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ANNUAL REPORT FY 2001

DEPARTMENTAL
MANAGEMENT GOALS

Photo of the Deputy Secretary discussing program perfomance results and cost issues with the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management.

The DOL Management Review Board (MRB) coordinates action on the President’s Management Agenda and other department wide management issues. The Deputy Secretary is shown here discussing program performance results and cost issues with the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, who is chairperson of the MRB, and the Acting Chief Financial Officer. Photo by: Shawn Moore

DOL is committed to improving mission performance through better utilization of information technology, effective stewardship of DOL resources, and maintainingan environment in which employees are encouraged todevelop their individual skills and pursue career goals.To achieve these objectives, the Department has increased the electronic distribution of training and other human resources information, continued upgrades to the payroll systems, expanded continuous learning and career management programs, and increased participation in “employee-friendly” programs. This section highlights progress toward achieving the Department's internal management goals in the program support areas of human resources, finance, and information technology.

MAINTAIN THE INTEGRITY AND STEWARDSHIP OF THE DEPARTMENT’S FINANCIAL RESOURCES

All DOL financial systems meet the standards set in the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act (FFMIA) and the Government Management Reform Act (GMRA).

Results: The goal was fully achieved, as all 17 financial management systems met the FFMIA standards. The Department fully achieved the GMRA standards as confirmed by the unqualified opinion on its Consolidated Financial Statement audit.

Program Description: The Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) provides comprehensive direction to all DOL agencies on financial policy arising from financial, legislative and regulatory mandates. FFMIA requires agencies to implement and maintain financial management systems that substantially comply with Federal financial management systems requirements, applicable Federal accounting standards, and the United States Government Standard General Ledger at the transaction level. GMRA requires each agency to prepare and submit audited financial statements. The financial statements must comply with the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Bulletin No. 97-01, Form and Content of Agency Financial Statements (and amendments).

Analysis of Results: For the fifth consecutive year, DOL received an unqualified ("clean") audit opinion which states that the financial statements are presented fairly in all material respects in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. Also, no material weaknesses were identified in the Report on Internal Controls.

During FY 2001, all 17 eligible DOL systems met the requirements of FFMIA. Previous years’ audit findings for the Back Wage Collection and Disbursement System and the Civil Money Penalty System were eliminated during the 2001 audit conducted by the Department’s Office of the Inspector General.

Strategies: During FY 2001, the Department invested substantial funds to improve the financial systems of the DOL program agencies, resulting in the closure of all outstanding recommendations.

Goal Assessment and Future Plans: The Department has maintained the goal of all financial systems and operations being in compliance with FFMIA for FY 2002 and will seek to remain in compliance in the future.

(Goal FM1— FY 2001 Annual Performance Plan)

MAINTAIN THE INTEGRITY AND STEWARDSHIP OF THE DEPARTMENT’S FINANCIAL RESOURCES

DOL meets all new accounting standards issued by the Federal Accounting Systems Advisory Board (FASAB) including the Managerial Cost Accounting Standard.

Results: The Department fully achieved the goal.

Program Description: The Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) provides guidance, assistance, and oversight in implementing cost accounting applications at summary levels in each Agency to measure costs in achieving organizational goals. In FY 2001, the Department continued its work in meeting the managerial cost accounting requirements outlined in FASAB Statement Number 4. Development of cost accounting applications is continuing in FY 2002.

Analysis of Results: The Department maintained compliance with all FASAB accounting standards.

Strategies: As part of the effort to advance progress toward full compliance with Federal managerial cost accounting requirements, the Department is developing a strategy to systematically implement managerial cost accounting across DOL. Several agencies conducted pilot projects during FY 2001 that improved organizational and financial management practices. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration used the pilot’s results to evaluate and re-engineer processes; OCFO’s initiative provided support for reimbursement and fee-setting determinations; and the pilot developed more effective budgeting and cost controls for the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service. For FY 2002, DOL is moving from a strategy of conducting agency–by-agency pilot programs to a department wide approach for implementing managerial cost accounting.

Goal Assessment and Future Plans: The Department will continue to maintain compliance with the new Government wide standards for financial systems and accounting practices. With the shift to a department wide approach, efforts will focus on the development of a high-level departmental cost accounting model. This model will provide improved cost information and support better accountability and resource allocation. Later updates will provide more detailed cost information and better reporting capabilities in support of performance budgeting. These cost accounting efforts will significantly enhance management decision-making in the Department by providing accurate, relevant, and timely information on the cost of DOL programs.

