitted at the time of employment, all attorneys hired by the Office must become admitted to the bar of the highest court of a state, territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico within 14 months after employment.

  2. It is the duty of every attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel to keep informed of, and in compliance with, the various requirements which may be imposed by the bars and courts to which the attorney is admitted to practice, and to pay fees which may be imposed to maintain good standing. This means that an attorney’s membership in the bar must be such as to permit him/her to practice law. Therefore, an attorney’s membership in a unified bar (also called an integrated bar) must also be such as to permit him/her to practice law in that jurisdiction whether or not it involves maintaining an active status. However, where, under local bar provisions, it is impossible for attorneys working outside of a state to maintain bar membership making them eligible to practice, the attorney need only maintain the highest level of bar membership possible. If this is inactive membership, or some other classification under which they are ineligible to practice, then this is adequate.

  3. By March 10 of each year, all attorneys must advise their immediate supervisor of their bar membership and current standing. The annual certification shall be submitted in such form as prescribed by the Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel for the attorneys under his/her supervision.

  4. An annual certification will be made by supervisors to the appropriate Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel by April 10 of each year which states that all attorneys under their supervision have been admitted to practice before the highest court of at least one State, Territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and are members in good standing before the bar of one of these jurisdictions.

  5. Attorneys newly appointed in the Office of Chief Counsel must submit evidence of admission to practice before the highest court of a state, territory, the District of Columbia, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, through the attorney’s Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel to HR for inclusion in the attorney’s Official Personnel Folder. This must be an original letter generated from the appropriate overseeing agency or court (a standard size letter, on official letterhead with a seal - if used) stating that the attorney is currently an active member in good standing with the bar.

  6. Bar Examination expense. Attorneys will be responsible for the cost of bar review courses, fees for admission to the bar, and fees or expenses for continuing legal education incurred to maintain bar membership.

    Note:

    Payment of training costs for which the attorney is selected because of Office needs will not be denied merely because the training also satisfies a state’s continuing legal educational requirements.

30.4.1.3.2.1.1  (02-01-2007)
Bar Association Activities

  1. All attorneys are encouraged to attend bar association meetings and otherwise to participate in bar association activities. For further procedures, see CCDM 30.4.8, Public Information (Speeches, Publications, and Teaching).

  2. Attorneys are encouraged to participate in bar association activities as officers or members, specifically in work of the Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association and in similar activities of state and local bar associations. In the course of such activities and as members of such organizations, attorneys are free to express their opinions as individuals and to vote on recommendations in accordance with their own judgment and conscience, recognizing, however, that they may be viewed as representatives of the Departments of the Treasury.

  3. When serving as chairperson of a committee or subcommittee, positions taken become matters of public record, and the chairperson assumes an obligation to express the view of the committee. Consequently, before accepting such an office, attorneys should consider whether or not the jurisdiction of the committee or its expected activities might necessitate taking a position on tax legislation or the administration of tax laws.

  4. Generally, attorneys should decline a committee or subcommittee office which would involve taking positions on the matters described above in order to avoid any misunderstanding as to, or conflict with, official positions of the Office of Chief Counsel. However, this should in no way be interpreted to preclude attorneys from participation as committee members.

  5. Approval by the Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel is required before accepting an appointment as chairperson of a committee or subcommittee of a bar association. If the Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel has any reservation in granting approval, the matter should be sent to the Deputy Chief Counsel for a final determination.

30.4.1.3.2.1.2  (02-01-2007)
Leave

  1. If an employee is not already admitted to the bar, administrative leave will be approved for the taking of one bar examination and for one local bar admission ceremony when workload considerations permit.

  2. While no administrative leave is to be granted for attending bar review courses or studying for or taking the bar examination, work hours may be adjusted where practical. Also, advanced annual leave or leave without pay may be granted as prescribed by leave policy. See CCDM 30.4.6, Leave Administration.

  3. Attorneys may be given administrative leave to attend bar association meetings, where workload permits. Generally, such administrative leave may not exceed two days for a single meeting, nor five days over the period of one calendar year.

  4. Requests for administrative leave pursuant to this section are handled in accordance with regular leave procedures in each Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel office.

