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March 2010 OIG Performance Audit for Education and Training Resources, Job Corps Center Operator

Highlights of Report Number 26-10-003-01-370, to the National Director, Office of Job Corps.

WHY READ THE REPORT

This report discusses Education and Training Resources (ETR) control weaknesses related to managing and reporting financial activity, managing safety and health programs, and reporting performance. ETR is under contract with the Office of Job Corps to operate four Job Corps centers for the U.S. Department of Labor,

WHY OIG CONDUCTED THE AUDIT

  1. Did ETR ensure compliance with Job Corps requirements for managing and reporting financial activity?
  2. Did ETR ensure compliance with Job Corps requirements for managing center safety programs?
  3. Did ETR ensure compliance with Job Corps requirements for reporting performance?
  4. Did the hotline complaints alleging improper practices pertaining to financial reporting, student accountability, student and staff conduct, and safety programs at the Iroquois Job Corps Center have merit?

Our audit work was conducted at ETR headquarters in Bowling Green, Kentucky; and the Iroquois Job Corps Center (Iroquois) in Medina, New York.

READ THE FULL REPORT

To view the report, including the scope, methodology, and full agency response, go to:

http://www.oig.dol.gov/public/reports/oa/2010/26-10-003-01-370.pdf

March 2010

PERFORMANCE AUDIT FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING RESOURCES, JOB CORPS CENTER OPERATOR

WHAT OIG FOUND

ETR did not always ensure compliance with Job Corps requirements for managing and reporting financial activity in one of three areas reviewed — non-personnel expenses. Iroquois bypassed procurement and accounting controls through improper use of the center’s imprest fund and did not always maintain required documentation to support reported expenses. As a result, goods and services were not purchased in accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and payments were made without adequate assurance that the disbursed amounts were appropriate.

ETR can improve its oversight to ensure center compliance in each of the three safety and health program areas reviewed — safety inspections, safety committee meetings, and student misconduct. At Iroquois, weekly inspections were not documented; monthly inspections were limited in scope; and safety committee meetings were not held consistently. For student misconduct, Iroquois did not always report significant incidents, such as physical assault and narcotics possession to Job Corps as required.

ETR also had control weaknesses in one of three areas relating to compliance with Job Corps requirements for reporting performance — Student Attendance/Accountability. Iroquois reported at least two students as enrolled for extended periods when the students never actually arrived at the center and did not obtain required Job Corps approval for extending enrollment past the two-year limit established by Job Corps.

Two hotline complaint allegations pertaining to financial management and student attendance had merit.

WHAT OIG RECOMMENDED

We made nine recommendations to the National Director, Office of Job Corps. In summary, we recommended Job Corps direct ETR to improve controls over financial management and reporting, safety and health programs, and performance reporting; and pay to DOL questioned costs relating to unsupported imprest fund transactions and excessive holiday party costs, and liquidated damages for any performance overstatements, as appropriate.

The National Director, Office of Job Corps, will require ETR to improve its controls and will determine the extent of any reimbursements owed to DOL.

were to answer the following questions: objectivesOur audit

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Filed under: Contractors, Education and Training Resources (ETR), Iriquois Job Corps, Job Corps, Job Corps Centers, , , , , ,

5 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. Charlie says:

    Has anyone noticed the OMS10 and OMS10R reports for Iroquois Job Corps? In the most current reports with the rolling yr ending May 31,2010, here are Iroquois’ job placement stats: post enrollee placement – 58.3%; graduate placement – 66.9%; 6 month placement – 84.2%; 12 month placement – 78.3%. The rankings for these stats among the 121 Job Corps are: post enrollee placement – 102; graduate placement – 110; 6 month placement – 2; 12 month placement – 3.