(Goal FM2 — FY 2001 Annual Performance Plan)

EXTEND AND IMPROVE ACCESS TO AUTOMATED SERVICES

Increase integration of DOL IT systems and extend access to automated services.

Results: This goal was met. The first phase of the Department’s common office automation software was completed, and additional electronic services were made available to employees and managers to enhance hiring, communications, and other services.

Program Description: The Department’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management (OASAM) provides leadership, policy guidance and assistance to DOL agencies to promote the efficient and effective use of information technology (IT).

Analysis of Results: Two performance indicators were established to measure the accomplishment of this goal: installing the first phase of a common office software suite within DOL, and increasing electronic services provided by the Department’s internal network LaborNet.

Implementation of DOL-wide common office software is a 3-year initiative which began in FY 2001, and progress to date includes 90 percent installation at DOL’s National Office, including the training of employees to work in the new software environment. Operating from a common set of department wide software tools has improved internal efficiency, allowing employees to work collaboratively through sharing networking, word processing, email, and other applications.

Online LaborNet enhancements during FY 2001 include the posting of vacancy announcements via the Department’s QuickHire system, providing computer training announcements, the addition of a Sexual Harassment Awareness course, and a new Flexiplace webpage for employees to learn about the alternate work arrangements offered by the Department. LaborNet’s Locator system, which provides online access to employee phone numbers and office addresses, was enhanced to allow employees to update their contact information through designated agency personnel. Acustomer service survey posted on LaborNet indicated that 83 percent of respondents were satisfied with the content and timeliness of LaborNet information. Finally, throughout the year LaborNet was continuously updated to keep employees informed of current events — including information related to the September 11 attack on America, such as assistance for affected workers and security practices and procedures.

Goals Assessments and Future Plans: The Department has developed a more outcome-oriented information technology goal and performance measures for FY 2003. The new goal is: Improve organizational performance and communication through effective information management and deployment of IT resources. The goal incorporates quantifiable measures for several key objectives, including improving customer access to DOL information and services, reducing severe unauthorized intrusions, and facilitating vendor and grantee services to the Department and its constituents.

(Goal IT1 — FY 2001 Annual Performance Plan)


ENHANCE THE QUALITY OF THE DOL WORKFORCE AND SUPPORT DOL EMPLOYEES

Goal HR1: Recruit, develop, and retain a highly competent and diverse workforce to support the accomplishment of the DOL mission by:

  • Attract a diverse, highly competent applicant pool of candidates
  • Provide lifelong learning programs and services to support mission accomplishment
  • Implement and expand model workplace initiatives to enhance morale and retention rates.

Results: This goal was achieved. Performance measures were met or exceeded for all four of the goal’s performance indicators.

Program Description: To accomplish its mission more effectively, DOL strives to attract highly competent and diverse job applicants. Selecting officials are given the opportunity to assess the effectiveness of recruitment efforts by providing feedback about the quality and diversity of applicants. Following employment, the Department offers employees a myriad of tools to develop their skills and advance in their careers, including formal classroom and online courses, workshops, seminars, career counseling, mentoring, and career development programs. Employees also receive assistance to balance their work and family lives through workplace services and programs, thus enhancing morale and retention rates. These programs include: leave transfer and leave sharing for employees facing health or family crises; the web based Employee Express service which allows access to the employee’s human resources information such as taxes, health insurance and savings plans; and LifeCare.com which offers employee assistance in prenatal planning, adoption, child care, adult dependent care and other areas of interest to the employees and their family members. Since workplace disputes and grievances will arise inevitably among a workforce of approximately 16,500 employees, the Department established a nationwide program for Alternate Dispute Resolution to allow management and employees to mutually resolve disputes.

Analysis of Results:

  • 85 percent of managers will indicate satisfaction with the diversity and quality of applicants referred for their vacancies.
Ninety-seven percent of hiring officials expressed satisfaction with the quality of job applicants, and 95.5 percent indicated satisfaction with the diversity of these candidates.
  • Increase utilization of career assistance and continuous learning opportunities by 25 percent over FY 2000.
Employees increased their use of career assistance and continuous learning opportunities by 26 percent.
  • Reduce third-party litigation by 2 percent via use of Alternative Dispute Resolution approaches.
Managers and employees accepted Alternative Dispute Resolution approaches to reach solutions to 10.3 percent of disputes originally designated for binding third-party resolution.
  • Increase participation in family friendly programs by 10 percent over FY 2000.
Overall participation in family friendly programs increased by 111 percent, with the use of Employee Express accounting for the bulk of this increase, but employees took advantage less frequently of some services during FY 2001, particularly LifeCare.com. While management is committed to ensuring that family-friendly options are available to all employees who seek them, participation is voluntary, and employees seek assistance in response to specific needs or problems.

