Reuters reported on May 2 that the Treasury had temporarily suspended FinCEN's hiring authority and forced it to rescind 11 job offers after a federal government labor watchdog determined that the bureau had illegally screened candidates in a quest to hire only lawyers for certain positions.
Most U.S. government positions fall into a standard set of job bands, which determine things such as pay and minimum qualifications. Federal law bars the government from screening candidates for qualifications that go beyond the job's standard requirements.
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FinCEN, in the midst of a hiring campaign, however, screened candidates to hire only lawyers for certain jobs, even though the positions did not require a law degree, sources have previously said.
Later in May, Reuters reported that FinCEN may have also run afoul of federal regulations that require military veterans to be given preference for jobs in the government if they are qualified.
"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 the letter. "If these allegations are true, FinCEN's actions are starkly at odds with this Administration's public proclamations supporting the hiring of veterans returning home from active duty."