U.S. Department of Labor E-Government Strategic Plan
Web site: http://www.Benefits.gov
The Department is the managing partner for this PPI. GovBenefits.gov provides citizens with access to information on all government benefit programs and services through a single Internet Web site. By providing information on their income, marital or employment status, family size, and other basic matters (a process that usually takes between 5 and 15 minutes), citizens are guided to a list of the benefits they may be eligible to receive. Program descriptions and contact information are provided for each benefit program.
The initial release of GovBenefits.gov (April 2002) features an easy-to-use online screening tool to help individuals or caseworkers determine eligibility for a range of government programs. Benefit programs are regularly added to the site, which now includes 200 programs, worth more than $1.3 trillion. The site averages 480,000 visitors each month.
The GovBenefits.gov initiative reduces the time that individuals must spend trying to identify and access relevant information about relevant government benefit programs. The sites long-term vision is to enable individuals to actually apply for benefits online through a streamlined application process.
Initiative: DOL National Call Center and Web Services Web site: www.dol.gov and internal DOL intranet
DOL has implemented a national call center that strategically aligns with the USA Services PPI. The call center, which was launched in September 2001, is the first cabinet-level department-wide toll-free call center and now receives more than 100,000 calls per month from citizens and businesses.
The vision for the call center is not just to provide a phone line but to offer a coordinated customer relationship management (CRM) approach using several media, or channels, including phone, fax, Web, e-mail, regular mail, and in-person fieldwork. The call center is also a key component of the Departments efforts to improve compliance assistance.
The Departments Web sites are playing an increasingly important role in communication between DOL and the public and its employees. The Department is now reorganizing the management of all DOL Web sites to improve dissemination of information. The major goals of the management reorganization include improving presentation and consistency of material to improve customer access to information, improving content management to ensure consistency with departmental policy, and improving technical management to ensure consistency with departmental technical standards.
PeoplePower is the DOLs project to implement an integrated human resources and payroll system using the PeopleSoft Federal Human Resources Management System. When implementation is complete, non-integrated legacy systems will be supplanted by a single integrated system that will provide increased access to information and streamlined processes.
In Phase 1 (implemented in June 1998), PeoplePower became the DOL system of record for human resources. Phase 2 added enhanced reporting capabilities using an online analytical processing (OLAP) tool, incorporated budgeting into the position management process, and implemented a training administration module.
Phase 3 introduced WebPARs, DOLs electronic solution for accessing core personnel information. This has replaced the paper SF-52 process and is accessible online to managers, administrative personnel, budget officers, and authorizers. Phase 4 will institute PeopleTime, a Web-based time and attendance application, available to all DOL employees, for entering timesheet data. PeopleTime can be used from any approved access point to the intranet and draws data directly from, and uploads time and attendance information directly to, PeoplePower. It will provide employees with more accurate timesheet processing and up-to-date access to information.
Through use of PeoplePower, the Department is adopting a number of government and industry best practices to provide improved services and greatly enhanced information accessibility, bringing the power of information to your fingertips.
DOL is in the process of implementing an enterprise-wide eProcurement system to align with the Integrated Acquisition Environment (IAE) Presidential Priority Initiative, led by the General Services Administration (GSA). The IAE seeks to create a common Internet Web site to support a government-wide acquisition marketplace that provides a set of extended capabilities, such as eCatalogs and vendor databases, that can be managed as shared services by all Federal agencies. The Web site would include vendor registration and streamlined ordering, billing, and collections processes. The initiative will reduce processing costs and timeframes, while improving managers ability to plan and make decisions.
By implementing its eProcurement system, DOL will be able to apply commercial best practices to performance of Department procurement activities. Specifically, this system will enable DOL to leverage technology to standardize and streamline procurement processes, lower purchasing and operating costs, ensure reliable and accurate financial information, and improve customer service.
DOL is one of several Federal agency partners in the eGrants PPI, led by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). With its grant-making sub-agencies, DOL is preparing to accept grant applications submitted through the Federal grants storefront and is creating the capability to automate grants review and management workflow. When this capability is implemented, all grant-making agencies at DOL will benefit from streamlined, more user-friendly processes, reduced paperwork, and improved capabilities to monitor and evaluate grant programs.
DOL has six agencies with granting authority. The Department is seeking to establish a common electronic platform to improve the flow of grant data throughout the six authorizing agencies and to enable full life-cycle online management of the grants process. In the first phase of the eGrants initiative, find and apply, grant applications are being examined to consolidate the application data DOL needs to ensure that the eGrants Storefront meets the Departments needs. Subsequently, DOL will update its eGrant requirements to enable it to evaluate and select a solution that will allow DOL and its agencies to fulfill the objectives of the eGrants Storefront and E-Government.