30.4.1.3.2.2  (02-01-2007)
Admission to the U.S. Tax Court

  1. All field attorneys (other than those assigned to GLS), and all other attorneys wishing to be admitted to practice before the Tax Court, should obtain an Application for Admission to Practice and a Practitioner’s Oath from the Admissions Office.

  2. The completed forms and admission fee should be directly submitted to the Admissions Clerk of the Tax Court by the attorney. Attorneys who appear before the U.S. Tax Court pay their own admission fees.

30.4.1.3.2.3  (02-01-2007)
Admission to the U.S. Supreme Court

  1. Applications for admission to the Supreme Court are filed with the Supreme Court’s Admissions Office. Attorneys who elect to be admitted on written motion, without going to the Court, must execute the Oath of Admission and have the sponsor whose name is to appear on the certificate sign as the moving party.

    1. The person who moves the admission must be a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court.

    2. The Oath (signed and notarized), together with the completed application, the required certificate, and a check to cover the fee (payable to Clerk, U.S. Supreme Court), must be mailed by the attorney to the Supreme Court’s Admission Office.

  2. Attorneys who wish to have the Chief Counsel execute the Motion for Admission to the Supreme Court may forward the Oath for Admission, signed and notarized, to HR. The executed Motion for Admission will be returned to the attorney for proper submission to the Supreme Court.

  3. Attorneys who elect to be admitted in open Court must return the application and the required certificate to the Supreme Court’s Admissions Office. After their receipt, instructions for being admitted in open Court will be provided by the Admissions Office.

30.4.1.3.3  (02-01-2007)
Employment Tenure Commitments for Attorney Personnel

  1. ) It is the policy of the Office of Chief Counsel to require, as a condition of employment, the execution of an employment tenure commitment agreement by each newly appointed attorney. In so doing, the attorney commits to remaining in the employ of the Office of Chief Counsel for the minimum time specified. Form 13701, Employment Tenure Commitment, should be used to formalize the agreement.

  2. An attorney appointed to a full-time tour of duty (80 hours per pay period) will be required to execute an employment tenure commitment in which he/she agrees to remain with the Office of Chief Counsel for a minimum period of three years.

    1. If the attorney has at least five years of legal experience, in either the public or private sector, a one-, two- or three-year commitment will be required as determined by the Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel to which the attorney is to be assigned.

    2. If the attorney has completed at least two years of employment with the U.S. Tax Court or with the Tax Division of the Department of Justice, a two-year commitment will be required.

    3. If the attorney was previously employed as an attorney by the Office of Chief Counsel, a one-, two- or three-year commitment will be required as determined by the Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel to which the attorney is to be assigned.

  3. An attorney on a full-time tour of duty who is given approval to convert to a permanent part-time tour of duty prior to completion of his/her current commitment, must execute a one-year extension of the current commitment.

  4. An attorney appointed to a part-time tour of duty (64 hours, or less, per pay period) will be required to execute an employment tenure commitment in which he/she agrees to remain with the Office of Chief Counsel for a minimum of four years.

30.4.1.3.3.1  (02-01-2007)
Breach of Commitment

  1. Attorneys should not accept offers of employment in disregard of the employment tenure commitment. Prior to committing to a new employer, the attorney should discuss the matter with his/her supervisor, who, in turn, will apprize the Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel through supervisory channels.

  2. An attorney who resigns from the Office prior to completing his/her commitment will be regarded as having breached the commitment, unless released from the employment tenure commitment by the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M).

  3. It is the policy of the Office of Chief Counsel generally not to rehire an attorney who has breached an employment tenure commitment and to note the breach of such commitment in any letter of reference furnished by the Office to prospective employers or others.

30.4.1.3.3.2  (02-01-2007)
Release from Tenure Commitment

  1. An attorney seeking release from his/her employment tenure commitment must submit a request in writing. The request must be endorsed by his/her Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel and submitted via HR to the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M).

  2. A request for early release from the employment tenure commitment shall be granted when the facts and circumstances warrant approval of the request, in the judgment of the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M). Favorable facts and circumstances generally include:

    1. The attorney has been employed in the Office of Chief Counsel for less than one year.

    2. The attorney wishes to transfer to another position within the Federal government for a minimum period at least equivalent to the balance of the commitment.

    3. The state of the attorney’s health is such that he/she is unable to perform the duties of his/her position in a satisfactory manner.

