U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Boston District Office
JFK Federal Building, Suite E-365
Boston, MA 02203
(617) 624-6690 Fax: (617) 624-6606
September 2, 2015
Mr. Tim Mahoney
Massachusetts Laborers District Council
7 Laborers Way
Hopkinton, MA 01748
Case Number: 110-6005272()
LM Number: 521-695
Dear Mr. Mahoney:
This office has recently completed an audit of Laborers Local 1144 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 August 27, 2015, 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 requires, among other things, that labor organizations maintain adequate records for at least five years by which each receipt and disbursement of funds, as well as all account balances, can be verified, explained, and clarified. As a general rule, labor organizations must maintain 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 Laborers 1144’s 2013 records revealed the following recordkeeping violations:
1. Officer Reimbursements and General Expenses
Local 1144 did not retain adequate documentation for reimbursed and general expenses incurred by the officers and union totaling at least $2,116.69. The local retained no bills for payments made to Sprint for phone service, no invoice for a purchase of flowers from Nolan’s Florist, and no receipts for reimbursements made to the treasurer for postage and copy fees.
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. Receipt Dates not Recorded
Entries in Local 1144’s receipts records reflect the date the union deposited money, but not the date money was received. Union receipts records must show the date of receipt. The date of receipt is required to verify, explain, or clarify amounts required to be reported in Statement B (Receipts and Disbursements) of the LM-3. The instructions for Statement B state that the labor organization must record receipts when it actually receives money and disbursements when it actually pays money out. Failure to record the date money was received could result in the union reporting some receipts for a different year than when it actually received them.
Based on your assurance that Local 1144 will retain adequate documentation in the future, OLMS will take no further enforcement action at this time regarding the above violations.
The audit disclosed a violation of LMRDA Section 201(b), which requires labor organizations to file annual financial reports accurately disclosing their financial condition and operations. The Labor Organization Annual Report LM-3 filed by Laborers Local 1144 for fiscal year ending December 31, 2013, was deficient in the following areas:
1. Disbursements to Officers
Local 1144 did not include some reimbursements made to officers totaling at least $4,694 in the amounts reported in Item 24 (All Officers and Disbursements to Officers). It appears that the local erroneously reported these payments in Item 48 Office & Administrative Expense and Item 54 Other Disbursements.
The union must report most direct disbursements to Local 1144 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).
2. Cash Receipts
Local 1144 did not report $95 dollars in dividends in Item 41 (Interest & Dividends) and $93.50 in Item 43 (Other Receipts).
3. Cash Reconciliation
It appears that the cash figures reported in Item 25 are not the cash figures according to the union’s books after reconciliation to the bank statements. The instructions for Item 25 state that the union should obtain account balances from its books as reconciled to the balances shown on bank statements.
Laborers Local 1144 must file an amended Form LM-3 for fiscal year ending December 31, 2013, to correct the deficient items discussed above. I advised you that the reporting forms and instructions are available on the OLMS website (www.olms.dol.gov). The amended Form LM-3 should be submitted to this office at the above address as soon as possible, but not later than September 21, 2015. Before filing, review the report thoroughly to be sure it is complete, accurate, and signed properly with original signatures.
I want to extend my personal appreciation to Laborers Local 1144 and Massachusetts Laborers District Council 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.