Initiative: OASAMs Paper Check Conversion Process
The Department of Labor has transitioned from a bank lockbox system to a Paper Check Conversion (PCC) process in handling all administrative checks submitted to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management (OASAM). Funds are debited from customer accounts and are deposited in the U.S. Treasury within 24 hours after scanning. This speeds up the deposit process and increases interest earned by the U. S. Government. Centralization of the check handling process in the Chicago region is more efficient as one Financial Management Specialist and one Accountant handle the entire process rather than staff from 6 different regions. Reports are generated quarterly so that the Department can now know what administrative checks are being received by DOL agencies. The U.S. Treasury provides the software and the Federal Reserve Bank provides the hardware. The system allows us to search for check images for up to seven years, which allows us to avoid filing the original checks.
Initiative: eLawsEmployment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses Web site: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/
The eLaws Advisors are interactive tools that provide information about Federal employment laws. Each Advisor simulates an interaction between the user and an employment law expert. It asks questions and provides answers based on the users responses.
Initiative: Employment and Standards Administration (ESA) Office of Labor-Management StandardsLabor Organization Annual Report Web site: http://www.dol.gov/olms/regs/compliance/electronic-forms.htm
ESA now enables union officers in 14,000 labor unions across the country to sign and submit their annual reports electronically. Union officers use a digital signature and submit the report over the Internet.
Initiative: ESA Wage and Hour DivisionDavis-Bacon Wage Survey
ESA enables 37,500 construction contractors and other businesses to provide wage data and other information electronically.
Initiative: Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) eLaws Training Plan
MSHA enables the more than 5,000 mines and independent mine contractors to electronically provide there required training plans. The MSHA Training Plan Advisor provides background information and compliance assistance to better train workers to improve mine safety. In August 2002, MSHAs Web site was rated as one of the top Federal Web sites for the services it includes, help features, ease of navigation, legitimacy, and accessibility. (The State of Federal Websites: The Pursuit of Excellence; The PricewaterhouseCoopers Endowment for the Business of Government, August 2002)
Initiative: ETA Foreign Labor CertificationLabor Condition Application
The Employment Training Administration (ETA) has implemented a labor condition application (LCA) online system to enable the 50,000 employers who intend to temporarily hire alien workers to file their LCAs electronically. Within minutes of submission, the system automatically notifies the employer whether its LCA is certified or denied. The system also provides information about next steps employers must take once the Department has granted the certification.
Initiative: BLSReport on Employment, Payroll, and Hours Web site: http://www.bls.gov/sae/
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) now enables more than 350,000 businesses to use a form to provide detailed industry data on the employment, hours, and earnings of workers on non-farm payrolls. States then electronically transmit the sample data to BLS each month. This electronic process has reduced the burden of survey collection by more than 88,000 hours.
Initiative: OSHAOnline Rulemaking
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Online Technical Information Retrieval System (TIRS) has been in existence since 1983. This system is fully Web enabled, so that the public can access the docket, as well as provide comments and attach documents in support of their comments. The public also has access to comments. This initiative is consistent with, and is coordinating with, the Online Rulemaking Presidential Priority E-Government Initiative.
OSHA maintains a database containing online rulemaking information; historic OSHA standards and information; OSHA committee activity; state plan and consultation activity; National Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) and variance applications; information collection requests (ICR); and an OSHA card catalog and index of records for technical books, studies, and reports.
The Department has developed an internal E-Government scorecard to measure performance of DOL agencies on their progress on E-Government. The categories for evaluation on the scorecard are
- Mission Alignment - measuring alignment with Federal and departmental strategic plans, including the Presidents Management Agenda
- Architecture Compliance - measuring compliance with the Federal and departmental enterprise architectures
- Security Compliance - measuring compliance with the various security statutes and regulations including the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).
- Project Management - measuring compliance with the Departments capital planning process, system development life-cycle guidance, and risk analysis.
Agencies are rated in each of these four categories and also receive an overall E-Government rating of green, yellow, or red. Because of the increased emphasis on security, any red ratings in the security category automatically translate into an overall red rating.
The Department is using the E-Government scorecard to help keep track of agency progress on E-Government initiatives and to help contribute to OMBs semiannual scoring of agency progress on the Presidents Management Agenda. The DOL E-Government scorecard template is provided on the following page.