Skip to page content
Office of the Chief Information Officer
Bookmark and Share

DOL's FY 2004 Progress Report: E-Government Act of 2002

Background: Section 202(g) of the E-Government Act of 2002 requires OMB to collect from the agencies the status of agency implementation of the Act, and annually report this information to the Congress. The Department of Labor's FY 2004 report in accordance with instructions outlined in Budget Data Request No. 05-08 are summarized below:

1. A brief high level overview (a text document of up to five pages) of your agency's implementation of the E-Government Act, including a summary of agency-specific E-Government initiatives. This should not include the 24 Presidential E-Government initiatives. The overview must address the following specific provisions of Section 202 of the Act:

  • Describe how sample initiatives are transforming agency operations;
  • Explain how your agency maintains an ongoing dialogue with interested parties to find innovative ways to use IT;
  • Identify other agency partners who collaborate on the initiative;
  • Identify improved performance by tracking performance measures supporting agency objectives, strategic goals, and statutory mandates;
  • Quantify the cost savings and cost avoidance created by implementing the initiative (e.g. reduction and elimination of investments), and describe the methodology used to determine savings; and
  • Explain how your agency ensures availability of Government information and services is not diminished for those without access to the Internet.

DOL Response 1:

HOW SAMPLE INITIATIVES ARE TRANSFORMING AGENCY OPERATIONS:

The Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of the Chief Information Officer, in a cooperative effort with DOL Agencies, is developing a department-wide Information Technology (IT) infrastructure consolidation approach to Technology Services and IT Services Management. This is consistent with OMB guidance. The plan includes determining consolidation opportunities, within and across agencies, in a federated approach. This federated approach means that consolidation will occur at a level that provides the most value to the organization. The consolidation effort will bring together separate parts of DOL's nine independent networks into a single or unified whole with objectives of reducing costs and improving effectiveness. DOL's Unified Technology Infrastructure (UDTI) will adopt a balanced management approach for the delivery and operational support of the common infrastructure service components. Key to infrastructure consolidation is who and how the infrastructure will be managed. As such, a unified and coordinated approach will be undertaken for both:

  • Security Management Framework for the protection, privacy, national security requirements of resources: information, equipment, information, and people (privacy and national security); and
  • Service Management Framework for the delivery and support of consolidated services. This consists of the processes for service level management, availability management, IT service continuity planning, capacity management, financial management, change management, incident management, configuration management, problem management, and release management.

The UDTI network will provide the ability to transform relations with citizens, businesses, and other arms of governments. These technologies can serve a variety of different ends: better delivery of government services to citizens, improved interactions with business and industry, citizen empowerment through access to information, or more efficient government management. The resulting benefits can be increased transparency, greater convenience, re-investment of savings, and/or cost reductions.

Through increased usage of the internet, several DOL agencies have already begun to more directly connect with citizens in a manner than opens new opportunities while also raising new challenges. The following examples demonstrate other ways in which DOL agencies are transforming agency operations:

DOL's Safety and Health Information Management System (SHIMS) is improving service to Federal employees with a faster transmission of workers' compensation claims to the Employment Standards Administration's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs for processing and the ability to allow the claim to be processed in an expedited manner. Previously claim forms were manually written and mailed which took several days and a response took 2 weeks. Now the claim is submitted electronically within 24 hours and a response on receipt of the claim from the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs is within 48 hours. This allows the claimant to begin referencing their claim within 2 days of filing.

DOL's Office of Public Affairs is a service delivery provider for other DOL agencies for both the Internet (DOL.gov) and Intranet (LaborNet). The interested parties for DOL Web services are employers, employees, citizens, international organizations and other Federal Agencies. The Internet and the Intranet provide timely, relevant and usable information for our internal and external customers thereby providing citizen-centered government. OPA is utilizing Web Trend and Nielson Net Rating System to provide critical information regarding the Department's customers and the DOL Web sites. A forum has also been established for development of customer performance metrics to provide: 1) Accessible Web Content; 2) Faster Web Delivery; and 3) Improved Search and Navigation Capabilities.

All DOL websites continually encourage input from stakeholders on satisfaction levels. For example, the Wage Hour Division (WHD) has initiated customer-based requirements for gathering and testing web-based applications. During the development phase, customers directly interact with the applications so that their feedback and suggestions can be incorporated into the final system design. This provides the ability to meet customer needs with the first system release of a web-based application.

The Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS) use of email as a communication method to receive feedback on ways to improve the LM-2 process through use of the new T-1 Form has resulted in improved enforcement results and compliance assistance programs. OLMS has also provided a link for members of the public to send email messages related to enforcement under the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, and publicize recent criminal and civil enforcement actions.

The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) conducts dialogues concerning the Career One-Stop electronic tools and the H2A labor certification system, using input from employers, jobseekers and other interested parties for improvement and enhancements.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) actively solicits public comment on a number of draft proposed guidelines for specific hazards in the workplace. OSHA also continues use of its database driven e-correspondence to provide the public the capability to ask specific workplace health and safety questions. Another example of OSHA's IT innovations to improve the delivery of services is use of its email system to send citations to Employer/Unions through the wide area network to Alaska and other States and agencies. Benefits include:

  • Savings in photocopying, postage and time;
  • Faster processing of citations to other interested parties for internal reviews (e.g., Regional Officers, Solicitor);
  • Elimination of Certified Mail resulting in earlier abatement and response preparation;
  • Simple and user-friendly process; and
  • Citations can be received in various formats (e.g., PDF and Word)

The Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) has expanded their program process through development of a new web site dedicated to informing and encouraging the public to hire Veterans. The new site is HIREVETSFIRST. VETS also continues to utilize other automated tools that allow stakeholders, employers and other interested parties to exchange information such as their VETS-100 Website, E-Laws and Electronic One Stop. By providing electronic information, the VETS staff is then free to develop more productive ways to assist America's veterans.

HIREVETSFIRST has opened up a new level of communication with the public. The President's National Hire Veterans Committee was charged with raising awareness of veterans to employers through the public labor exchange. A review of the material available to employers and Veterans showed that, while information was readily available, it was scattered across several different locations. The HIREVETSFIRST website was created to drive home the point that veterans are a valuable asset to the American workforce and allows a central location for employers and veterans to find relevant information about each other. It is a comprehensive electronic site to allow the workforce to begin the job/employee search.

The VETS-100 website has proven invaluable to the distribution of information to Federal Contractors and Contracting Officers. The site informs Federal Contractors of their obligation to file a VETS-100 report and explains the value of the information to those who are assisting our country's veterans in re-entering the workforce. Prior to the development of the website, Federal Contractors and Contracting Officers had to contact VETS staff directly to get data. Contracting Officers now have online search capability to determine if a specific Federal Contractor has submitted a VETS-100 report.

DOL E-Laws Advisor empowers the Veteran with knowledge of their rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). By helping veterans understand employee eligibility and job entitlements, employer obligations, benefits and remedies under USERRA, this advisor has proven to be an excellent tool in improving the ability and response of VETS to assist Veterans in a timely manner.

The Electronic One Stop provides real time assistance to Veterans and Service Members seeking support from VETS as well as other agencies in DOL. Traditionally, a Veteran would have to physically visit a One Stop for assistance. With the implementation of the Electronic One Stop, Veterans can reach a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) or Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) for assistance via e-mail and gain other types of assistance. In areas where a One Stop may not be accessible, the site helps connect Veterans with VETS' staff that can help in the job search.

MAINTAINING AN ON-GOING DIALOGUE WITH INTERESTED PARTIES:

In line with the President's goal to make the government more citizen-centered, DOL continues to seek innovative ways to use Information Technology to improve the delivery of information and services. DOL also uses a variety of communication methods to seek input from stakeholders and customers and other interested parties for continual improvement and enhancement of business processes. The following examples are organized by subject area and provide an overview of the kinds of outreach programs and activities DOL is engaged in to sponsor ongoing dialogue with stakeholders, partners and the general public.

Annual Conferences: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and its state partners have two annual conferences that explore IT-related issues in two broad areas, employment/unemployment statistical programs and safety and health statistical programs. Joint Policy Councils that include representatives from BLS and participating states are a vehicle for dialogue on federal-state cooperative programs. BLS also actively participates in industry and academic technical conferences in order to monitor developments in the IT field and learn how other organizations are making use of technology.

OSHA conducts regularly scheduled meetings with State Plan States, Consultation Projects and OSHA field and national office executive staff to recommend and discuss ways to improve the delivery of Government information services. OSHA actively solicits public comment on a number of draft proposed guidelines for specific hazards in the workplace.

