This Semiannual Report of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) details some of our most significant accomplishments for the period October 1, 1998, through March 31, 1999. During this period, the OIG focused its audit and investigative resources on activities that support accomplishment of the goals established in our strategic plan. The OIG goals reflect my vision to provide the Department of Labor (DOL) and Congress with quality information, recommendations, and technical assistance. Particularly noteworthy during this reporting period have been our accomplishments in:
- Calling attention to weaknesses involving the administration of 35 Welfare-to-Work grants totaling $147 million that could potentially undermine the success of the program in helping welfare recipients obtain employment and self-sufficiency;
- Identifying opportunities for savings and questioning over $5 million in inappropriate grant costs charged to the Department by an Older Workers Program grantee;
- Identifying best practices used by States in conducting field audits to improve the collection of Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax contributions from employers and ways to improve the detection of UI overpayments through cross matches with employer records;
- Collaborating with the Department to address remaining Y2K compliance issues affecting DOL operations, and helping DOL to assist States and business partners to ensure their own compliance;
- Providing consultation assistance to DOL agencies in their implementation of the Government Performance and Results Act; • Uncovering complex fraud schemes against DOL unemployment and disability compensation 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, as well as utilizing Civil RICO actions to establish long-term stability in unions; and
- Calling attention to legislative changes needed to improve aspects of pension, workers’ compensation, and program evaluation functions of the Department.
My staff and I are committed to effecting positive change, reducing vulnerabilities, and contributing to the achievement of DOL strategic goals. I look forward to continuing to work effectively with the Secretary, management, and departmental staff at all levels in our common goal of ensuring the effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity of the programs that serve and protect American workers and retirees.