[Excerpt] This semiannual report of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) details some of our most significant activities for the period October 1, 1997, through March 31, 1998. During this period, the OIG focused its audit and investigative resources on activities that support our accomplishment of the goals established in our strategic plan. These goals reflect the OIG vision to provide the Department of Labor (DOL) and Congress with quality information, recommendations, and technical assistance that improve the impact of DOL programs and operations. Particularly noteworthy during this reporting period have been our accomplishments in:
- identifying and calling attention to the ineffectiveness of the DOL’s foreign labor certification programs;
- calling attention to legislative changes needed to improve aspects of the Department’s pension, workers’ compensation, and program evaluation functions;
- identifying a systemic weakness in the Unemployment Insurance program that has led to significant benefits being paid to ineligible claimants and illegal aliens;
- uncovering fraud against DOL’s employment and training and worker benefit programs;
- combating labor racketeering in unions and the workplace through successful indictments and convictions in the areas of employee benefit plans, labor-management relations, and internal union affairs;
- working closely with DOL and the General Accounting Office to be able to remove a long- standing qualification to our opinion on the Department’s consolidated financial statements and issue the Department its first clean audit opinion; and
- providing technical assistance to the Department in its implementation of the Government Performance and Results Act.
My staff and I are committed to effecting positive change, reducing vulnerabilities, and contributing to the Department’s achievement of its own strategic goals. I look forward to continuing to work effectively with the Secretary in our common goal of ensuring the effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity of the programs that serve and protect American workers and retirees.