Program

FY00

FY01

Change

LifeCare.com

7,899

4,380

-45%

Leave Transfers

1,398

1,281

-8%

Leave Bank

802

985

+23%

Employee Express

12,888

41,865

+225%

Goal Assessment and Future Plans:

The Department has significantly revised this performance goal for FY 2002 and 2003 to incorporate the broad based workforce planning objectives identified in the President's Management Agenda.

(Goal HR 1 — FY 2001 Annual Performance Plan)

   
Photo of Arneice, a Claims Officer with the Office of Workers Compensation Programs, discussing issues with her mentor, Bonita.

Arneice, a Claims Examiner with the Office of Workers Compensation Programs, participated in the Department’s Pilot Mentor Program. Her mentor, Bonita, is a Program Analyst with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Bonita shared her knowledge about DOL with Arneice and provided useful feedback about career development strategies. In particular, Bonita provided Arneice with valuable advice about how to better manage her time and heavy caseload while still providing excellent customer service. Since she began her mentoring relationship with Bonita, Arneice has received several letters of commendation for the high level of assistance she provides for ill and injured Federal employees. In particular, several members of the Senate and House of Representatives have commended her work in this area. Arneice highly recommends the DOL Mentoring Program and believes the time was well spent!

Photo by: Shawn Moore


REDUCE THE RATE OF LOST PRODUCTION DAYS

Reduce the rate of lost production days (i.e., number of days employees spend away from work due to accidents and injuries) by two percent.

Results: This goal was not achieved. The Department’s rate of lost production days increased by 8.6 percent in FY 2001.

Program Description: This goal is one of the Department’s two measures under the Government-wide Federal Employees Health and Safety Initiative led by DOL’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Within DOL, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management (OASAM) assists DOL agencies to reduce work related injuries and illnesses, and to return recovering employees to the workplace at the earliest appropriate time.

Analysis of Results: The Department’s rate of lost production days increased from 57.1 days per 100 employees in FY 2000 to 66 days per 100 employees in FY 2001. Overall, because DOL experienced an increase in the rate of employee injuries and illnesses in FY 2001, the goal of reducing employee lost production days was inherently more difficult.

Strategies: The Department expects to improve results in 2002 by targeting new resources to develop programs and activities to minimize hazards contributing to increased injuries and illnesses experienced by DOL employees assigned to field locations, to use enhanced analytical capabilities to identify and assess DOL agencies having the largest number of lost production days, and to target injury case management resources in areas of special concern. More specifically, four positions have been filled in DOL regions with elevated rates of injuries and illnesses, and OASAM will assist DOL agencies to effectively use the analytical capabilities of the new electronic workers’ compensation claims filing system to identify cases that would benefit from Early Nurse Intervention and Return-to-Work strategies.

Goal Assessment and Future Plans: The Federal Employees Health and Safety Initiative extends for three more years and the Department will continue to focus attention on reducing employee injuries and illnesses and fully utilizing Return-to-Work strategies.

(Goal HR2 — FY 2001 Annual Performance Plan)


REDUCE THE INJURY RATE AND IMPROVE TIMELINESS OF FILING INJURY CLAIM FORMS

Reduce the injury/illness rate for DOL employees by 3% and improve the timeliness of filing injury claim forms by five percent

Results: This two-part goal was not achieved. The injury/illness rate for DOL employees increased by 11 percent in FY 2001 based on preliminary data, and the timeliness of filing injury claim forms decreased by 2.1 percentage points.

Program Description: This goal is one of the Department’s two measures under the Federal Employees Health and Safety Initiative led by DOL’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. To reduce injuries, and illnesses among DOL employees, the Department’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management monitors on-the-job injuries and illnesses and initiates appropriate interventions and corrective actions.

Agency

Incident Rate

Mine Safety and Health Administration

9.45

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

5.44

Employment Standards Administration

4.53

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management

2.51

Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration

1.73

Employment and Training Administration

1.51

Bureau of Labor Statistics

1.27

Analysis of Results: In FY 2001 DOL’s goal was to reduce injuries and illnesses to 3.49 cases per 100 employees while filing 57.4 percent of claims in a timely manner. The rate of injuries and illnesses filed with OWCP by DOL in FY 2001 was 4.07 cases per 100 employees. However, this rate does not account for cases denied by OWCP. While data from the past several years indicate that OWCP denies approximately 10 percent of DOL’s total claims, the number of cases denied at the time of this report adjusted the rate to 4.01 cases per 100 employees. A final rate will be available later in FY 2002, following the completion of reviews on additional pending cases.

