E-Government Act Report FY 2011
Section 1: Innovation and Transparency
Department of Labor's top three E-Government IT accomplishments related to Open Government and innovation from FY 2010.
Open Government Searchable Enforcement Database
In support of this mission, DOL launched a Searchable Enforcement Database. This data warehouse provides the public with access to enforcement data collected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Wage and Hour Division (WHD), and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in one location and is searchable along a series of common dimensions such as State, Zip, Industry Code (with additional search criteria scheduled for future releases). In addition to the added value of access to aggregate enforcement data, this database also provides access to a variety of previously unpublished data. Users can also download the raw datasets in bulk in machine readable formats.
This initiative increased the transparency of DOL's enforcement data by enabling more user-specific search results. For example, residents of a particular neighborhood or workers in a particular industry can see all of the enforcement data related to their community or workplace. Prior to this public database, only OSHA and MSHA made their enforcement data available online. Accessing this data for other DOL agencies required submitting a request directly to the agencies and waiting for a response, which could often be frustrating and discouraging. In some cases, accessing the data would have required submitting a FOIA request. In addition, once a requestor had all the data requested, there was no easy way to cross- reference it. The DOL Searchable Enforcement Database provides a single, easy to search, point of entry to the Department's enforcement records.
Better Grants through Transparency and Collaboration
To promote greater transparency, DOL developed a unified gateway that allows the public access to detailed information on all DOL grant awards. This website includes the DOL Grant Application and Award Database which contains information on all DOL competitive grants awarded after September 1, 2011. In the next phase of this project, DOL will develop a visual interface that will help the public navigate and search the database. When completed, the DOL Grant Application and Award Database interface will allow the public to view how DOL grants awards are distributed geographically, by program and by budget year.
Finally, DOL is exploring ways to make the grant-making process more participatory to ensure that novice grant applicants are provided the technical assistance they need to develop more competitive proposals. DOL hopes to develop strategies that will harness public input in a structured and productive manner to ensure that DOL grant solicitations; produce measurable and sustainable results; ensure grant applications are aligned with DOL grant solicitations, and expand the applicant pool to include new applicants, especially those that serve targeted populations such as the hard-to-serve.
Customer Service Modernization Program
On April 27, 2011, President Obama issued an executive order directing departments across the federal government to improve and streamline customer service. DOL is working to position itself as a leader in customer service for the executive branch. To evaluate the state of our customer service efforts, address existing process gaps, and deliver a comprehensive strategy for improving service throughout the Department, DOL has developed the Customer Service Modernization Program (CSMP).
DOL has initiated the CSMP by identifying three agencies-the Wage and Hour Division, the Office of Safety and Health Administration, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs to participate in a pilot program. All three agencies are worker protection agencies and each receive complaints from employees and assist employers with regulatory compliance.
To implement the technological components of the CSMP, DOL is utilizing a modular development process. Frequent, continuous, and close collaboration between the project team and participating agencies will encourage ongoing process improvements, and performance evaluation. More importantly, the ability to review outcomes throughout the development process will allow the CSMP team to make small or large changes in strategy where necessary. Instead of waiting months or even years to discover a particular approach is ineffective, a modular approach will help DOL maintain flexibility, and correct problems and inefficiencies as they arise. The product will be a better customer service system sooner and at a lower cost.
Finally, as part of the CSMP, the Labor Department has developed two "Signature Initiatives," which will engage key stakeholders and the software developer community in delivering publically-available data to DOL customers. The Occupational Employment Statistics Challenge http://challenge.gov/Labor/202-occupational-employment-statistics-challenge and DOL's InformACTION App Challenge http://challenge.gov/Labor/201-dol-informaction-app-challenge call on developers to use data from DOL's Bureau of Labor Statistics and other agencies to help people find good jobs, take the next step in their careers, or make educated consumer decisions.
Section 2: Compliance with Goals and Provisions of the Act
DOL's Information Resources Management (IRM) Strategic Plan and Enterprise Architecture Transition Plan
DOL's Information Resources Management Plan is published at the following link:
DOL's Enterprise Architecture (EA) Transition Plan is published at the following link:
Final determinations, priorities, and schedules used to improve the dissemination of and access to DOL's information to the public.
