Department of Labor

Administration of the Public Work Enforcement Fund (Follow-Up Report)

Contractors on public construction projects are required by law to provide their employees with wages and fringe benefits commensurate with those received by similarly employed workers in the locality of the project. This requirement is enforced by the Department of Labor, which establishes prevailing wage rates and investigates complaints. The Departmentís enforcement activities are funded in part by an assessment levied on the State agencies and public authorities entering into public work contracts. The assessments are to be deposited into the Public Work Enforcement Fund, which is administered by the Department.

In audit report 2004-S-22, we examined the Departmentís administration of the Fund and identified significant weaknesses. For example, the Department had not established a reliable process for identifying all the public work contracts that should be assessed and was not always effective in collecting amounts that had been assessed. In addition, even though the Fund was created in 1995 to help the Department reduce the large backlog of open complaint investigations, the backlog had grown significantly worse since 1995, in part because the Department had not hired as many additional public work investigators as it could have with the available funds. We recommended that a number of improvements be made in the Departmentís administration of the Fund, and when we followed up on these matters with Department officials, we found that some progress had been made in the implementation of our recommendations.

For a complete copy of Report 2007-F-10 click here.