[Excerpt] This Semiannual Report, covering the period of April 1 hrough September 30, 1995, documents some of the most significant accomplishments oft he U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Inspector General (OIG). During this very important period of change in Government, my office 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, and to ensure that the American worker is served in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
Through audits, investigations, and congressional testimony and briefings, my office has focused attention on: the effectiveness and efficiency of several employment and training programs; fraud in workers' compensation and unemployment insurance programs; and criminal activity by traditional and non- traditional organized crime groups.
Just as we strive to improve operations at the Departmental level, my office has continued to examine ways to improve the way we do business and how we can maximize our effectiveness. One initiative in this area has been the implementation of the OIG Strategic Plan. This plan establishes the long-term direction, goals, and priorities of the organization and outlines the actions needed to achieve them. An important feature of the plan is the built-in participation of staff at all stages of implementation, which I believe will add to our success.
During my tenure at DOL, I have worked extensively to improve and streamline the mechanisms that grant law enforcement powers to OIG criminal investigators. While the Inspector General Act established criminal investigative authority for OIGs, it did not provide the statutory authority for OIG investigators to execute search warrants, make arrests, or carry firearms. Accordingly, the Department of Justice (DOJ) instituted case-specific delegations of U.S. Marshal deputation authority to certain OIG investigators to carry out these functions. However, this process (which required a specific request and decision by DOJ for each case) proved to be cumbersome, time-consuming, and costly. We estimate that it cost us approximately $80,000 per year, and that for other OIGs Government-wide, the costs totalled hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
Working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, DOJ, and other OIGs, this past July we succeeded in obtaining annual deputation for investigators in our Program Fraud Division, as well as for six other OIGs. This authority was granted on a pilot basis. Upon evaluation, it may result in such authority being extended to other OIGs and in DOJ support for statutory law enforcement authority for OIG criminal investigators.