As in FY 2000, injury and illness rates fluctuated widely among DOL program agencies, reflecting the types of responsibilities performed by the agencies. The employees of some DOL agencies, such as the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s mine inspectors, are engaged in far more hazardous field activities than the majority of DOL employees who work in office environments.

The Department also did not achieve the second measure under this goal, targeting the filing of 57.4 percent of workers’ compensation claims by agencies within 10 working days of the employee’s notification of the injury. The Department filed 55.2 percent of claims on time during FY 2001, a decrease of 2.1 percentage points from the 57.3 percent of claims filed timely in FY 2000.

Strategies The Department will undertake new efforts to reduce the overall occurrence of injuries for DOL employees. These efforts will include assisting agencies to use the recently implemented electronic Workers’ Compensation claims filing system to more quickly identify injury and illness trends and the hazards causing these trends so that interventions can be targeted at the causes of the higher rates of injuries and illnesses. The Department has also added staff in four Regions with elevated injury and illness rates to provide technical assistance in accident and injury prevention. The new electronic Workers’ Compensation claims filing system, implemented on October 15, 2001, is expected to significantly increase the timeliness of filing claims.

Goal Assessment and Future Plans: The Federal Employees Health and Safety Initiative extends for three more years, and the Department will continue to focus attention on reducing employee injuries and illnesses.

(Goal HR3 — FY 2001 Annual Performance Plan)


VERIFY AGENCIES’ COMPLIANCE WITH CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS

Major DOL program components are in compliance with applicable Civil Rights laws and regulations and achieve equal opportunity workplaces. This is accomplished by:

  • Assessing compliance and recommending corrective action, as appropriate, through reviews of two (2) DOL program components.

Results: This goal was exceeded. The following four program components of the Employment Standards Administration (ESA) were reviewed and found in compliance: the Wage and Hour Division, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Office of Management and Planning, and the Office of Labor Management Standards.

Program Description: The Department has placed a high priority on establishing DOL as a model workplace. As part of this effort, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management (OASAM) conducts reviews of the equal employment opportunity programs of DOL agencies to gauge their effectiveness in establishing an equitable and accessible environment for all employees.

Analysis of Results: The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs was reviewed in FY 2000. Review of the remaining four program component agencies of ESA completes the equal employment opportunity program analysis of components employing approximately 4,000 staff, almost one quarter of the Department’s total workforce. Overall, the review, which included extensive staff surveys and interviews as well as assessment of each ESA organization’s equal employment opportunity policies and procedures, found that ESA complied with applicable civil rights and equal opportunity regulations. Further, the organizations’ practices in the areas of recruitment, hiring, development, advancement, and retention of staff supported workforce diversity. The review’s comprehensive data analysis, including separations, hires, promotions, affirmative employment, performance appraisals, awards, surveys and staff interviews, provided valuable information that will directly assist the agency in future workforce planning efforts.

At least 9 of 10 employees responding to an employee climate survey reported their managers to be good or excellent about making accommodations for employee disability, religious practice, or family needs. Further, 7 in 10 employees rated their work organizations as good or excellent in areas addressed in Departmental and ESA equal employment opportunity policies – inclusion, valuing differences, and respect for others. In addition, nearly 80 percent of respondents perceived that their supervisors generally or always made decisions based on merit. Although 7 of 10 ESA respondents to the climate survey indicated their workplaces were characterized by mutual respect and cooperation between employees, almost 2 of 5 believed that the agency did not handle conflict promptly and effectively, a potential contributing factor in the filing of equal employment opportunity complaints. To address these employee concerns, OASAM is working with ESA to improve conflict management through training officers to assess the agency’s specific needs and interests, and to encourage enrollment in the Department’s course offerings in conflict management, team building, and leadership skills.

Goal Assessment and Future Plans: Based on the cumulative review of one-third of the Department’s workforce since FY 1999 with favorable results, the Department will discontinue this goal in FY 2002 and redirect resources to compliance assistance activities related to training and expansion of DOL’s mediation program.

(Goal HR-4 — FY 2001Annual Performance Plan)

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