Get a Life

By Judith Welles

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Get a Life!: Any suggestions?

Some Internal Revenue Service employees will be receiving cash for suggestions that were not previously rewarded.  In a recent arbitration decision, the IRS was faulted for not linking all suggestion programs to the National Treasury Employees Union negotiated Employee Suggestion Program. The ESP involves monetary rewards for as much as 25 percent of any first-year savings.  

IRS had been encouraging suggestions for efficiencies and improvements through various channels.  The decision means that employees who submitted ideas between May 26, 2006 and the present will now be eligible for monetary awards for their suggestions regardless of how the suggestions were initially submitted.  

Employees who made suggestions during that time period will have six months to resubmit those ideas through the formal ESP suggestion program.  Suggestions that range from cost-savings measures to ways to close the tax gap must be above and beyond the employee’s normal job responsibilities.

In some agencies, suggestions are rewarded through the performance evaluation process.  I can also recall a suggestion “program” in a government agency that once involved a box in the human resources office with a slot for suggestions.  I don’t recall any rewards. 

How well do you think suggestion programs work?

Posted on Jul 15, 2008 at 12:13 PM


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