Improper Hiring at Treasury Bureau Possibly Affected Veterans

An audit of the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network concluded the bureau used improper criteria when screening and hiring candidates for certain jobs. An audit of the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network concluded the bureau used improper criteria when screening and hiring candidates for certain jobs. Bill Perry/

This story has been updated.

A White House nomination is on hold, and lawmakers are raising questions over possible violations of veterans’ preference because of a flap over improper hiring practices at the Treasury Department.

Two congressional Republicans are requesting more information from Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network over an audit this past winter that concluded the bureau used improper criteria when screening and hiring candidates for certain jobs. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, put a hold this week on the nomination of Nani Coloretti to be deputy secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Department to prod Treasury into turning over documents related to the inquiry. Coloretti is Treasury’s assistant secretary for management.

On the other side of the Capitol, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., is also demanding answers. At issue is a routine human capital audit conducted by the Office of Personnel Management in February at FinCEN that found employees had applied illegal hiring criteria for several job openings, violating the rules of competitive service hiring in the federal government. Treasury in March temporarily suspended the bureau’s hiring authority, and according to a May 2 Reuters report, withdrew 11 job offers as a result of the audit.

Treasury officials -- and now members of Congress -- are also looking into the possibility that veterans’ preference may have been illegally circumvented in the process. Military veterans are given preference over other eligible, non-veteran candidates for federal jobs in the competitive service. According to a May 9 Reuters report, FinCEN screened candidates in an effort to hire only lawyers for certain jobs, but did not advertise in the vacancy announcements that those positions required a law degree.

Federal hiring rules prohibit agencies from screening candidates for qualifications not included in the job posting.

“The fact that FinCEN allegedly rejected pools of candidates made up of qualified veterans who met the criteria listed in the initial job postings effectively amounts to discrimination,” Issa wrote in a June 2 letter to FinCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery requesting documents related to the incident. “Yet, instead of offering the jobs to qualified veterans as required by law, FinCEN applied additional improper requirements to applicants, and then pulled the listings and re-posted the jobs with requirements typically held by lawyers with prosecutorial experience,” the letter said, citing the May 9 Reuters report.

FinCEN spokesman Steve Hudak said in statement that the agency "continues to recruit and hire excellent staff who are helping to safeguard the financial system and promote national security. We have no comment on other personnel issues."

In the May 9 Reuters report, Hudak told the news service that 25 percent of FinCEN’s new hires in 2013 were vets.

FinCEN’s mission is to prevent and combat money laundering.

(Image via Bill Perry/

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

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

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


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