    Why are the 6 month and 12 month placement stats so much better than the post enrollee and graduate placement stats? Could it be that other programs are in fact educating and placing these students after they leave the Job Corps? BOCES and Niagara County also conduct education and training programs and many of those participating are ex students of Iroquois Job Corps. So the success of these students at later dates might more accurately be attributed to other programs and not Iroquois Job Corps.

    Two students with Mississippi High School diplomas from Iroquois Job Corps who took college entrance exams through a BOCES program told the test administrator that it was real easy to get their diplomas. There was virtually no over-site while doing their work. Well, guess what – they failed the entrance exam miserably. If they have any smarts, they might enroll in an adult ed program to get some remediation. But with an ersatz “high school diploma” will they be eligible to take a GED test in the future? They thought they had outsmarted the system by getting an on-line diploma, but they were tricked by the mediocre Job Corps academic program administered by ETR.

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  2. […] (Charlie’s response was also posted as a comment on the previously published post on Job Corps…) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)March 2010 Performance Audit for Education and Training Resources, Job Corp…Montgomery Job Corps Center, Alabama, Results of Audit Posted to DOL OIG Page2008 Tulsa Job Corps Center OIG ReportPerformance Reporting: Rhetoric vs. Reality 42.529820 -71.629473 […]

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  3. Charlie says:

    I would like to comment on ETR’s comments to OIG and Brian Fox’s response to OIG findings – both in the Health and Safety area.

    The OIG states that ETR management said that the reason that inspections were not documented was that the staff who was assigned that task was new and not fully trained. Here is the whole picture: this person was never qualified to take a safety manager position in the first place. She was, however, being overseen and trained by the Corporate Liaison who had an office right across the hall and who had been a safety manager herself for yrs and also a center director. So to state that this person did not know that she had to hold inspections and document them is a falsehood. She was also employed by the center for enough yrs to know this – and what about her job description and the PRH? These expectations were never conveyed to her? Not true.

    In Mr. Fox’s responses to the findings, he states that the lack of reporting of 5 significant incidents in CY 2008, was an “administrative oversight and nothing more” is also a lie. In CY 2007, both the Center Director and the Corporate Liaison were verbally reprimanded by Regional directors for not reporting in a timely manner,an assault on a staff that resulted in bodily injury. The Corporate Liaison, at that time, had been working for Job Corps for over 25 yrs and she definitely knew the rules.

    All management staff know that significant incidents must be reported within certain time frames. To say that it was an oversight is not true; but this is just another one of the “canned responses” that are given by Job Corps contractors – just a platitude to play the game – that DOL blows off and accepts, knowing that it is a lie and nothing will be done about it. Just like the mine disaster in West Virgina – over 1,000 safety violations for Massey Energy and the company gets away with it, resulting in the loss of lives, and who cares?

    ETR has fired numerous staff on trumped-up charges. (NY is a hire/fire at will state and employees have almost no rights, so nothing will be done about it.) Why do these three people still have their jobs Center Director, Corporate Liaison, Safety Manager)? It’s because they are part of the inner circle of good-old-boy sycophants.

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  4. Tonks says:

    Tip of the iceburg is right. Why are they not in jail for the stuff that goes on there. Why were the staff told by the Center Director NOT to talk to the OIG…and if you do DONT say anything bad about the center. If you Lie to a federal invetigator you can go to jail. When an employee did answer the questions that were asked, they made sure this employee was gone. Mr Fox and ETR know about this and condone it. The political graft that is going on will make sure that ETR stays in Medina, how far are the bucks passed…god only knows. Companies like ETR will run the program into the dirt, and come out on top. OIG to me is a joke. Nothing is really done, its all a show. Try to passify the people who make wave. Guess what..it doesnt work..we are not sheep.

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  5. Patrick says:

    This report is just the tip of the ice-berg. Deliberately not reporting significant incidents used to be considered a serious infraction. Not managing and reporting financial activity correctly and not following safety guidelines are also serious infractions. Why do the Center Director and the Safety Manager still have their jobs? For that matter, why does ETR still run the center?

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