[Excerpt] I am pleased to submit this Semiannual Report to the Department and the Congress, which highlights the most significant activities and accomplishments of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Office of Inspector General (OIG), for the six-month period ending September 30, 2016. Our audits and investigations continue to assess the effectiveness, efficiency, economy, and integrity of DOL’s programs and operations. We also continue to investigate the influence of labor racketeering and organized crime in internal union affairs, employee benefit plans, and labor-management relations.
During this reporting period, the OIG issued 13 audit and other reports. Among our many significant findings, we reported the following:
- Seven states generally did not meet established targets for detecting and reducing improper payments and the accuracy of their reporting to the Employment and Training Administration could not be determined.
- Mine Safety and Health Administration districts did not log, assess, and respond to complaints of hazardous mine conditions consistently.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration could not demonstrate whether its Special Emphasis Programs were effective in improving safety and health conditions in high-hazard industries and occupations.
- Information security control weaknesses continued to exist or reoccur because the Department has not placed sufficient emphasis on or prioritized available resources necessary to address these deficiencies.
During this reporting period the OIG’s investigative work yielded impressive results, with a total of 165 indictments, 158 convictions, and more than $62.8 million in monetary accomplishments. Highlights of our work include the following:
- Ringleader sentenced to 90 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution and forfeiture of more than $1.4 million for his leading role in a fictitious employer scheme perpetrated against the Maryland and Pennsylvania Unemployment Insurance programs.
- Texas chiropractor sentenced to 168 months in prison and ordered to pay approximately $18 million in restitution for receiving kickbacks resulting from his referral of patients covered by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act.
- Former Massey Energy chief executive officer Donald L. Blankenship sentenced to 12 months in prison and 12 months of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine for conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards.
- Sacramento dentist sentenced to 46 months in prison and ordered to pay a $75,000 fine and more than $700,000 in restitution for defrauding the Northern California General Teamsters Security Fund.
These are some of the examples of the exceptional work done by our dedicated OIG staff. I would like to express my gratitude to them for their significant achievements during this reporting period.
We continue to work on several important audits of the Department. For more details, I invite you to review our recently issued audit work plan for Fiscal Year 2017, which can be found in the appendix of this report. I look forward to continuing to work constructively with the Department and the Congress on our shared goals of identifying improvements to DOL programs and operations, and protecting the interests and benefits of taxpayers, workers, and retirees.