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This report reflects the findings of the Office of Inspector General at the time that the audit report was issued. More current information may be available as a result of the resolution of this audit by the Department of Labor program agency and the auditee. For further information concerning the resolution of this report's findings, please contact the program agency. 

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We performed a followup audit to determine if the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) took the corrective actions necessary to close the recommendations identified in the OIG report issued July 20, 1999. As a result of the followup audit and the Commissioner's response to the draft letter report, we were able to close all but 2 of the recommendations from the from the prior report and a new recommendation from the followup audit. BLS should be commended for the resources and effort put forth to implement the recommendations. 

On July 20, 1999, the OIG issued an audit report to the BLS entitled BLS Information Technology, Survey Processing, and Administrative Controls Must be Improved. The audit was initiated as a result of a BLS prerelease of sensitive economic data in November 1998. The purpose of the original audit was to determine whether adequate and effective internal controls were in place to prevent the premature or unauthorized disclosure or use of sensitive economic data. The followup audit was to determine whether BLS implemented the recommendations in the prior report. We found that BLS implemented corrective action that resulted in the OIG closing 39 of the 41 recommendations. During the followup audit, we also found a weakness in a user password on an UNIX server that was unrelated to the previous audit work. BLS agreed with the corrective action we recommended to improve the UNIX user password strength.

Overall, BLS is in agreement with the audit results. The agency's responsiveness to our audit findings and recommendations enabled us to close all but two of the recommendations from the prior report. We will continue to monitor the progress of BLS efforts in implementing the remaining two recommendations from the previous report as well as the new recommendation to improve the UNIX user password strength.

(OA Report No. 03-00-012-11-001, issued September 22, 2000)

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