Department of Labor Contracting and Grant Program Overview
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management (OASAM), through the Department's Procurement Executive, is responsible for the overall implementation of the Department's procurement and grant programs and ensures that these programs are performed in accordance with the appropriate laws and regulations. Through delegations of grant and procurement authority these programs are implemented through a decentralized procurement structure via several operational acquisition and assistance offices.
The U.S. Department of Labor has issued guidance to clarify the conditions under which the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993 allows recipients of DOL financial assistance to maintain their ability to make employment decisions based on religion even when receiving a federal grant under a program whose statute limits those rights.
This guidance, which implements a recent opinion concerning the proper construction of RFRA provided by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), creates a formal process for recipients of DOL financial assistance to seek an exemption under RFRA.
RFRA, as interpreted by DOJ and as implemented by this guidance, ensures that faith-based organizations are able to participate as partners in federal programs to help meet the needs of America's communities and retain the freedom to make employment decisions necessary to preserve their religious identity. The guidance, thus, helps level the playing field for faith-based organizations by enabling them to hire like-minded individuals, just as secular organizations are currently able to do.
Department of Labor Contracting Programs
- Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB): Acquires evaluation, auditing, and research services. ILAB contracts are awarded by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
- Employment and Training Administration (ETA): Acquires, primarily, research and demonstration services; Job Corps center operations and outreach, and screening and placement of Job Corps applicants.
- Mine Safety and Health (MSHA): Handles the full range of products and services for MSHA.
- Administration and Management (OASAM): Procures all major Information Technology (IT) resources for the Department (except MSHA), as well as all non-IT resource goods and services (except MSHA and ETA).
- Office of the Inspector General (OIG): Procures auditing services for the OIG.
Department of Labor Grant Programs
- Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB): provides grants (cooperative agreements) for the implementation of projects designed to assist developing countries combat the worse forms of child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking; and support worker rights and improve working conditions. Solicitations for grant applications are announced on www.grants.gov/ and at www.dol.gov/ILAB/grants/main.htm. ILAB grants are awarded by the OASAM grant office.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): provides project grants (cooperative agreements) and the dissemination of technical statistical data and related information on labor force activities; provides data on prices (CPI) and cost of living; data on productivity and technology data; data on compensation and working conditions; data on employment projections.
- Employment and Training (ETA): ETA administers financial assistance programs pursuant to the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), administering State formula grant programs for youth, adults and dislocated workers, national emergency grants for workers affected by mass layoffs, plant closures, and disasters; grant programs for workers with disabilities, Indians and Native Americans, and for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. ETA also administers grant programs for older American workers, apprenticeship programs, Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs, and assistance for research and development of workforce programs. In addition, ETA is responsible for the operation and maintenance of a national system of public employment service offices and for the national unemployment insurance program.
- Mine Safety and Health (MSHA): provides grants for research, education and training programs to ensure an adequate and competent staff of trained inspectors; and assistance for establishing or improving State mine health and safety programs through technical assistance.
- Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA): provides grants to non-profit organizations to provide training, educational services, and technical assistance; assistance to states to administer and enforce state programs; assistance to states to provide occupational safety and health technical assistance and consultant services.
- Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP): The Office of Disability Employment Policy awards competitive grants establishing short-term pilot and technical assistance projects designed to identify, develop, test, evaluate, and disseminate policies to increase employment by expanding access to training, education, employment supports, assistive and systems technology, integrated employment, entrepreneurial development, and small business opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities. Current pilots projects focus on customized employment, Olmstead populations, and innovative demonstration youth grants, among others. Solicitations for grant applications are published in the Federal Register and announced at www.dol.gov/odep. ODEP grants are awarded by the OASAM grant office.
- Veterans' Employment and Training (VETS): provides special employment and training assistance for veterans through the Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP) Solicitation for Grant Applications; the Local Veterans' Employment Representative Program (LVER); Veterans' Workforce Investment Program (VWIP); elaws Advisor on veterans' employment and reemployment rights; and the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Project (HVRP). VETS grants are awarded by the OASAM grant office.