In accordance with Section 207(f)(2) of the E-Government Act of 2002, DOL posts its web content publication schedule at the following link: http://www.dol.gov/dol/aboutdol/content.htm. Additional publication resources are listed under the "FOIA Reading Room" at http://www.dol.gov/dol/foia/readroom.htm.
Improved performance (e.g., outcome measures) by tracking performance measures supporting agency objectives and strategic goals.
Currently, the DOL tracks performance by setting, communicating, and gaining commitment to measurable objectives and performance measures, tracking progress, and making adjustments to meet current needs, demonstrating accountability to the government and customers. In addition, citizens services is one of the paramount agency objectives that is responsible for 1) fostering, promoting, and developing the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; 2) improving working conditions; 3) advancing opportunities for profitable employment; and 4) assuring work-related benefits and rights.
DOL's FOIA handbook, the link to DOL's primary FOIA website, and the website link where frequent requests for records are made available to the public.
Primary FOIA Website:
Frequently requested records:
DOL's public websites that disseminate research and development (R&D) information to the public
The Employment and Training Administration's (ETA) website, http://www.doleta.gov/, provides information on Community-Based Job Training Grants. These grants are employer-focused and support the President's High Growth Job Training Initiative.
OSHA's website, http://www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/index.html, provides information about the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program which is designed to provide training and education programs for employers and employees on the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of safety and health hazards in their workplaces.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy's (OASP) website, http://www.dol.gov/asp/programs/REIDL/index.htm provides information of DOL's completed and planned research and evaluation projects that have or will be conducted by DOL in the upcoming calendar year.
DOL's inventory of formal agency agreements with external entities that complement our information dissemination programs
DOL's inventory of formal agency agreements is published at the following link:
DOL's inventory of National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)-approved records schedules
DOL has 175 approved records schedules covering the retention and disposition of DOL agency records. In FY 2011, in accordance with Section 207(e) of the E Government Act of 2002 [44 U.S.C. 3601] and NARA Bulletins 2008 03, Scheduling Existing Electronic Records, and 2006 02, NARA Guidance for Implementing Section 207(e) of the E Government Act of 2002, DOL submitted one record schedule covering an electronic information system (EIS). During this reporting period, the total number of EIS is 175, as well as 98 scheduled EIS, and the 23 pending EIS.
We are in the initial stages of improving our communication channels with the IT programs. One of our upcoming events will be the IT/RM Workshop where we plan to cover the importance of records management, relationship between IT and Records Management, scheduling your EIS, information about NARA's Semi-Annual EIS Survey, and how to complete the SF 115.
DOL's implementation of electronic signatures for appropriately secure electronic transactions with Government and the established framework to allow efficient interoperability.
In 2007, DOL became the first Cabinet-level agency to implement a department-wide system for the electronic submission of documents to the Federal Register using eSignature procedures. On average, DOL transmits 15-25 submissions to the Federal Register each week using eSignature procedures. By using eSignature procedures, DOL has been able to modernize the document submission process. This has eliminated redundancies, reduced costs, and improved the quality of DOL's submissions.
DOL's enhanced public participation in Government by electronic means for development and issuance of regulations.
Since 2006 DOL has participated in the government-wide eRulemaking initiative, which is comprised of the FDMS system and www.regulations.gov. The Department has also developed a new website that provides the public a central point to learn more about the regulatory process and specific DOL regulatory activities and facilitate access to DOL regulatory material. This new website also provides the public a live web experience where the Secretary of Labor and other DOL executive leadership staff answered questions about the DOL regulatory agenda submitted online from the public.
Linking performance goals to key stakeholders, private sector, other agencies, and internal operations in delivering information services through the use of IT.
Through the preparation of the 2011-2016 Strategic Plan, DOL is developing performance measures for its agencies that meet the standard of measuring outcomes. DOL is moving toward developing performance measure schemes for its worker protection agencies that meet the standard of measuring outcomes. While there is some expense and great effort required to implement these measures, DOL's accountability to the public – to report the extent to which employers deliver on the rights and benefits guaranteed to the nation's workers and to use its resources for strategies that achieve the greatest effect is vitally important.
