[Excerpt]I am pleased to transmit the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Semiannual Report to the Congress on our significant activities. The report covers the six-month period ending March 31, 2004. During this reporting period, we issued 45 audits and identified nearly $13 million in questioned costs. Moreover, we closed 218 investigations and achieved 223 indictments, 166 convictions, and nearly $60.3 million in monetary accomplishments. Among our audit and evaluation findings this reporting period are:
• After a $22 million investment by DOL to improve the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage determination process, problems persist with wage data accuracy, survey methodology, and the timeliness of wage determinations.
• Vulnerabilities in the management of the migration of DOL payroll activities to the National Finance Center could impede the implementation of e-payroll by the September 30 deadline.
• An estimated $1.67 million in overpayments of Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance were made in Florida due to the State’s improper application of eligibility and filing requirements.
• The state of Ohio had not fully implemented its Workforce Investment Act program after two years of operation and was not in compliance with program requirements.
• An employer association that hires about one-third of foreign workers under the Temporary Agricultural labor certification program did not accurately report aliens and that 50% had abandoned their jobs and their whereabouts were unknown.
OIG investigations into labor racketeering and program fraud, produced equally significant results, including:
• The guilty plea by the international president of the United Transportation Union to labor racketeering conspiracy charges for a scheme to bribe attorneys.
• The sentencing to prison of a subcontractor hired to clean anthrax from a New York postal service center after falsifying hazardous material training records for workers hired to clean the center; he was also ordered to pay $1.4 million in restitution.
• Successful prosecutions of attorneys and labor brokers as a result of our investigations into fraud against DOL foreign labor certification programs.
We continue our ongoing effort to promote the economy, efficiency, effectiveness, and integrity of DOL programs in cooperation with the Secretary of Labor and the DOL team. As a result of these efforts, we will detect waste, fraud, and abuse against programs that serve and protect benefits of American workers and retirees.