[Excerpt] It is a privilege to transmit this Semiannual Report to the Congress covering the period October 1, 2002, through March 31, 2003, summarizing the significant audit and investigative activities of the Office of Inspector General (OIG), U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Moreover, I am pleased to introduce a new format for our report that makes use of advances in information technology and moves the OIG forward in the e-government environment. Readers will now receive a “Highlights” summary that emphasizes key audits and investigations conducted by the OIG. The Highlights contains information on how to visit our website and download the complete report. Our goal is to allow you to review snapshots of our work and quickly access those issues of most interest to you.
Of special note during this reporting period was the inclusion of statutory law enforcement authority for our investigators in the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-296). This authority enhances our ability to investigate labor racketeering and fraud against pension plans, which has become increasingly important as other Federal law enforcement agencies redirect their resources toward homeland security activities.
Among our significant investigative accomplishments during this period was the indictment of 42 individuals including members and associates of the Genovese and Colombo La Cosa Nostra (LCN) organized crime families and Locals 14 and 15 of the Operating Engineers, for unlawful labor payments as well as other charges. Another investigation led to guilty pleas by associates of the Gambino LCN Family. In total, during this reporting period, our investigative work resulted in 337 indictments, 191 convictions, and over $55.6 million in monetary accomplishments.
From an audit perspective, we issued a series of reports during this period related to the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) including youth training programs, individual training accounts, and the amount of WIA funding available to states. We hope these reports and recommendations will offer valuable information as the Congress considers WIA reauthorization. We also reported the results of our work with respect to Florida’s closeout of its job training grants, which identified significant discrepancies between the State's financial status reports and its official accounting records. Also significant this period was our follow-up audit of overcharges by the Internal Revenue Service to the Unemployment Trust Fund that totaled $174 million for fiscal years 1999–2002. This targeted work, as well as other audit work, identified nearly $184 million in questioned costs.
I am proud of the work of all OIG employees and their continued commitment to serving American workers and taxpayers. My staff and I look forward to continuing to work constructively with the Secretary and the DOL team to further our common goal of ensuring the effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity of the programs that serve and protect the rights and benefits of American workers and retirees.