[Excerpt] As the fourth Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Labor, I am honored to have been appointed by the President to serve in this important capacity and gratified that the U.S. Senate confirmed my appointment.
The Inspector General function is critical to the effective operations of our Government. With the assistance of the auditors, investigators, and support staff of the Office of Inspector General, I look forward to carrying out the responsibilities and obligations prescribed by the Inspector General Act of 1978. I also look forward to maintaining an effective working relationship with the Secretary, the Department's Executive Staff, and the Congress while retaining the necessary independence and objectivity to perform my duties.
The prime objective of the Department of Labor is to protect and, if possible, enhance the health, safety, working conditions, and financial security of more than 100 million Americans and their families. These individuals are best served by a highly professional and diligent Office of Inspector General which conducts broad oversight of Department of Labor programs, identifies operational problems at an early stage, and investigates potential criminal activities.
I intend to focus my attention in several areas. First, the Department needs to have a better balance of civil and criminal enforcement and it must improve the coordination of its entire criminal enforcement program. As part of this goal, it needs to actively press for consideration of its Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) legislative package in order to better safeguard the health and security of American workers.
Second, I plan to use my criminal investigative resources to the maximum extent possible and, in this regard, I intend to explore all opportunities, legislative or otherwise, to minimize the restrictions imposed by the March 1989 Department of Justice opinion concerning the investigative authority of the Inspectors General.
Finally, I believe the Congress should signal its strong commitment to law enforcement by providing basic law enforcement tools and techniques, such as the powers to make arrests and carry firearms, to the Office of Inspector General.