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Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)

OLMS News

Number: 09-04

April 6, 2004

Additional Revised Form LM-2 Frequently Asked Questions

The Department of Laborís Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) has posted additional information to the Revised Form LM-2 Frequently Asked Questions.

Below are new questions that we have recently posted to our Web site at http://www.olms.dol.gov. This is in addition to the most recent update on April 1, 2004 (OLMS News 08-04). Should you have any follow-up questions please feel free to submit them via e-mail to OLMS at: olms-public@dol.gov.

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Revised Form LM-2 - Frequently Asked Questions

Computer and Software Requirements

Q. Why does the download time to import large files take so long and sometimes lock up the computer?

A. A union with a large volume of data files should use the software's attachment feature, as explained in the User Guide, which will drastically reduce the download time. Our tests have demonstrated that using the attachment feature and completing the schedules one at a time will enable users to achieve timely and accurate downloads.

Q. Why can't we edit the attachments?

A. As the User Guide indicates, the software was not designed to allow attachments to be edited in the viewer. Edits can be made by adjusting the import file and re-attaching the data, thereby erasing the old information. Individual schedules can be either overwritten by a new import, or individual items in the schedule can be edited within the form if the attachment feature was not used.

Q. Why can't the importation process be stopped or canceled?

A. The inability to cancel during the importation process is the result of an intentional design decision. This prevents partial imports and invalid data entries. When using any software program, it is always a good idea to save your work frequently to avoid lost data.

Q. Why doesn't the software determine whether a receipt or disbursement should be aggregated or individually itemized on the form?

A. The software was not designed to perform this function. As the Data Specifications Document (DSD), provided to the public on October 3, 2003, made clear, the union's import file must already indicate to which schedule a group of transactions should be allocated, and itemized transactions must be clearly marked as such. Prior to download, the aggregated transactions must already be summed by the union.

Q. Why doesn't the data validation function detect more errors?

A. The data validation function is designed to detect the errors that can be measured based on data entered relative to the filing instructions for the form. It is not designed to catch every potential error, but will help unions provide a more correct report, saving time and money associated with preparing amended reports.

Q. Why are unions forced into rounding before they can load their information into the Form LM-2?

A. Form LM-2 has always called for whole numbers, and the software was not designed to round imported figures to the nearest dollar.

Q. Why are individuals (or entities) in Schedule 1 who have the same name treated as one individual for purposes of reporting transactions?

A. Entities with the same name downloaded into Schedule 1 are not treated as a single entity; the software does not aggregate data.

Q. Why, in Schedule 12, which only requires reporting for employees who were paid more than $10,000, does the software process all records, including those with amounts of less than $10,000 (including amounts of $0)?

A. Schedule 12 was not designed to aggregate data concerning employees whose annual salary is $10,000 or less, and who thus need not be individually reported. In fact, if a reporting labor organization chooses to provide itemized data for employees compensated below the $10,000 threshold, the information will be accepted.

Q. Can the field lengths be extended? They were too short in the beta software for the length of actual data.

A. Field lengths have been doubled, thus requiring fewer abbreviations.

Q. Why does the software require an explanation every time a manual change is made in a beginning balance, even if the change is made simply to correct an erroneous entry?

A. The software is designed to require an explanation when a beginning balance is changed because the software pre-fills this field with the ending balance from the union's report for the previous year. Absent an explanation, these figures should be identical.

Q. Why is scrolling through the form so time-consuming?

A. As stated in the User Guide, using the "thumbnails" on the left side of the screen is a preferred way of navigating the form.

Q. Why did Schedule 1 of the beta version not permit the user to enter a liquidated receivable as a write-off?

A. This bug was caught during the beta period; the software has been corrected and the corrected function fully tested.

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Last Updated: 03/26/04