    4. The state of the attorney’s health, or that of an immediate member of his/her family, is diagnosed as chronic and severe, requiring relocation to a location at which the Office is unable to offer employment.

    5. The attorney wishes to become a permanent, full-time member of the faculty of a law school.

    6. The attorney seeks release in order to leave the active practice of law to enter another occupational or vocational field. In this regard, intent to join the legal staff of a business, a trade association, or an exempt organization, will not qualify the attorney for early release.

30.4.1.3.4  (02-01-2007)
Attorney Promotion Plan

  1. This subsection provides procedures governing the promotion of General Schedule (GS) attorneys, GS-11 through GS-14.

  2. The Office of Chief Counsel has established a 52-week time in grade requirement before an attorney is eligible for promotion to the next higher grade.

  3. The completion of time-in-grade requirements, by itself, does not entitle an attorney to promotion to the next grade level. There must additionally be a clear demonstration that the attorney has successfully performed at the current grade level, and has the ability to perform at the next higher grade level. Managers must, however, be able to explain (and document, if required) decisions not to promote. Law Clerks hired at the GS-11 level will not be eligible for promotion as Law Clerks to the GS-12 level and must have been admitted to practice before the appropriate court before promotion to an attorney position is considered.

  4. In computing an attorney’s experience for time-in-grade purposes, comparable legal experience gained at other Federal agencies may be credited. Promotion based on such experience is treated as a regular promotion, and does not require any justification beyond that of a normal promotion.

  5. Promotion recommendations for attorneys who have fulfilled all time-in-grade requirements require the concurrence of the Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel in whose organization the attorney works prior to submission to Human Resources Division.

30.4.1.3.5  (02-01-2007)
Procedures for Assistant Branch Chief and Assistant to the Branch Chief Positions

  1. The Office can announce and fill at the GS-14 level either an Assistant Branch Chief or Assistant to the Branch Chief position where there is an authorized staff of at least five docket attorneys. Prior to filling the position, approval of the Associate Chief Counsel must be obtained and notification provided to the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M). These positions will provide additional reviewers and will serve as a developmental assignments for attorney/tax law specialist personnel. Under most circumstances, due to the nature of the assignment, it should be for attorney/tax law specialist at the GS-14 grade level only.

  2. The duties of these positions are to:

    • Assist in planning, directing, and supervising the operations of the branch

    • Assign work to personnel of the branch and review the work product to the extent authorized by the Branch Chief

    • Prepare and maintain records and reports with respect to the work of the branch as requested by the Associate Chief Counsel

    • Act as Branch Chief in the absence of that official

  3. All Assistant Branch Chief and Assistant to the Branch Chief positions will be established and filled only at the GS-14 level.

30.4.1.3.5.1  (02-01-2007)
Selection Process and Documentation

  1. The Associate Chief Counsel of the affected organization will appoint a panel to review and consider the applications of the qualified candidates. This review panel will be responsible for identifying the highly qualified candidates, conducting interviews (if appropriate), and making a selection recommendation to the Associate Chief Counsel.

  2. The review panel will generally consist of three GM/GS-15 or above employees. The Associate Chief Counsel will appoint a chairperson of the panel who will generally be the Deputy Associate Chief Counsel or the Assistant Chief Counsel of the affected division or the Branch Chief of the affected branch. One of the members of the panel must be from outside the affected Associate area.

  3. The chairperson will prepare a written selection recommendation memorandum on behalf of the review panel for submission to the Associate Chief Counsel (see Exhibit 30.4.1-1). For those organizations with Assistant Chief Counsel, this recommendation will be routed through the affected Assistant. The purpose of the selection memorandum will be to document the selection process by explaining the review panel’s decisions regarding the relative qualifications of the applicants. Its focus should be on identifying the job-related criteria the panel used to assess the applicants’ qualifications, and on describing the extent to which each of the highly qualified candidates met or did not meet these criteria.

  4. Upon approval of the selection by the Associate Chief Counsel (as indicated by his/her signature on the selection memorandum), the recommendation is to be sent to the Human Resources Division Office for processing, along with the applications of all of the candidates who had been referred to the review panel for consideration.