Advisory Councils: BLS maintains an on-going dialogue with interested parties through a variety of advisory committees and partnerships that include the Business Research Advisory Council, Labor Research Advisory Council, and the Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee.

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has regularly scheduled meetings with the ERISA Advisory Council, which provides suggestions on how EBSA can increase its effectiveness in improving its interaction with the public, which includes the use of Information Technology. To date, the council has conducted three of the four scheduled meetings as well as multiple meetings by three separate workgroups (Fee and Related Disclosures to Participants, Health and Welfare Form 5500 Requirements, and Plan Fees and Reporting on Form 5500).

Compliance Assistance Seminars: The Employment Standards Administration's (ESA) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has established Spanish and Chinese language versions of its Internet site, which provides information to interested parties regarding scheduling and conducting of Compliance Assistance Seminars annually and provides the ability to meet the needs of the Hispanic and Chinese American constituent communities in an effective manner.

ESA's Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS) has initiated planning for a program of structured, nationwide compliance assistance seminars and outreach for Union Members across the Country. One objective will be to make extensive use of electronic media to deliver training material and compliance assistance information.

AGENCY PARTNERS WHO COLLABORATE ON INITIATIVES:

Fourteen Federal agencies have agreed to implement SHIMS software with six agencies moving to DOL SHIMS hosting services beginning in January 2005. DOL's sustained performance in attaining Federal goals on timeliness is a major factor in Agencies seeking to partner for use of SHIMS. DOL is in communication with 25 external agencies on SHIMS development and implementation through one-on-one presentations and quarterly meetings. DOL also meets with agencies who have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for hosting and is in constant communications on needs and actions for implementation.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has completed the development of a Service Oriented Architecture that identifies services that can be shared across the Government. MSHA collaborated with other Federal agencies, including DOI, and the states to identify services (such as Legal Mine ID) that could be provided by MSHA. Additionally, MSHA is planning to work with OMB and the Core.gov initiative to identify government wide services that can be leveraged to improve service delivery to citizens and other key stakeholders.

ESA's Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP) and the American Medical Association (AMA) have reached an agreement that allows OWCP to place proprietary AMA information on-line as part of the OWCP Fee Schedule. This makes the schedule available to Medical Providers and other interested parties; it provides these parties with the schedule without cost.

With all VETS' initiatives, feedback is the key to improving and providing quality service to the public. VETS provides a help desk function for the Federal Contractor Program (VETS-100) and, through the help desk, VETS queries callers on the site and their suggested improvements for the delivery of information via the web. This information has helped grow the site and improved the development of Frequently Asked Questions and search capabilities.

The VETS maintains an ongoing dialogue with Veterans Service Organizations such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the veteran program coordinators as the state workforce boards. Through periodic meetings, VETS receives updates and feedback on initiatives to better meet the needs of our 'clients.' In reviewing feedback, VETS saw a need to tie together to of our programs to assist transitioning and newly minted Veterans. A veteran's zone was created on the HIREVETSFIRST website melding the information from the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), which helps prepare Service Members who are leaving the military for civilian life, and LVER, who provides priority of service to Veterans seeking employment assistance. Thus, the newly minted Veteran has one electronic location to utilize while transitioning into a civilian career.

VETS has also recently begun utilizing electronic surveys as an additional means of gaining more valuable information and insights from its electronic public.

IMPROVED PERFORMANCE BY TRACKING PERFORMANCE MEASURES SUPPORTING AGENCY OBJECTIVES, STRATEGIC GOALS, AND STATUTORY MANDAQTES:

The customer and productivity performance measures used by the Department to improve the delivery of service are directly in alignment with DOL's Strategic Goals for:

  1. A Prepared Workforce
  2. A Secure Workforce
  3. Quality Workplaces
  4. A Competitive Workforce

Statistical Analysis:

DOL has a long-standing customer service goal to disseminate accurate labor statistics data to the public according to the announced schedule 100% of the time. The BLS customer service goal is in direct alignment with DOL's Strategic Goal of a Prepared Workforce through the outcome goal to "Improve the effectiveness of information and analysis on the U.S. Economy". In 3rd Quarter 2004, the American Customer Satisfaction Index's E-Government report gave BLS' LABSTAT Website a score of 82. The aggregate government score was 71.2 for this quarter and the comparable private sector score was 74.4. This puts DOL in the top 10% of government agencies. In addition, BLS statistical systems rely upon the General Support System and must be operational and available to produce accurate statistics and disseminate them according to the announced schedule 100% of the time. During the last two quarters of FY 2004, a total of 94 news releases via LABSTAT were scheduled, of which 93 were issued on time. The FY 2004 system reliability target for the BLS LAN/WAN was 99.95%. The actual system reliability was 99.98%.

