Union steps up campaign against outsourcing debt collection

Tax collection may not be considered America's most glamorous profession, but hundreds of federal workers are descending on Capitol Hill this week to lobby for a chance to do the job.

Members of the National Treasury Employees Union will urge senators this week to preserve language in the House-passed fiscal 2009 omnibus spending bill that would stop the stream of federal funds to private tax collection agencies under Internal Revenue Service contracts.

The NTEU and its allies argue that private collectors deny troubled low-income taxpayers a range of payment options while pulling work away from government workers.

But the union will face opposition from Senate Finance ranking member Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who fears the demise of the fledgling debt collection program would cost his home state jobs. One of the IRS contractors is CBE Group of Waterloo, Iowa.

Grassley hopes to introduce an amendment that would strike the House language, which forbids the use of federally appropriated funds for the IRS contracting program, which began in 2006.

NTEU President Colleen Kelley said Tuesday that turning off the federal spigot would "effectively shut [the program] down" over time even if the IRS chooses to renew its contracts -- set to expire this week -- with the private agencies.

In a letter co-signed by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. and Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, Grassley urged Treasury and IRS officials last week to allow the program time to work.

They argued that private agencies are more nimble at collecting debt than federal employees. Halting the private contracts, they added, would cost their home states almost 200 jobs.

The union's lobbying forces this week will also seek support for a fiscal 2010 pay raise for federal workers that matches the 2.9 percent the Obama administration proposed for military personnel. The administration's fiscal 2010 budget request seeks a 2 percent raise for civilian federal workers.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.