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Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO)

FY 2013 Conferences Exceeding $100,000 in Net Costs

Part I — Reporting of Conferences held during Fiscal Year 2013 that exceeded $100,000 in net costs.

During Fiscal Year 2013, the Department of Labor conducted one (1) conference in which direct expenses to the Department exceeded $100,000. Below, please find listed below the conference to include costs, location of conference, date, and other pertinent data.

Agency: U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
Conference Title: Managers' Meeting
Conference Expenses: $161,226.00
Location: Washington, DC
Date: July 29 - August 2, 2013
Explanation: To ensure that EBSA can effectively achieve its outcome goal of "improving health benefits and retirement security for all workers" in support of the Secretary's strategic vision of Good Jobs for Everyone. The purpose of the event was to discuss administrative, technical and legal issues that assisted with accomplishing our goals established in the FY 2013 Operating Plan. EBSA devotes considerable resources to ensuring that its management cadre is (1) knowledgeable about the varied aspects of administering a very complicated financial regulatory statute and (2) well-versed in techniques/approaches for managing a large organization — and this annual training conference was the key to our effort. The topics planned for the conference were clearly directed at supporting the agency's strategic goal, achieving production goals and improving both mission accomplishment and individual performance.
Total Number of Participants: 185 Federal Attendees

Part II — Fiscal Year 2013 Conference Overview

As required by Presidential Executive Order 13589 "Promoting Efficient Spending" and Office of Management Budget Memorandum 12-12 "Promoting Efficient Spending to Support Agency Operations", the Department of Labor continued taking steps to reduce conference spending and to ensure that appropriate policies, procedures, and controls were in place. Conference-related spending was reviewed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, Office of the Solicitor, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, and, if necessary, the Deputy Secretary.

These policy changes have generated cost-avoidances within DOL and its agencies. For instance, agencies have reevaluated their training and conference plans. This has led to either a reduction in events or more being held locally. Further, component agencies are increasing the use of video teleconferencing in lieu of in person meetings while also strengthening internal management oversight and controls. As responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, DOL is dedicated to planning and executing DOL conferences as cost-effectively as possible.

Additionally, the Department's conference review panel regularly meets and confers with requesting agencies to provide agency personnel with guidance on methods to reduce spending, to include reducing the number of attendees in travel status, reducing the level of contracting expenses, etc. This process has resulted in reduced conference expenses.

Through a robust conference process, DOL cleared 137 request packages which had total costs of over $2.7 million to the Department for the 2013 Fiscal Year.

DOL hosted a variety of conferences and trainings throughout the year. These ranged from:

  • Compliance Assistance Forums which provide information to the general public about new and existing regulations.
  • YouthBuild Grantee events that allows for the completion of certifications along with sharing of best practices for grantees throughout the country.
  • Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) System Redesign Meetings that facilitates the redesign of the testing project plan for the QCEW system.
  • Component agency regional meetings designed to keep staff informed and up to date.

If there are any questions concerning this reporting, or if additional information is required, please contact Robert Balin, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, at