Workplace Compliance and Benefit Protection:

DOL is also responsible for "Enhancing the welfare and protecting the rights of American workers". This mission is achieved through DOL programs that manage enforcement and compliance in regard to:

  • Providing secure, pension health and welfare benefits
  • Protecting worker benefits
  • Reducing workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities
  • Fostering equal opportunity workplaces

The EBSA program performance goals are identified as Enforcement or Compliance (Participant Assistance) goals. The program goals and measures are:

  1. 1. 50% ratio of closed civil cases with corrected violations to civil closed cases as a whole;
  2. A Secure Workforce;
  3. Achieve greater than a 25% ratio of criminal cases referred for prosecution to total criminal cases;
  4. A Customer Satisfaction Index Rating of at least 59 (FY 2004);
  5. Dollars of pension and health plan assets that are restored ($484M - FY 2004); and
  6. Number of civil and criminal cases disposed (at least 5,575).

The majority of EBSA initiatives provide the public and governmental agencies with electronic access to ERISA 5500 series filing and related data. Specific developmental partners include IRS, SSA, PBGC and multiple DOL agencies. EBSA initiatives provide the infrastructure to: increase system availability, facilitate electronic accessibility and reduce reporting burdens to the public and governmental agencies as it relates to ERISA related filings and data. During FY 2004, EBSA achieved the following performance goals: 1) Increased to 85% Disclosure of M-1 documents electronically; 2) Increase to 85% Disclosure of "public" 5500 data electronically; 3) Increased to 85% internal disclosure of latest year's non-publicly disclosed Form 5500 Series documents; and 4) Increased to 85% the internal electronic distribution of ERISA imaged documentation and backup/library documents.

ESA/OWCP: As a service organization, improvement of customer services is a key OWCP program objective. OWCP developed a five-part communications services goal for the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) Program to employ strategies that will shift customers to making greater use of automated information services, including greater use of Web-based and other direct system-accessed services. In FY 2004, the Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC) met its annual targets to increase the use of automated information services, e.g. Agency Query System (AQS), Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR), and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). The FY03 baseline was a volume of 1,791,290 (aggregate of AQS hits, IVR calls, and EDI volumes). OWCP's FY04 goal was 2,150,000, which was surpassed by 37% with an actual volume of 2,953,037.

OWCP also established and met several performance goals to use productivity performance indicators to measure the delivery of government information and services to citizens, stakeholder and other appropriate key groups. The preliminary results for FY 2004 indicate that DFEC met all of its annual targets:

  1. Caller wait times were reduced from the FY2003 baseline of 3.32 minutes to 3.0 minutes. This surpassed OWCP's goal of 3.2 minutes by .2 minutes.
  2. Speed of returning calls was increased, allowing OWCP to reduce response time from the FY03 baseline of 3.0 days to 2.7 days. This surpassed their goal of 2.9 days by .2 days.
  3. Calls resolved on day of call without need for callback improved from the FY03 baseline of 58% to 81%, surpassing OWCP's goal of 61% by 20%. (4) OWCP met its goal to increase the number of district office calls meeting its standards for call handling quality, surpassing its target of 90%, at 96% for the year.

ESA/Wage Hour Division (WHD): WHD uses productivity performance indicators for its nationwide call center on a daily basis. Each fiscal year, established measures are evaluated to produce higher standards for customer service. Current standards include 1) providing adequate training for all customer service representatives (CSRs) and 2) requiring a passing score of 80% or better on a workshop prior to allowing CSRs to answer calls. Other standards relate to providing targeted training on new initiatives, such as that for Section 541 regarding the Management, Administrative and Professional Exemption, and the use of scripts for effective communication of WHD information; and requiring a scrolling "ticker" on each CSR computer monitor reminding them of important communication points. This criterion is compared to the WHD performance metrics in order to assess performance success.

