[Excerpt] In the six month period of this report, the resources of the Office of Inspector General have been focused on matters of significant and continuing concern within the Department of Labor. The audits and investigations conducted and reported in the following pages highlight problems and vulnerabilities in such areas as job training programs and funds, pension and welfare benefit plans, financial management, and criminal enforcement.
We have worked closely with the Assistant Secretaries and their staffs responsible for these and other programs and areas that have come under review. I am pleased with the cooperation which has been provided to the OIG during our inquiries and with the positive steps that have been taken to address several of the issues we have reported. Where unanimity as to the issue or best resolution has not been achieved, we have included in this report the dissenting views of management, together with our recommendations for action or improvement. In some cases, it is our opinion that legislative and/or regulatory changes must be made to correct specific inadequacies and we will closely follow management's efforts to improve these programs by such measures.
While we have made some progress in minimizing the restrictions placed on the investigative jurisdiction of the Inspectors General by previous legal opinions, this issue still requires legislation to remove any doubt as to the intent and expectations of the Congress in granting the Inspectors General investigative authority within their agencies. In concert with that responsibility, the need for statutory law enforcement authority for the OIG's criminal investigators has been clearly established. It is essential to the safe, effective, and efficient fulfillment of those duties.
In providing to the Secretary and the Congress our independent analyses of the Department of Labor's programs and operations, it has been our intent to furnish fair, accurate, and objective information and recommendations that will assist the Department's managers in fulfilling the responsibilities entrusted to us by the American people.