Labor has to work on one-stop system

Although information technology issues were rarely mentioned in the General Accounting Office's Jan. 17 report on the Labor Department, GAO did criticize a Labor data collection system and its role in the H1-B visa program.

GAO's Performance and Accountability Series report found that Labor's One-Stop Operating System "was not flexible enough to meet states' needs."

States can use OSOS to support data collection under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and to share performance data and client information among partners. Congress passed WIA to integrate a number of employment and training programs into a single "one-stop" delivery system.

However, "As currently configured, [OSOS] will not incorporate non-Labor programs that must also provide services at a one-stop center," the GAO report stated. "As a result, it will be difficult to collect performance data and track client participation for all WIA programs that are required to offer services through the one-stop center."

In a September report, GAO advised Congress to remove Labor's involvement in the H1-B visa program, which enables highly-skilled foreign workers to work in the United States. GAO found that the Immigration and Naturalization Service, also involved in the program, duplicates much of Labor's visa application reviews.

In addition, GAO's "H-1B report noted that limitations on Labor's H-1B enforcement authority restrict its ability to adequately detect noncompliance or abuse."

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