The WHD call center received 520,547 calls with an average of 43,379 calls per month. This represents an 11.5% increase over FY200. WHD's goals and results for answer rates, abandoned calls and calls answered during FY 2004 are as follows:

GOAL: Average answer rate less than 30 seconds - FY 2004 -- 24 seconds average answer rate
GOAL: Abandoned calls less than 5% - FY 2004 -- 1.88%
GOAL: 80% of calls answered w/in 30 seconds - FY 2004 -- 80%

ESA/OFCCP: Contractors and the consultants have repeatedly requested resources for developing annual plans. The web-based Small Employer Guidebook and the Sample Affirmative Action Plan for Small Employers are direct responses to these requests. Comments to the most recently proposed regulatory changes are also available on the web site. The OFCCP also publishes its Compliance Assistance Calendars on its Internet Web Site to provide information to the public regarding compliance assistance seminars conducted throughout the country. In FY 2004, the OFCCP conducted over 1000 compliance assistance seminars.

In FY 2004, OFCCP closed 6,544 compliance evaluations:

  • 91.4% of the compliance evaluations closed with no violations determined.
  • 6.97% of the compliance evaluations closed as a result of a Conciliation Agreement (CA) being reached with the respective company.
  • 1.44% of the compliance evaluations closed as a result of a Letter of Commitment (LOC) being reached with the respective company.

ESA/OLMS: OLMS established a program goal to improve the accuracy and completeness of filed labor organization reports. OLMS' e.REAP application automatically completes a desk audit of incoming reports. The application assesses the number of LM2/3/4 reports which met all acceptability standards established by OLMS. During the baseline period of 12/1/2000 to 11 /30 /2001 (twelve months prior to the availability of the electronic software), 73.33% of all LM-2/3/4 reports filed met all acceptability standards established by OLMS. Currently, 92.4% of all reports received meet all acceptability standards. OLMS continues to strive toward improved accuracy of union report data. Currently OLMS is in the process of implementing a revised LM-2 form. With the advent of this implementation, the largest unions (those with receipts over $250,000) will be required to file electronically. All reports filed electronically will meet 100% of the acceptability standards set out by OLMS, thus improving accuracy of union reports to better serve union members and other interested parties.

MSHA's mission is to administer the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) and to enforce compliance with mandatory safety and health standards as a means to eliminate fatal accidents; to reduce the frequency and severity of nonfatal accidents; to minimize health hazards; and to promote improved safety and health conditions in the Nation's mines. MSHA has developed performance measures for each of its program areas and strategic initiatives that are health and safety focused (accidents, injuries, and dust, silica, and noise samples). MSHA utilizes these metrics to measure the performance of the Agency in ensuring a safe and healthy workplace for its direct customers, the Nation's mining community. Many of the Agency's metrics are published on its website. Through its GPEA compliance efforts, MSHA has enhanced its capacity to support e-filing; thereby, enabling mine operators to report this information electronically. Customers are encouraged to submit requests and complaints through the MSHA web site to report any additional service deficiencies. The Agency has also developed methods of distributing the information via its web portal, which enables customers to measure their workplace versus industry best practices and averages.

For example, MSHA stakeholders identified a need to reduce data redundancy caused by maintaining multiple systems. As a result, MSHA included an MSIS project goal for FY 2004 to eliminate redundant data. New functionality provided in MSIS requires no redundant data entry - and 999 redundant data elements have been eliminated thus far. Another MSIS goal is to eliminate paper form submissions required by citizens, with a long-term goal to provide citizens the option to file all required forms through the internet. As of FY 2004 on-line filing is available as an option for MSHA forms representing 94% of all submissions.

OSHA's mission is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. OSHA has a requirement to provide a prompt response to employee complaints about workplace safety and health within one day. The website has facilitated this process by providing the OSHA-7 worker complaint form online. This supports DOL's strategic goal to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities. OSHA added the capability for the public to search and register online for available workplace safety and health training courses available through the OSHA Training Institute and Education Centers nationwide.

OSHA also provides via its website searchable access to the public to all FOIA-type inspection data on for more than 3.2 million inspections covering 31 years of agency inspection activity. The public can view how OSHA is meeting its goals for the reduction of workplace illnesses, injuries and fatalities in high risk areas. Managers within OSHA can view on a daily basis the most frequent data and interest from the public.

