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Blunt, DeLauro, Murray, Cole, Question DOL on Misuse of Apprenticeship Grant Funding

November 20, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), Representative Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Senator Patty Murray (Wash.), and Representative Tom Cole (Okla.), sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter to United States Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Eugene Scalia regarding the Department’s acknowledgment that more than one million dollars in funding for the Apprenticeship Grants program had been inappropriately obligated. Funding for this program, which started in fiscal year 2016, has resulted in hundreds of thousands of new apprentices. 

“Any misuse of funds, especially when contrary to the purpose of the appropriation, raises serious concerns regarding the Department’s internal financial controls and accountability on the use of appropriated funds,” wrote the Members. “While we did not receive supporting documentation concerning this information, a news media outlet was able to obtain ‘…an internal agency discussion document detailing results of the financial review.’ We are troubled to learn that the press was able to obtain such documentation before any information was provided to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate.” 

“As the Committees of jurisdiction with oversight over discretionary appropriations for the Department of Labor, the provision of timely information regarding the use of funds is essential to our ability to conduct oversight,” continued the Members. “When we request information on any misuse of funds, we appreciate a prompt and thorough response. We expect that the Department will take such an investigation seriously and we encourage you to work cooperatively with the Committees.” 

A signed copy of the letter can be found here.

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