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Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO)

FY 2013 Conferences Exceeding $100,000 in Net Costs

During Fiscal Year 2013, the Department of Labor conducted six (6) conferences in which direct expenses to the Department exceeded $100,000. Below, please find listed below the conference to include costs, location of conference, date, and other pertinent data.

Agency: U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
Conference Title: Managers' Meeting
Conference Expenses: $161,226.00
Location: Washington, DC
Date: 7/29/2013 — 8/2/2013
Explanation: To ensure that EBSA can effectively achieve its outcome goal of "improving health benefits and retirement security for all workers" in support of the Secretary's strategic vision of Good Jobs for Everyone. The purpose of the event was to discuss administrative, technical and legal issues that assisted with accomplishing our goals established in the FY 2013 Operating Plan. EBSA devotes considerable resources to ensuring that its management cadre is (1) knowledgeable about the varied aspects of administering a very complicated financial regulatory statute and (2) well-versed in techniques/approaches for managing a large organization — and this annual training conference was the key to our effort. The topics planned for the conference were clearly directed at supporting the agency's strategic goal, achieving production goals and improving both mission accomplishment and individual performance.
Total Number of Participants: 185




Agency: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs
Conference Title: Basic Compliance Officer Training
Conference Expenses: $173,182
Location: Washington DC
Date: 2/19/2013 — 2/28/2013
Explanation: As outlined in the OFCCP FY2013 Operating Plan, the OFCCP Training Academy developed and deployed targeted training courses to ensure compliance officers (COs) obtain the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively perform enforcement investigation. The Basic Compliance Officer Course, as requested through the conference approval process, is the classroom portion of the Operating Plan targeting COs with less than one year of experience in the position or who need a refresher on basic elements of the OFCCP programs and processes.
Total Number of Participants: 69




Agency: U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division
Conference Title: Basic I Training
Conference Expenses: $211,982
Location: Charlotte, NC
Date: 1/28/2013 — 2/15/2013
Explanation:
This required training is for new WHD investigators who have completed 12-weeks of pre-class course work comprised of online modules, readings, and on-the-job training. With a focus on enforcing provisions outlined in the Fair Labor Standards Act, this course provides classroom instruction from agency experts who provide a nationally standardized training experience. During the training, new investigators are given an opportunity to receive immediate feedback on enforcement and regulatory questions prior to their conducting of independent investigations. Trainees also complete two simulated investigations that reinforce proper investigative procedures under the close supervision of experienced facilitators.
Total Number of Participants: 57




Agency: U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division
Conference Title: Basic II Training
Conference Expenses: $400,669
Location: San Antonio, TX
Date: 2/25/2013 — 3/15/2013
Explanation:
This training is a required course intended for investigators who have accumulated at least 12 months of investigative experience following the Basic I Training. Investigators complete a series of pre-Basic II activities before attending the class. This final face-to-face training enables participants to conduct investigations beyond provisions covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Facilitated by agency experts, the training focuses on advanced regulatory knowledge and investigative skills. The curriculum addresses Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, the Service Contract Act, Agriculture-related Acts, provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. The training also addresses outreach and education practices that support compliance of WHD enforced labor laws.
Total Number of Participants: 109




Agency: U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division
Conference Title: Basic IA Training
Conference Expenses: $121,874
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Date: 4/8/2013 — 4/26/2013
Explanation:
This course is intended for WHD technicians, and other investigative support staff, who respond to the general public and provide answers to questions about the laws enforced by WHD. These laws include the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Basic IA Training also reinforces WHD policies related to technical assistance and quality customer service. The training addresses the art of telephone courtesy, how to be an effective listener, communicating with hostile callers, and how to take detailed interview statements for case development.
Total Number of Participants: 36




Agency: U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division
Conference Title: Basic II Training
Conference Expenses: $237,740
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Date: 7/15/2013 — 8/2/2013
Explanation:
This training is a required course intended for investigators who have accumulated at least 12 months of investigative experience following the Basic I Training. Investigators complete a series of pre-Basic II activities before attending the class. This final face-to-face training enables participants to conduct investigations beyond provisions covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Facilitated by agency experts, the training focuses on advanced regulatory knowledge and investigative skills. The curriculum addresses Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, the Service Contract Act, Agriculture-related Acts, provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. The training also addresses outreach and education practices that support compliance of WHD enforced labor laws.
Total Number of Participants: 61




Part II — Fiscal Year 2013 Conference Overview

As required by Presidential Executive Order 13589 "Promoting Efficient Spending" and Office of Management Budget Memorandum 12-12 "Promoting Efficient Spending to Support Agency Operations", the Department of Labor continued taking steps to reduce conference spending and to ensure that appropriate policies, procedures, and controls were in place. Conference-related spending was reviewed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, Office of the Solicitor, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and, if necessary, the Deputy Secretary.

These policy changes have generated cost-avoidances within DOL and its agencies. For instance, agencies have reevaluated their training and conference plans. This has led to either a reduction in events or more being held locally. Further, component agencies are increasing the use of video teleconferencing in lieu of in person meetings while also strengthening internal management oversight and controls. As responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, DOL is dedicated to planning and executing DOL conferences as cost-effectively as possible.

Additionally, the Department's conference review panel regularly meets and confers with requesting agencies to provide agency personnel with guidance on methods to reduce spending, to include reducing the number of attendees in travel status, reducing the level of contracting expenses, etc. This process has resulted in reduced conference expenses.

Through a robust conference process, DOL cleared 137 request packages which had total costs of over $2.7 million to the Department for the 2013 Fiscal Year.

DOL hosted a variety of conferences and trainings throughout the year. These ranged from:

  • Compliance Assistance Forums which provide information to the general public about new and existing regulations.
  • YouthBuild Grantee events that allows for the completion of certifications along with sharing of best practices for grantees throughout the country.
  • Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) System Redesign Meetings that facilitates the redesign of the testing project plan for the QCEW system.
  • Component agency regional meetings designed to keep staff informed and up to date.

If there are any questions concerning this reporting, or if additional information is required, please contact Robert Balin, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, at Balin.Robert@dol.gov.