MyOSHA was launched, January 2004 to provide the capability for public users to create personalized pages for frequently accessed areas of information. In addition to the Website performance results, OSHA also tracks performance results for e-correspondence and for the agency's e-newsletter, Quick Takes. OSHA web visits during FY 2004 increased by 27%. The total Web Visits in FY 2004 were 56,471,829 and 44,412,272 in FY 2003.

Safety And Health And Return To Work (SHARE) Initiatives developed by the Department of Labor and approved by OMB for all Federal agencies is the vehicle used to monitor SHIMS accomplishments as the initiative related to timely submission of claims to OWCP and lost production days. In addition, SHARE also has a requirement for the reduction of accidents and injuries and it is through the SHIMS system that the initiative goals are monitored. The SHIMS also has an automated filing system for OSHA's required reporting of accident and injuries. The system therefore provides a tracking mechanism to report DOL's performance accomplishments to the OMB.

VETS has standard objectives to meet when creating or updating any of our electronic sites:

  1. Provide comprehensive informative information to the public
  2. Ensure information is easy to understand
  3. Eliminate excessive "clicks" to reach searched information
  4. Ensure contact information is prominently displayed so that users can contact VETS staff if necessary.

It should be noted that the HIREVETSFIRST initiative started in the 4th quarter of FY 2004 so adequate data is not yet available for review. Performance measures such as the number of new employers who begin to use the services of the One-Stop Career Centers as a result of knowledge gained from the HIREVETSFIRST website and campaign as well as veterans seeking the services of an LVER due are being utilized as dissemination of the site continues.

QUANTIFY THE COST SAVINGS AND COST AVOIDANCE CREATED BY IMPLEMENTING INITIATIVES:

Since the enactment of the Paperwork Act of 1995 (PRA), the Department continues to make solid progress in reducing the burden its information collection activities impose on the American public, while maintaining its mission and fulfilling its responsibilities to the American workforce. Between FY 1995 and FY 2004, the Department realized an approximate 38% net reduction in burden hours (from 266 million to 164 million).

DOL's cost savings can also be attributed to the implementation of the SHIMS in DOL. The system was fully implemented in FY 2003 and since that time DOL has demonstrated a reduction in workers' compensation costs through quicker processing of claims and the ability to use the system to identify persons able to return to work and develop light duty positions for them. As a result of this effort, DOL reduced its worker compensation costs in FY 2004 by $3.2 million, representing a 13% decline.

ETA's Job Corps Application Data serves as the basic document for determining eligibility for Job Corps and case management. Data collected is also used for program planning, evaluating and reporting progress. The reduction of 28,887 burden hours was achieved by deploying an E-government implementation strategy. All outreach and Admissions Counselors and centers directly input data into a national database. As a result, the burden hours associated with the preparation of forms has decreased significantly.

BLS's International Price Program produces Import Price Indexes and Export Price Indexes containing data on changes in the prices of non-military goods and services traded between the U.S. and the rest of the world. The reduction of 10,767 hours was achieved by requesting re-pricing information from respondents only in certain months. The expected collection months were determined jointly by the respondent and a BLS economist and were based on the company's normal schedule for updating its prices.

Although the VETS' HIREVETSFIRST site is a new site, the goal is to encourage employers to use it as a way to hire Veterans and encourage veteran job seekers to utilize the services of the LVERs and DVOPs. Our initial assumption is that the website could save between 1-5% of current staff time. Assuming a 2.5% rate, that would allow approximately $15 million of staff time to be reutilized for efforts to assist veterans.

The VETS-100 website is basically self-maintained now that reports can be filed electronically. Through additional negotiations with our contractor, we have saved $188,000 on the site itself. We also chose to utilize post cards, e-mail and electronic notification via the VETS-100 website to reduce the costs of the annual 'reports due' notification to contractors. This year, notification costs were reduced by approximately $35,000. Online filing of the VETS-100 reports has increased by close to 30%.

The E-Laws Advisor has also proven helpful in allowing staff to concentrate on other areas of service to veterans. Prior to the advent of the Advisor, approximately 11 staff years were spent on the phone providing information and assistance to clients on USERRA and Veterans Preference cases. The Advisor has helped drop that rate to 5 staff years.