  5. In the event the Associate Chief Counsel does not concur with the recommended selection, he/she may make an alternate selection from among the other highly qualified candidates by preparing a separate written narrative which documents the basis for his/her decision. The original selection recommendation is, however, to remain as part of the file sent to Human Resources Division for processing.

30.4.1.4  (02-01-2007)
Paralegals

  1. As we hire increasing numbers of paralegals, we want to ensure that there is uniformity and consistency in the hiring of such individuals in the Associate Chief Counsel and Division Counsel Offices.

  2. Generally, paralegal positions can be filled as Paralegal Specialists, at different grade levels, up to GS-11. This series is used to hire applicants from both inside and outside the Chief Counsel organization.

  3. Normally, the full working level of a paralegal position will be at the GS-11, although a small number of unique positions may be lower graded, depending upon the assigned duties and responsibilities of the position. Vacancy announcements will indicate the promotion potential of the particular position being filled.

30.4.1.4.1  (02-01-2007)
Hiring Attorneys to Fill Paralegal Slots

  1. As a general rule, attorneys (or law school graduates) should not be hired to fill paralegal positions. People who are qualified for, and aspire to, higher legal positions often become frustrated with a job that does not use all of their legal talents. Any resultant job frustration would have obvious adverse affects upon an office. There is also the possibility that an attorney who is hired for a paralegal position may have accepted the position only because he/she was not able to obtain an attorney position. As such, the attorney/paralegal might continue to look for an attorney position while performing the paralegal duties. Thus, the investment in bringing the attorney/paralegal up to speed as a paralegal could be lost as soon as the attorney was able to find other employment.

  2. An additional management consideration is the attorney/paralegal's possible expectation of being selected for an attorney position if he/she performs well on the job as a paralegal. However, the fact that an employee performs well as a paralegal does not ensure that a person would be a good attorney. If an attorney/paralegal was not hired for an attorney position, this could create additional frustration and internal conflict between the attorney/paralegal and the supervisor. For these reasons, attorneys should generally not be hired to fill paralegal positions.

  3. Exceptions to this policy require approval from the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M). The hiring official must prepare a memorandum to the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M) explaining the reason for their request to hire an attorney or law school graduate for a paralegal position.

30.4.1.4.2  (02-01-2007)
Paralegal Duties and Ethical Considerations

  1. The Office of Chief Counsel has developed a number of position descriptions (PD) covering the various duties and responsibilities that paralegals can perform, but modifications can, and should, be made to fit particular circumstances. Although the position descriptions list specific functions that can be performed by paralegals, there are a number of ethical considerations that must be kept in mind with respect to paralegal work. Some general rules are set forth here for guidance, which are followed by additional specific rules that pertain to the tax litigation and general litigation activities.

  2. Legal work can be delegated to paralegals as long as an attorney responsible for the supervision of the paralegal maintains a direct relationship with the client and supervises the paralegal in the performance of the delegated work.

  3. A paralegal may sign correspondence as long as the recipient is not misled into believing that the sender is an attorney.

  4. Paralegals may prepare legal documents under the direction and supervision of attorneys.

  5. Paralegals may negotiate settlements, but it is considered improper to delegate to the paralegal final authority for the settlement without obtaining an attorney’s approval. See ABA Informal Opinion 523 (1962).

  6. Improper delegation of tasks to paralegal personnel or inadequate supervision would violate ethical standards prohibiting attorneys from aiding the unauthorized practice of law. See the following:

    • Rule 5.5(b) of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct

    • Disciplinary Rule 3-101(A) of the Code of Professional Responsibility

    • Rules 5.3 and 5.5 of the Revised Model Rules of Professional Responsibility

30.4.1.4.2.1  (02-01-2007)
Tax Litigation

  1. Paralegals assigned to "S" cases may contact taxpayers and conduct conferences provided that taxpayers are not misled by improper suggestions that a paralegal is an attorney.

  2. Paralegals may prepare stipulations of facts in trial memoranda provided that these documents are reviewed by attorneys in the Division Counsel's office.

  3. Paralegals may engage in settlement negotiations, prepare computations and decision documents, and submit them to the taxpayer for signature, provided that these activities are supervised and that the terms of settlement are approved by authorized attorneys.

  4. Paralegals may prepare answers in regular Tax Court cases provided that the attorney who is assigned to the case signs the answer.

