Terry Jeffrey

Five years later, the IG took another look at Y-12 -- this time to see how it was handling environmental cleanup projects funded by the economic stimulus law signed by President Barack Obama in February 2009.

In a December 2010 audit report, the IG revealed that Y-12 had waited until September 2010 to enforce a regulation under the stimulus law that required federal contractors by December 2009 to use the federal government's E-Verify system to certify the work eligibility of their employees. Y-12 also had not verified the proof-of-citizenship documents presented by workers.

"In particular, Y-12's badge issuance procedures include a requirement to provide acceptable proof of citizenship such as a passport or certified birth certificate," said the IG report. "However, Y-12 management acknowledged that it was not required to verify the validity of proof of citizenship as part of its badging process, and we confirmed that Y-12 does not verify the information with independent parties."

Unlike Y-12, DOE's Berkeley lab does not manufacture nuclear-weapons components. According to the IG, it "conducts unclassified research"

Still, the IG's April report said: "Because of potential security concerns associated with unauthorized workers, we initiated this inspection to determine whether contractors who were awarded contracts for infrastructure upgrades at Berkeley, including their subcontractors, verified the employment eligibility of their employees in accordance with Federal requirements prior to those employees accessing the site."

Berkeley's subcontractors, it turned out, had signed their contracts before September 2009, when a 2008 executive order signed by President Bush requiring federal contractors to use E-Verify went into effect.

"Also, instead of instituting the E-Verify requirement for contracts awarded on or after September 8, 2009, Berkeley selected February 1, 2010, as the E-Verify implementation date," said the IG report. "Thus, only contracts awarded on or after February 1, 2010, were required to participate in E-Verify."

"Had E-Verify been voluntarily used, Berkeley's contractors likely would have identified a number of other anomalies that we discovered during our testing," said the IG report. "For example, we identified eight Form I-9s containing duplicate Social Security numbers, the use of Social Security numbers that belonged to deceased individuals, or the use of Social Security numbers that had yet to be assigned."

The IG referred this "possible misuse" of Social Security numbers to the Social Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

It should surprise no one that a government that will not adequately enforce the immigration laws within its own Energy Department facilities will not adequately enforce them anywhere else.

 


Terry Jeffrey

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSNews

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