DOL OIG Report Shows Need To Address Performance, Improper Payments

May 30, 2018 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

captiol-building-1228390Improving performance and reducing improper payments always seem to be a major theme in semiannual reports to Congress issued by federal agency Offices of Inspector General (OIG). A recent semiannual report by the Department of Labor (DOL) OIG is no exception.

In a report released this month, the DOL OIG especially noted concerns related the agency’s ability to ensure that its workforce development programs successfully develop participants’ skills and place them in suitable employment. “Critical to this task is the department’s ability to obtain accurate and reliable data by which to measure, assess and make decisions regarding the performance of grantees, contractors and states in meeting the programs’ goals,” explained OIG. For example, the OIG recently found that Job Corps was challenged to demonstrate the extent to which its training programs helped participants obtain meaningful jobs appropriate to their training. Also, in the YouthBuild program, grantees reported that 18,750 participants successfully exited their programs from 2011 to 2016, but these reported “successful exits” included 1,155 participants who had not secured an industry credential or earned a high school diploma or equivalency degree, nor had they obtained employment or enrolled in another educational program.

Meanwhile, the OIG also expressed concern about DOL’s ability to measure, report and reduce improper payments, particularly in its Unemployment Insurance (UI) program. OIG said that the Office of Management and Budget in 2017 named the UI program as having the seventh highest level of improper payments (about $4.1 billion) out of the 19 high priority programs reporting improper payments, and this total increased from the level reported in 2016 (about $3.8 billion). Meanwhile, the UI improper payment rate increased to an estimated 12.5 percent in 2017, up from 11.7 percent in 2016. OIG noted that DOL has developed a strategic plan to work with states to address the primary root causes of improper payments, with specific attention given to those states with the highest improper payment rates. However, fraud continues to be a significant threat to the integrity of the UI program. OIG pointed out the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration, in federal fiscal year 2017, issued guidance to state workforce agencies and state UI program directors that the disclosure of confidential unemployment compensation information to the OIG for the purpose of investigating unemployment compensation fraud is mandatory.

Hopefully, actions DOL takes this year will continue to address some of the continuing issues that the agency is facing with improper payments. We also would like to see the agency take actions to improve performance, which is a major emphasis for grant programs going forward.

What is your reaction to the DOL OIG semiannual report to Congress? We’d love to hear from you.

As a reminder, we have all of our Federal Funding Training Forums scheduled for 2018. Please let me know if you have questions or can make any of these. We hope to see you there!

  • Wednesday July 25 – Friday July 27 in MINNEAPOLIS

http://www.federalgrantsforum.com/minneapolis/index.html?src=AT

  • Wednesday October 17 – Friday October 19 in ATLANTA

http://www.federalgrantsforum.com/atlanta/index.html?src=AT

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