  5. It is ethically improper to delegate to paralegals the authority to conclude the settlement of any Tax Court case and to prepare settlement documents without the approval of an attorney.

30.4.1.4.2.2  (02-01-2007)
General Litigation

  1. A paralegal can review routine requests for summons enforcement and prepare the litigation letter to the Department of Justice for the signature of an attorney, provided that the paralegal's work is actually reviewed and the attorney's signature is not pro forma.

  2. A paralegal may initially review the legal sufficiency of an application for a writ of entry, provided that the paralegal's work is reviewed by an attorney.

30.4.1.5  (01-17-2008)
Pre-employment Clearances

  1. The Office of Chief Counsel will not allow an individual to enter-on-duty in any of its business units until FBI fingerprint results and, if applicable, case disposition information are received and reviewed. This policy applies to all positions in all Office of Chief Counsel locations, and there will be no exceptions to the policy. In the event that staff shortages occur, managers should take steps to move existing staff into areas that require additional resources. For contractor personnel, the Office of Chief Counsel will follow the policy contained in IRM 10.23.2, Contractor Investigations. This policy applies to all individuals entering on duty regardless of the appointment type (or work schedule) for all positions in all Office of Chief Counsel locations. There are two circumstances when this policy does not apply:

    • Current IRS employees applying for jobs through an external announcement (e.g., a temporary employee applies for a permanent position via an external vacancy announcement)

    • Current IRS employees applying for internal vacancy announcements

  2. Prior to entrance on duty or receipt of an official job offer, a selectee must receive favorable results for tax clearance for the last three years tax returns filed. This policy is required for all individuals entering on duty including current IRS employees applying for jobs through an external announcement (e.g., a temporary employee applies for a permanent position via an external vacancy announcement) and current IRS employees applying for internal vacancy announcements.

  3. A Background Security Investigation will be initiated prior to appointment. After entrance on duty, failure to successfully meet the background investigation and favorable adjudication requirements may be grounds for termination. Background investigations are required for employees upon entry on duty and for movement into a job of greater sensitivity or risk level. Periodic reinvestigations are only conducted for holders of national security clearances, employees in Critical Sensitive positions, and employees in positions designated High Risk.

  4. Depending on the type of job position, employees will be required to complete one of the following:

    • Form SF 85, Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions

    • Form SF 85P, Questionnaire for Public Trust Positions

    • Form SF 86, Questionnaire for National Security Positions

  5. Managers are responsible for arranging access to the facility for the investigator, adjusting the employee’s duties to allow time for the interview, and arranging for any source interviews with other employees.

30.4.1.5.1  (02-01-2007)
Background Investigations and Re-investigations

  1. The U.S. Government conducts background investigations and re-investigations to ensure that people applying for Federal jobs, already employed by the Government, or working for the Government under contract, are:

    1. Suitable for the job, and/or

    2. Eligible for a public trust position, or

    3. Suitable to have access to national security information

  2. A background investigation consists of:

    • Checks of databases maintained by other agencies

    • A personal subject interview of the employee/applicant

    • Interviews of individuals who know the applicant/employee (called "source interviews" )

  3. The purpose of the background investigation is to determine information relating to the following topics:

    • Character and reputation

    • Honesty and integrity

    • Use of illegal drugs and alcohol

    • Negative involvement with law enforcement

    • Emotional or mental health as it affects the public trust and the safety of the workplace

    • Untrustworthy or unreliable associations

    • Susceptibility to blackmail or coercion

  4. In the case of new hires, where there is an inquiry concerning a routine or a conduct matter in the pre- or post-background information investigation, the National Background Investigation Center (NBIC) will contact the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M). Finance and Management will then notify the appropriate Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel, Deputy Associate Chief Counsel/Deputy Division Counsel, or other official, that their employee is under investigation and that inquiries are being made about the employee.

  5. If there is a negative background investigation report forwarded to the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M), the appropriate manager and employee will be notified. The outcome of the investigation could result in discipline, up to and including removal/termination.

30.4.1.5.2  (02-01-2007)
TIGTA Investigations

  1. When there is an inquiry concerning a conduct matter for employees who are on-board, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) will contact the Deputy Chief Counsel (Operations), or the designated Acting official in the Deputy’s absence. He/she will then determine which office(s) will serve as the contact point for TIGTA.

