The Office of Inspector General serves the
American Worker and Taxpayer by conducting audits, investigations,
and evaluations that result
in improvements in the effectiveness, efficiency, and economy
of Departmental programs and operations. We detect and prevent fraud
and abuse in DOL programs and labor racketeering in the American
workplace. We provide advice to the Secretary and the Congress
on how to attain the highest possible program performance.
The OIG Vision
Our vision is to be a world-class organization that is sought after:
By the Congress - for objective, relevant information;
By the Administration - for expert advice and reliable
By talented professionals - for careers in an agency that
recognizes outstanding public service.
The OIG was established at the Department
of Labor (DOL) by the Inspector
General Act of 1978.
The Congress created independent OIGs in response to a series
of government scandals that had occurred over the preceding
decade. Congress believed that by establishing independent
Inspectors General within each major Federal agency taxpayers’ funds
could be more prudently used and accurately accounted for;
would be better equipped to prevent and detect fraud, waste,
and abuse; and the public’s confidence in their government
would be enhanced. For more information on Inspectors General
in Federal government, please visit the website of the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency.
The OIG conducts audits and evaluations to review the effectiveness,
efficiency, economy, and integrity of all DOL programs and operations,
including those performed by its contractors and grantees. They
are conducted in order to determine whether: the programs and operations
are in compliance with the applicable laws and regulations; DOL
resources are efficiently and economically being utilized; and
DOL programs achieve their intended results.
In addition, the OIG at the U.S. Department of Labor:
is responsible for conducting criminal,
civil, and administrative investigations relating to alleged
or suspected violations of Federal
laws, rules or regulations, as they pertain to DOL programs,
operations, and personnel;
is unique among inspectors general because it has an “external” program
function to conduct criminal investigations to combat the influence
of labor racketeering and organized crime in the nation’s
conducts labor racketeering investigations in three distinct
areas (employee benefit plans, labor-management relations,
and internal union affairs).
Is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate,
without regard to political affiliation and solely on
the basis of integrity and demonstrated ability. The IG
is non-political and, therefore, is subject to the Hatch Act.
An IG may
removed by the President, who must notify both Houses
of Congress of the reasons for such removal.
Has independent authority within the Department to initiate
and conduct audits and investigations and to issue administrative
subpoenas to individuals or entities outside the Federal
government in order to obtain full access to documents
and records. The OIG
also has access to all records, reports, papers, documents,
and other materials available to the Department, as well
as the authority
to request information or assistance from any Federal,
state, or local government agency and to report any refusals
to the agency
head without delay.
Has authority to have direct and prompt
access to the Secretary for any purpose relating to the
performance of the OIG’s
mission and responsibilities.
Is under the general supervision of the Secretary and
Deputy Secretary for administrative issues. The IG has the
authority to select and appoint employees, directly contract for
services, and maintain legal counsel who reports directly
to the IG.
The OIG develops its strategic work plan through consultations
with its customers, stakeholders and others including DOL
program management, Congressional committees, U.S. Attorneys,
Accountability Office, and other government
entities. In addition, the Secretary and the Congress may
request the OIG to perform an audit, evaluation, or investigation.
For its audits, the OIG prioritizes the potential areas, and – based
on a risk assessment that considers program dollar size, vulnerability
to abuse, potential impact on the public, and prior audit and investigative
history – develops a comprehensive, coordinated strategy
to address those high-priority areas. After consideration of the
availability of OIG staff resources and any planned initiatives
of other government entities, the OIG develops its annual work
plan of initiatives, and then shares it with DOL management.
Program fraud investigations typically result from allegations
or suspicions of wrongdoing involving DOL programs, operations
or personnel. They may also be the result of broad initiatives
arising out of prior OIG activities, or as part of broad interagency
initiatives, normally in consultation with the appropriate U.S.
Labor racketeering investigations give highest priority to traditional
organized crime domination of labor unions and/or employee benefit
plans. Priority is also given to organized crime influence or manipulation
of labor unions and/or employee benefit plans, and cases where
the perpetrators are not members of traditional organized crime,
but can be considered (either by criminal background or the nature
of the activity) to be professional criminals who have used a position
of trust or control for criminal purposes.
Typically, OIG staff advises DOL management and/or the auditee
of findings as they are developed during the course of an audit
or evaluation. Before issuing a report, an exit conference is held
to communicate the results to appropriate program or agency management
and to obtain their comments. This management input is important
to ensure that audit or evaluation results are fairly presented,
recommendations are reasonable and feasible, and any errors or
misrepresentations are corrected. Following the exit conference,
a draft report is issued to the appropriate assistant secretary,
with a request that management provide written comments on the
facts, conclusions, and each recommendation presented in the report – normally
within 30 days. At the end of the response period, the OIG issues
its final report.
Recommendations are considered resolved when managers and the
auditors or evaluators agree on the required corrective actions.
After the agreed-upon corrective actions have been completed, the
recommendations are considered closed. When recommendations cannot
be resolved because of disagreement between the management officials
and the OIG, the matter may be referred to the Deputy Secretary
who serves as the DOL Audit Follow-up Official and ensures that
disagreements between the OIG and the Agency are resolved.
Reports of OIG investigations are presented to the U.S. Attorney’s
Office, or other appropriate prosecutive office, for consideration
of criminal and/or civil actions. The OIG also may issue an Investigative
Memorandum to agency management when investigative findings may
warrant an administrative action or when systemic weaknesses or
vulnerabilities are identified in agency programs or operations.
The OIG also keeps the Secretary and Congress informed in a number
of other ways. These include meetings and briefings; the Top
Management Challenges, which is included in the Department’s Annual
Report; Congressional testimony; the IG’s Semiannual Report
to the Congress (which the Secretary transmits to the Vice President
and the Speaker of the House within 30 days of its receipt); and
a special seven-day report for notifying the Secretary and the
Congress of any particularly serious or flagrant problems requiring