AVAILABILITY OF GOVERNMENT INFORMATION TO THOSE WITHOUT INTERNET ACCESS:

DOL National Call Center: The DOL National Call Center (DOL-NCC) provides constituents with accurate and timely information and assistance through telephone toll-free and e-mail services. DOL-NCC personnel respond to citizens' frequently asked questions with information that has been cleared through agency experts and leverages existing Web-based information and resources. Since its inauguration, the Call Center has responded to 3.2 million calls and over 100,000 e-mails from employers and employees. Call volume is currently running at a 1.2 million annual rate. English and Spanish speaking Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) are available on site, and a tele-interpretation service is immediately available to assist with over 140 additional languages. The DOL-NCC main toll-free line, 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365), TTY 1-877-889-5627, is the universal access point to all of DOL and is also used for special one-time Secretarial events, as well as the number used for most small agencies. In addition, five citizen-oriented information service programs are supported at the Call Center, including: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 1-800-321-OSHA; Wage and Hour Division (WHD), 1-866-4-US-WAGE; Employment and Training Administration (ETA), 1-877-US-2-JOBS; Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), 1-866-ODEP-DOL; and Women's Bureau (WB), 1-800-827-5335.

Accessibility: Members of the public can call or visit any of the Department's agency offices located throughout the country and can obtain paper copies of any material listed on the DOL and Agency Websites.

Conferences/Seminars: DOL organizes and attends conferences and seminars, participating as keynote speakers, presenters, and panelists, and providing information to attendees.

Mailing Services: DOL agencies have been providing information in the form of reports, publications and news releases for many years and continue to provide this full range of paper-based services. These services are provided through mailing lists services for interested parties to receive information through the U.S. Postal Service. Upon request, the public is also provided with paper copies of any information posted on an agency web site. While the public has the option to file almost all responses to reporting requirements on-line, the option to file through the mail will remain available for the foreseeable future.

Speech Interpreters: Through Regional and District Offices, DOL agencies provide Speech Interpreters and documents in languages other than English during its Compliance Assistance events that are conducted throughout the country.

2. A summary of the implementation of the specific privacy provisions of Section 208 of the E-Government Act. Implementation guidance for the Privacy Provisions of the E-Government Act of 2002 is located at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/memoranda/m03-22.html . The privacy summary should contain the following three parts:

a. The reporting of each instance where persistent tracking technology is used. For each instance agencies must:

  • Explain the need to use persistent tracking technology;
  • Identify the safeguards to protect any information collected from persistent tracking technology
  • Provide the contact information (name, title, phone number, and email) of the agency official who approved each instance of tracking technology use; and
  • Provide the actual privacy policy notification of such use.

b. A machine-readable agency privacy policy or an explanation of why it is not readable.

c. The contact information (name, title, phone number, and email) of individual(s) appointed by the head of the Executive Department or agency to serve as the agency's principal contact(s) for information technology/web matters and the individual (name and title) primarily responsible for privacy.

DOL Response 2:

2. a. The Department of Labor (DOL) does not employ persistent tracking technology within its Web sites. In accordance with OMB Memorandum M-00-13, DOL developed procedures for the use of persistent cookies that require any use of this technology to be properly justified, reviewed, and approved by the Secretary of Labor. No DOL agency has applied for this type of review and approval.

2.b. The Department of Labor planned to implement a machine-readable privacy policy in June of 2004, but that implementation has been delayed. DOL anticipates implementation of the machine-readable privacy policy by the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2005. The Office of Public Affairs has successfully tested P3P in our development and production environments.

2.c. Contact Information: Provide contact information of individual(s) appointed by the head of the Executive Department or agency to serve as the agency's principal contact(s) for information technology/web matters and the individual (name and title) primarily responsible for privacy policies.

Information Technology:
Thomas Wiesner, Deputy Chief Information Officer, Tel (202) 693-4567

Web Matters:
Paul Craven, Director, Office of Public Affairs, Tel (202) 693-5054

Privacy Policies:
Robert A. Shapiro, Associate Solicitor for Legislation and Legal Counsel, (202) 693-5500

3. A summary (a text document of up to two pages in length) of your agency's progress to implement your information technology human resource strategy as described in Section 209 of the Act. The summary must:

  • Identify any specialized job activities necessary to perform the agency mission that have changed since last year's report;
  • Explain how your IT training plan integrates into the overall agency training plan; and
  • Discuss how you have used the results of OPM's Training Report (www.opm.gov/hrd/lead/pubs/ittpreport_07-04/ittpreportJuly2004.pdf) to successfully implement training programs to fulfill gaps in your IT workforce.