30.4.1.6  (02-01-2007)
Priority Placement Program and Reemployment Priority List

  1. The Office of Chief Counsel will make every effort to avoid the demotion of an employee when it is without cause and not at the employee’s request. However, when a demotion such as this is inevitable, this subsection covers those situations where employees qualify for grade/pay retention.

  2. Reductions in force resulting in removals entitle employees only to coverage under the Department of the Treasury’s Reemployment Priority List.

30.4.1.6.1  (05-18-2012)
Chief Counsel’s Priority Placement Program

  1. Employees are eligible for the Priority Placement Program who are involuntarily demoted as a result of:

    • A reduction in force (RIF)

    • Reclassification of their position to a lower grade

    • An A-76 contracting out of their position

    • Declining an offer of transfer with the function to a location outside the commuting area

    Note:

    Employees must otherwise meet the conditions of eligibility for grade and/or pay retention as outlined in 5 CFR 536, Grade and Pay Retention, including any amendments thereto.

  2. Employees become eligible for the program on the effective dates shown on their SF 50. The Human Resources Division office will provide official notice (Employee Notice of Eligibility and Standard Form 50) that the employees meet the eligibility requirements for grade and/or pay retention.

  3. Program eligibility is terminated when the employee:

    • Transfers to another agency

    • Resigns

    • Receives a "reasonable offer"

    • Is placed in a position the grade of which is equal to or higher than the retained grade

    • Elects in writing to terminate the benefits of grade retention

    • Otherwise loses eligibility for grade and pay retention

  4. A "reasonable offer" must meet the following conditions:

    1. The offer must be in writing, and must include an official position description of the offered position

    2. The offered position must be a permanent position and one for which the employee meets the established qualification requirements

    3. The offered position must have at least the same number of hours as the employee’s former position

    4. The offered position must be in the same commuting area

    5. The offer must come after formal determination and notification of entitlement to grade/pay retention

    6. In the case of an employee eligible for grade retention, the offer must be to a position the grade of which is equal to or greater than the retained grade

    7. In the case of an employee eligible for pay retention, the offer must be to a position the rate of basic pay of which is equal to or greater than the employee’s retained pay

  5. Acceptance of a position at an intervening grade will not terminate an employee’s eligibility to continue in the program unless the position is one in an established career ladder with a full performance level equal to the grade of the position from which demoted.

  6. A priority placement employee will have up to seven days to accept or reject a "reasonable offer" .

30.4.1.6.1.1  (05-18-2012)
Determining Appropriate Vacancies for Referral

  1. Employees in the Priority Placement Program will receive priority placement referral for vacancies within their commuting area which management has determined to fill, for which they are qualified, and that are at the same or an intervening grade/rate of pay as the position from which demoted. The vacancy need not be in the same classification series as the employee’s previous position.

  2. Employees in the program will receive consideration for career ladder vacancies for which they are qualified and that have a full performance level to the same or intervening grade as that from which demoted. Placement within the career ladder will be at the highest grade level for which the employee meets qualification requirements.

  3. Promotions of employees within a career ladder or other career promotions that are made as an exception to competitive procedures and which do not create an additional vacancy are exempted from these provisions.

  4. Whenever an appropriate vacancy is identified, first consideration will be given to employees in the Priority Placement Program before considering other employees. This procedure shall not affect management’s right to fill vacancies from any appropriate source.

  5. Applicants eligible for priority selection under the provisions of 5 CFR 330.601, Agency Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) for Local Surplus and Displaced Employees, et seq., and applicants eligible for priority consideration will precede referrals of Priority Placement Program employees.

  6. If more than one employee is referred for priority placement, the selecting official will select any of those referred, or he or she may make no selection.

30.4.1.6.2  (02-01-2007)
Treasury Reemployment Priority List

  1. The Office of Chief Counsel will participate in the Treasury Reemployment Priority List (RPL). This program is designed to help Treasury employees who would be adversely affected by a reduction-in-force (RIF) that results in an involuntary separation, or who have recovered from work-related (compensable) injuries.

  2. Names of persons registered in the Treasury RPL will be referred to the Office of Chief Counsel from the Department of Treasury, Office of Personnel Policy. When persons are added or deleted from the list, a new listing will be released covering all employees registered for a specific local commuting area.

