[Excerpt] This Semiannual Report, covering the period October 1, 1995 through March 31, 1996, documents the significant accomplishments of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of lnspector General (OIG). During this very important period of change in Government, my office has continued to work extensively with the Department, the Congress, and other Federal Agencies to ensure the integrity and efficiency of DOL programs, to safeguard the taxpayers' investment in these programs, and to ensure that the American worker is served in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
Through our audits, investigations, and evaluations, the OIG has focused attention on: the effectiveness and efficiency of DOL employment and training programs; fraud in the Department's health care and unemployment insurance programs; and criminal labor racketeering activity by traditional and non-traditional organized crime groups. Although we are pleased to see the Department adopt many of our recommendations and make other improvements related to these areas, we will continue to devote significant resources to these areas and we will continue to make recommendations for change to both the Department and to the Congress.
In the past, we have also expressed our concerns over other significant issues within the Department. These include: continued structural weaknesses in the Department's financial management operations and procedures; the OIG's limited access to Unemployment Insurance wage records; and the need to address weaknesses and inefficiencies in the reauthorization of a targeted jobs tax credit program. The OIG remains concerned that legislative and/or administrative changes are necessary with respect to these important issues.
Just as we strive to improve operations at the departmental level, my office continues to seek improvements in the way we do business and how we can maximize our own effectiveness. Accordingly, the OIG has begun to implement a long-range Strategic Plan which meets the requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act and establishes the long-term direction, goals, and priorities of the organization. The OIG Strategic Plan identifies five key accomplishments necessary for full implementation and during this reporting period, teams have been established to further develop and refine three of these accomplishments. The first team has enabled the OIG to identify those significant issues which will be our focus over the next 24 months. The second team is in the process of developing effective performance measures for the OIG, since accurate and informative performance measurements are of vital importance both to the OIG and to effective government in general. The third strategic planning team is assessing present and future information technology requirements to ensure that we accomplish our mission. We hope that our efforts in the strategic planning arena will serve as a valuable resource not only to the OIG but also to the rest of the Department to help plan for the future.