Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Chicago District Office
Federal Office Building
230 South Dearborn Street, Suite 774
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 596-7160 Fax: (312) 596-7174
February 11, 2013
Ms. Connie Ostrander, Treasurer
AFGE Local 1963
1900 E. Main St.
Danville, IL 61832-5100
Case Number: 310-23511
LM Number: 503766
Dear Ms. Ostrander:
This office has recently completed an audit of AFGE Local 1963 under the Compliance Audit Program (CAP) to determine your organization’s compliance with the provisions of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA), 5 U.S.C. 7120, and the Department's regulations, 29 CFR 458. As discussed during the exit interview with you on January 17, 2013, 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.
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 organization 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 1963’s 2011 records revealed the following recordkeeping violations:
1. General Reimbursed and Credit Card Expenses
Local 1963 did not retain adequate documentation for reimbursed expenses and credit card expenses totaling at least $2,500.00. For example, check number payable to Party On Rentals for $1,444.90 and check number payable to Union Travel MasterCard which included a transaction at NY NY Hotel & Casino for $332.64 did not have any supporting documentation.
As 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. Meal Expenses
Local 1963’s records of meal expenses did not always include written explanations of union business conducted or the names and titles of the persons incurring the restaurant charges. For example, meal expenses at Old Chicago for $342.01 and at Head West Sub Shop for $198.78 which were paid on check number to Union Travel MasterCard did not have any record of the union business conducted or the persons incurring the charges. Union records of meal expenses must include written explanations of the union business conducted and the full names and titles of all persons who incurred the restaurant charges. This information can be hand-written directly on the receipt. Also, the records retained must identify the names of the restaurants where the officers or employees incurred meal expenses.
3. Failure to Record Cash Disbursements
Local 1963 did not record in its disbursements journal some cash disbursements representing dues rebates to new union members totaling at least $3,500.00. Cash disbursements of $100.00 each were given to 35 new members during fiscal year 2011. The union’s disbursements journal must include an adequate identification of all money disbursed by the union including cash disbursements. The records should disclose the date and amount disbursed, and the recipient of the money.
Based on your assurance that Local 1963 will retain adequate documentation in the future, OLMS will take no further enforcement action at this time regarding the above 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-2) filed by Local 1963 for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2011, was deficient in the following areas:
1. Acquire/Dispose of Property
Item 15 (During the reporting period did your organization acquire or dispose of any assets in any manner other than by purchase or sale?) should have been answered, "Yes," because the union gave away t-shirts, food, and cash totaling more than $6,500.00 during the year. The union must identify the type and value of any property received or given away in the additional information section of the LM report along with the identity of the recipient(s) or donor(s) of such property. The union does not have to itemize every recipient of such giveaways by name. The union can describe the recipients by broad categories if appropriate such as “members” or “new retirees.” In addition, the union must report the cost, book value, and trade-in allowance for assets that it traded in.
2. Disbursements to Officers
Local 1963 did not report the names of some officers and the total amounts of payments to them or on their behalf in Item 24 (All Officers and Disbursements to Officers). The union must report in Item 24 all persons who held office during the year, regardless of whether they received any payments from the union.
The union must report most direct disbursements to Local 1963 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).
3. Fidelity Bond
Item 14 (What is the maximum amount recoverable under the labor organization’s fidelity bond?) was incorrectly reported as $40,000. The audit revealed that Local 1963 has bonding coverage with Fidelity & Deposit Company of Maryland for $45,000. Item 14 should have been reported as $45,000.
4. Officer Signatures
President Deborah Hesse signed the Form LM-2 as the treasurer of the union without explaining in Item 69 why the treasurer did not sign the report.
The completed Form LM-2 that is filed with OLMS must be signed by both the president and treasurer, or corresponding principal officers, of the labor organization. If an officer other than the president or treasurer performs the duties of the principal executive or principal financial officer, the other officer may sign the report. If an officer other than the president or treasurer signs the report, enter the correct title in the title field next to the signature and explain in Item 69 (Additional Information) why the president or treasurer did not sign the report.
I am not requiring that Local 1963 file an amended LM report for 2011 to correct the deficient items, but Local 1963 has agreed to properly report the deficient items on all future reports it files with OLMS.
I want to extend my personal appreciation to AFGE Local 1963 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.