  3. The list covers all competitive service employees at all grade levels in the Treasury.

  4. Prior to filling a vacancy with a candidate external to the Office of Chief Counsel, HR will check the RPL to see if there are qualified employees registered at the appropriate grade level, series, and in the same commuting area in which the vacancy exists. An employee is entitled to priority consideration only in the commuting area from which he/she was separated or received notification of separation.

  5. In making selections, the Office of Chief Counsel must give preference by tenure group.

30.4.1.7  (02-01-2007)
Employment of Non-Citizens

  1. This subsection covers information regarding the employment of non-citizens in all positions within the Office of Chief Counsel. The Office of Chief Counsel will give strong priority to hiring United States citizens and nationals. However, non-citizens may be hired in certain circumstances.

  2. Several considerations will determine whether the Office of Chief Counsel may employ a non-citizen. They include:

    • Executive Order 11935 requiring citizenship in the competitive service

    • Whether the position is in the competitive service, excepted service or Senior Executive Service

    • The annual appropriations act ban on paying aliens from many countries

    • The immigration law ban on employing aliens unless they are lawfully admitted for permanent residence or otherwise authorized to be employed

30.4.1.7.1  (02-01-2007)
Executive Order 11935 on the Competitive Civil Service

  1. Under Executive Order 11935, only U.S. citizens and nationals (e.g., persons born in an outlying possession of the United States such as American Samoa and Swains Island) may compete for competitive jobs and be given an appointment in the competitive service.

  2. The Office of Chief Counsel may hire non-citizens only when there are no qualified citizens available. A non-citizen may only be given an excepted appointment and does not acquire competitive civil service status when hired in the absence of a qualified citizen.

  3. A non-citizen may be hired only if permitted by the appropriations act and the immigration law.

  4. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) may, as an exception to this rule and to the extent permitted by law, authorize the appointment of non-citizens to positions in the competitive service when necessary to promote the efficiency of the service in specific cases or for temporary appointments.

30.4.1.7.2  (02-01-2007)
Excepted Service and Senior Executive Service

  1. The Office of Chief Counsel may hire a qualified non-citizen in the excepted service or Senior Executive Service, if permitted to do so by the annual appropriations act ban on paying certain non-citizens and immigration law.

30.4.1.7.3  (02-01-2007)
Appropriations Act Restrictions on Paying Certain Non-Citizens

  1. Annual appropriations law prohibits the use of appropriated funds to employ non-citizens.

  2. Certain groups of non-citizens are not included in this ban such as Ireland, Israel, or the Republic of the Philippines, or nationals of those countries allied with the United States in a current defense effort.

    1. Countries which are considered allies are those with which the U.S. has established treaties.

    2. A complete list of such countries, as well as a discussion of the law that is applicable regarding the hiring of non-citizens, can be obtained from the OPM website at http://www.opm.gov/employ/html/Citizen.asp..

30.4.1.7.4  (05-18-2012)
Immigration Law Requirements on Employing Citizens and Aliens

  1. For any work to be performed within the Office of Chief Counsel, immigration law requires Counsel to hire only individuals who are eligible to be employed. All newly appointed employees are required to complete a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The Human Resources Division must check the employees’ documents to verify employment eligibility.

  2. The Office of Chief Counsel will not discriminate against employees by requesting more or different documents than are required in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990. Acceptable documents are listed on the back of the Form I-9.

  3. In accordance with 8 CFR 274a, Control of Employment of Aliens, the Office of Chief Counsel may only hire an individual who is one of the following:

    • A citizen (either by birth or naturalization)

    • Lawfully admitted for permanent residence

    • Lawfully admitted for temporary residence

    • An alien admitted or paroled into the United States as a refugee

    • An alien granted asylum

    • A fiancé/fiancée, child, or parent of an alien who was admitted under certain conditions

    • An alien who is authorized employment incident to status (such as on-campus part-time employment of a non-immigrant student)

    • An alien who meets other requirements listed in 8 CFR 274a

30.4.1.8  (02-01-2007)
Employee Details

  1. It is the policy of Chief Counsel to detail employees only for the purposes of:

    • Meeting temporary needs of Chief Counsel’s programs and activities when services cannot be obtained by other, more desirable or practicable means

    • Developmental assignments

    • Training

  2. In order to meet the intent of OPM and Treasury detail requirements, supervisors and managers (executives) should consider using alternative procedures when other than brief periods are involved. Some suggested alternatives are:

    • Restructuring organizational segments and reallocating duties to existing positions

    • Temporary promotions or appointments

    • Amending the position description for a temporary additional assignment for the incumbent

  3. All details shall be made without discrimination for any non-merit reason such as race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, political affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, marital, or parental status.