DOL Response 3:

DOL's overall Human Capital Strategic Plan can be reviewed at http://www.dol.gov/_sec/stratplan/2003/humancapital/main.htm. In FY 2004, DOL conducted a department-wide skills assessment of mission-critical occupations. Management from each agency is currently evaluating the results of the assessment to identify areas that require attention to eliminate the skill gaps. DOL also participated in the Clinger-Cohen IT Skills assessment survey. The results are currently being evaluated by DOL agencies.

DOL has implemented an IT Project Management Program that provides the senior level IT professional with assistance in acquiring the Project Management Institute's (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification. The program includes required PMP training and funding for the PMP Certification Exam. DOL has updated the e-learning catalog to include IT-related courses for the entry and intermediate IT professionals.

DOL's Human Resources Center has implemented an analytical reporting tool that allows the Department to provide timely HR information to managers and human-resource officials. This information is used for the purpose of workforce planning and monitoring progress on hiring plans and other HR initiatives.

BLS has developed the BLS Human Resources Strategic plan for analyzing the workforce, identifying skill gaps and completing a workforce analysis against these identified skills. The first major component of this plan identifies critical occupation and managerial competencies. Next, BLS will be conducting a thorough analysis of its entire IT Program Manager workforce to determine if there are any skill gaps with the current workforce. BLS will then conduct workforce analysis to determine the most effective use of resources, skills, competencies and manager's strategic career goals.

In July 2004, the Department submitted its Departmental IT Training Guide to OMB. In that report, DOL identified the resources for training defined in the OPM Training Report as one resource to close gaps in IT skills within the Department. The Department identified additional resources that will be used to close IT skills gaps. The Department will utilize the resources identified in the OPM Training Report as well as the resources identified in the Departmental IT training guide to help close the skills gaps identified by the results of the Clinger-Cohen 2004 IT Skills Assessment Survey, once the data from the Clinger-Cohen 2004 survey is reviewed.

To close competency gaps - for all occupations, including IT, DOL uses:

  • USAJOBS, on-campus recruitment, IT Job Fairs, radio and newspaper advertisements, internet job announcements, internships programs, etc. to attract new talent to the Agency;
  • Uses retention strategies, including tuition reimbursement, flexible work schedules, generous incentive and performance awards, and telecommuting/work at home opportunities.
  • Participated in the IT virtual job fair conducted by OPM.
  • Participated in the OPM IT qualification competency initiative.
  • Identifies training and development activities to enhance specific desired competencies.
  • Provides on-line training programs through GoLearn.gov.

To date the following milestones have been met:

  • All major DOL agencies have completed skills assessments for 27 mission-critical occupations using the Competency Exxceed Plus skills assessment tool.
  • DOL has established a Project Management Certification program available to all senior DOL IT professionals.
  • The MBA Fellows application process for the third class will be the pilot for the QuickHire on-line application and rating and ranking tool.

4. A brief description of the process your agency has established for determining which information will be made available on the Internet as described in Section 207 of the Act. The description must:

  • Provide the priorities and schedules for making Government information available and accessible;
  • Explain how these priorities and schedules were available for public comment; and
  • Identify the link where the priorities and schedules can be found on the Internet.

DOL Response 4:

In FY 2004, DOL completed the following actions:

  • Surveyed the DOL National Contact Center to determine what information is most frequently requested by customers and compared these requests to the information that is available on DOL's Web sites to determine where gaps exist;
  • Developed initial guidance for DOL agencies and distributed that guidance; and
  • Developed detailed guidance for DOL agencies and distributed that guidance.

DOL agencies will submit their content schedule items to OPA by December 10, 2004. DOL will publish the final content schedule by December 17, 2004.

The content schedule will be published on the DOL Web site at http://www.dol.gov/dol/aboutdol/content.htm. Links to the content schedule will be available from the "About DOL" section of the DOL Web site, found at . Additional links will be added to the Site Index and other relevant content areas.