The DOL Performance Model represents the overall landscape for performance measurement at DOL. This model starts with the Department Strategic Plan (goals, performance outcomes and measures) and drills down the hierarchy to the Agency Strategic Plan (goals, objectives and measures) and then to Program Initiative Plans (goals, objectives and measures). This model enables DOL to ensure that initiatives are planned and managed within the bounds of the Department's Strategic Goals and Performance Outcomes. The model facilitates the integration of customer and citizen needs and benefits while maintaining executive alignment with the President's agenda and Federal Transition Framework. Further, segment and initiative measures align with the Federated Performance Reference Model performance areas and serve to detail performance objectives within the relevant criteria. The structure and function of the DOL Performance Model both drives the development of and ensures the successful execution of DOL's Annual Performance Plan.
How DOL has reduced errors through the use of electronic submissions.
DOL continues to implement a Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) strategy to improve customer service delivery, support DOL's Information Technology strategy of meeting near-term report requirements, reduce paper submission errors through the use of electronic submissions, and ensure integration into major management processes. Additionally, DOL continues to leverage technology to reduce errors and public burden. Some examples are as follows:
BLS' Internet Data Collection Facility provides an automated tool that simplifies the reporting from the Bureau's respondents.
EBSA's major pension filing system referred to as EFAST2 provides 100% internet-based electronic filing capabilities significantly reducing the filing burden and processing time for all filers. EFAST2 also provides real-time access to filing status and public access to submitted filings within one day of their receipt, which is down from 90 days of paper based processing time.
WHD has over 150 forms, publications, posters, etc. available in electronic format on the Internet at the Wage Hour Publication System web site. In addition, two of WHD's forms, the Electronic WD-10 and the Electronic SF-98, allow for direct and complete data submission via the web.
MSHA also continues to support to web-based filing for its customers, thus reducing public paperwork burden. Currently 100% of MSHA's public-use forms with 5,000 or more respondents provide an electronic submission option via the public website.
OSHA also permits employers to use improved information technology when establishing and maintaining required records and, in accordance with E-Gov requirements, makes record keeping forms available on its website, including the OSHA Form 300.
DOL's efforts to comply with Section 508 in regards to information management
DOL maintains an internal policy as part of its comprehensive Manual Series titled, IT Accessibility Management (Department of Labor Manual Series, Chapter 9-600). This chapter establishes policies and procedures within DOL to implement Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d). This policy is applicable to all DOL electronic and information technology, including information contained on DOL external and internal websites and also applies to office equipment such as computers, printers, fax machines, copiers, and other electronic resources such as software applications and telephones. In FY 2012, DOL plans to review and update the DLMS Chapter 9-600 to include language that reflects both the changes in the web environment and the Section 508 Refresh's move to harmonize with WCAG 2.0 level AA.
The Department plans to continue training's and outreach during FY2012 to address project manager, developer and procurement 508 support needs and to ensure the Department's preparedness to meet EO 13548, the upcoming Section 508 Refresh and the anticipated White House Section 508 Implementation plan for Federal Agencies. Additionally, working in partnership with Department's procurement officials and staff to identify gaps where Section 508 compliance has not been fully achieved DOL will encourage Project Managers to include a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) as a deliverable in all IT contracts.
Cost savings and cost avoidance achieved through implementation of IT programs.
DOL continually strives to position EA as a facilitator of meaningful, mission-driven business transformation as it enables informed decision-making and provides for the ability to manage performance through transition. EA also allows agencies to directly estimate cost savings and costs avoidance through cost benefits analysis, information validation and sharing, technology standardization and business process re-engineering. This enables improved program effectiveness, improvement in the ability to service the citizens, as well as an overarching improvement of Department spending efficiencies.
The Department's IT Infrastructure modernization program is an example of improving the Department's spending efficiencies. Based on employee feedback in 2011, it was readily apparent that the current email services implemented across the Department were not meeting the needs of the employees. After analyzing options, it was in the best interest of DOL to pursue replacing its email system with a cloud-based email service. In May 2011, the Deputy Secretary announced DOL's intent to pursue the migration of current email services to a cloud-based email service. In addition to providing enhanced value and improved productivity for DOL employees, DOL expects to obtain cost savings and cost avoidance when the procured cloud email service is compared to the costs of the current DOL email environment. These baseline costs are currently being developed. Requirements for this cloud email service were completed in FY2011 and DOL is in the acquisition phase for transition and implementation during the second half of FY2012.