  4. When an employee is on a detail, the employee performs different duties or is placed on a different position description for a specified period of time after which the employee returns to their regular duties. An employee on a detail continues to be the incumbent of their permanently assigned position and receives the salary attached to that position.

  5. An employee does not have to meet OPM/agency qualification requirements for the position to which he/she is detailed. Experience gained while serving on a detail may be creditable towards meeting qualification requirements for later permanent placement action. However, time served on a detail to a higher-graded position may not be used for purposes of satisfying time-in-grade requirements.

  6. Details may not be made without competition for more than 120 day increments, beyond 120 days to a position with greater promotion potential, or to a higher graded position.

  7. Temporary promotions in the Office of Chief Counsel can only occur through a formal detail from one position to another, i.e., an SF 52 is prepared to document the action.

  8. All details should be made matters of record because the experience and training gained by the employee may be important for later permanent placement actions. A detail over 30 days should be officially recorded on an SF 52. Although details for less than 30 days do not require an SF 52, written documentation may be prepared to create a permanent record and forwarded to HR.

  9. These provisions apply to all employees in the legal functions of Chief Counsel, including non-Chief Counsel employees who are detailed to Chief Counsel.

  10. Time and attendance records of detailed employees will be maintained by the office from which detailed. Detailed employees will keep their timekeeper informed of attendance and leave in accordance with prescribed instructions.

30.4.1.8.1  (02-01-2007)
Duration of Details

  1. All references within this subsection will be to calendar days rather than workdays.

  2. Employees at GS 14 and below may be detailed to higher graded positions, or positions with greater promotion potential, in 120-day increments. Prior service during the preceding 12 months under noncompetitive details to higher graded positions or positions with greater promotion potential and under noncompetitive time-limited promotions counts toward the 120-day total.

  3. Except for brief periods, employees should not be detailed to perform work of a higher grade level. Details of more than 120 days to a higher graded position or to a position with greater promotion potential must be made under competitive procedures.

  4. One year is the maximum period allowed for each type of detail within Chief Counsel, i.e., detail to unclassified duties, and to the same, lower, or higher graded positions. All extensions beyond the maximum period allowed for each detail must have prior approval from the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M).

    Exception:

    Details to SES positions

  5. When a detail is expected to last 90 days or longer, the temporary supervisor shall provide elements and standards to the detailed employee. Ratings on the critical elements must be prepared and forwarded to the employee's permanent supervisor for consideration in deriving the employee's next rating of record.

  6. Details of temporary employees are subject to the same time limits and documentation requirements as details of permanent employees.

30.4.1.8.2  (02-01-2007)
Details, Grade 15 and Below

  1. No employee in the excepted service may be assigned to a position in the competitive service without prior approval of the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M).

  2. Employees detailed to positions GS-14 and below require the following approval:

    1. Employees may be detailed within their offices in 120-day increments or less upon the approval of the Associate Chief Counsel/Division Counsel

    2. Employees may be detailed between offices of Associate Chief Counsel/ Division Counsel in 120-day increments or less with the approval of both Associates Chief Counsel/Division Counsels

  3. Employees detailed to GS-15 positions require coordination with the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M) prior to effecting the action.

  4. Employees may be detailed to unclassified duties.

    1. For details in excess of 30 days to unclassified duties, supervisors are required to prepare a brief task list or paragraph describing the duties associated with the detail. A copy of the duty statement should be given to the employee.

    2. Employees at grade 14 and below may be detailed to unclassified duties between offices with the approval of both Associates Chief Counsel/Division Counsels.

    3. Details of grade 15 employees to unclassified duties require coordination with the Associate Chief Counsel (F&M).

  5. The Associate Chief Counsel (F&M) may approve details between Chief Counsel and the IRS, other Treasury bureaus, and other Federal agencies.


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