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U.S. Department of Labor

Employment Standards Administration
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Kansas City Resident Investigative Office
2300 Main Street, Suite 1000
Kansas City, MO 64108
(816) 502-0283 Fax: (816) 502-0288


March 24, 2009

 

Ms. Kristin Pahl, Secretary-Treasurer
Government Employees AFGE AFL-CIO
Local 2361
168 SE Highway
Knob Noster, MO 65336

LM File Number 503-330
Case Number: ||||||||||

Dear Ms. Pahl:

This office has recently completed an audit of AFGE Local 2361 under the Compliance Audit Program (CAP) to determine your organization’s compliance with the provisions of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA). As discussed during the exit interview with you on February 19, 2009, the following problems were disclosed during the CAP. The matters listed below are not an exhaustive list of all possible problem areas since the audit conducted was limited in scope.

Recordkeeping Violations

Title II of the LMRDA establishes certain reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Section 206 of the LMRDA and Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) Section 403.7 require, among other things, that labor organizations maintain adequate records for at least five years after reports are filed by which the information on the reports can be verified, explained and clarified. Pursuant to 29 C.F.R. Section 458.3, this recordkeeping provision of the LMRDA applies to labor organizations subject to the requirements of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) as well. Therefore, as a general rule, labor organizations must retain all records used or received in the course of union business.

 

For disbursements, this includes not only original bills, invoices, receipts, vouchers, and applicable resolutions, but also documentation showing the nature of the union business requiring the disbursement, the goods or services received, and the identity of the recipient(s) of the goods or services. In most instances, this documentation requirement can be satisfied with a sufficiently descriptive expense receipt or invoice. If an expense receipt is not sufficiently descriptive, a union officer or employee should write a note on it providing the additional information. For money it receives, the labor organization must keep at least one record showing the date, amount, purpose, and source of that money. The labor organization must also retain bank records for all accounts.

The audit of Local 2361’s 2007 records revealed the following recordkeeping violations:

General Reimbursed and Credit Card Expenses

1. General Reimbursed and Credit Card Expenses

Local 2361 did not retain adequate documentation for reimbursed expenses and credit card expenses incurred by union officers totaling at least $3,000. For example, a check totaling $2,532.40 was written to reimburse Greg Smith for Christmas party expenses, but the local did not retain adequate supporting documentation to support the reimbursement. In addition, two credit card payments for training and computer services totaling $600 in the name of James Peterson were not supported with original receipts.

As previously noted above, labor organizations must retain original receipts, bills, and vouchers for all disbursements. The president and treasurer (or corresponding principal officers) of your union, who are required to sign your union’s LM report, are responsible for properly maintaining union records.

2. Lack of Salary Authorization

Local 2361 did not maintain records to verify that the salaries reported in Item 24 (All Officers and Disbursements to Officers) of the LM-3 was the authorized amount and therefore was correctly reported. The union must keep a record, such as meeting minutes, to show the current salary authorized by the entity or individual in the union with the authority to establish salaries.

Based on your assurance that Local 2361 will retain adequate documentation in the future, OLMS will take no further enforcement action at this time regarding the above violations.

Reporting Violations

Pursuant to 29 C.F.R., Section 458.3, the reporting requirement under 29 C.F.R., Section 403.2 (see Section 201(b) of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA)) is made applicable to labor organizations subject to the requirements of the CSRA. This provision requires labor organizations to file annual financial reports that accurately disclose their financial condition and operations. The audit disclosed a violation of this requirement. The Labor Organization Annual Report (Form LM-3) filed by Local 2361 for fiscal year ending December 31, 2007, was deficient in the following area:

Disbursements to Officers

Local 2361 did not include some reimbursements to officers totaling at least $2,500 in the amounts reported in Item 24 (All Officers and Disbursements to Officers). It appears the union erroneously reported these payments in Item 48.

The union must report most direct disbursements to Local 2361 officers and some indirect disbursements made on behalf of its officers in Item 24. A "direct disbursement" to an officer is a payment made to an officer in the form of cash, property, goods, services, or other things of value. See the instructions for Item 24 for a discussion of certain direct disbursements to officers that do not have to be reported in Item 24. An "indirect disbursement" to an officer is a payment to another party (including a credit card company) for cash, property, goods, services, or other things of value received by or on behalf of an officer. However, indirect disbursements for temporary lodging (such as a union check issued to a hotel) or for transportation by a public carrier (such as an airline) for an officer traveling on union business should be reported in Item 48 (Office and Administrative Expense).

I am not requiring that Local 2361 file an amended LM report for 2007 to correct the deficient items, but Local 2361 has agreed to properly report the deficient items on all future reports it files with OLMS.

Other Violation

Inadequate Bonding

Pursuant to 29 C.F.R., Section 458.35, officers and employees of any labor organization subject to the CSRA are required to be bonded in accordance with Section 502(a) of the LMRDA. This provision requires that union officers and employees be bonded for no less than 10% of the total funds those individuals or their predecessors handled during the preceding fiscal year.

Local 2361’s officers and employees are currently bonded for $10,000, but they must be bonded for at least $11,423. Local 2361 should obtain adequate bonding coverage for its officers and employees immediately. Please provide proof of bonding coverage to this office as soon as possible, but not later than March 30, 2009.

I want to extend my personal appreciation to AFGE Local 2361 for the cooperation and courtesy extended during this compliance audit. I strongly recommend that you make sure this letter and the compliance assistance materials provided to you are passed on to future officers. If we can provide any additional assistance, please do not hesitate to call.

Sincerely,

 

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Investigator

cc: Richard Roberts, President