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FY 2012 Conferences Exceeding $100,000 in Net Costs

Part I — Reporting of Conferences held during FY 2012 (since May 11, 2012) that exceeded $100,000 in net costs.

During Fiscal Year 2012, (i.e. since May 11, 2012 when the OMB guidance became effective) the Department of Labor conducted four (4) conferences in which expenses exceeded $100,000. Below, please find a listing of these four conferences to include costs, date/location of conferences, and other pertinent data.

Agency: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General
Conference Title: Continuing Professional Education Conference
Conference Expenses: $197,029.79
Location: National Conference Center, Leesburg — VA
Date: August 6, 2012 — August 10, 2012
Explanation: This conference provided 41 hours of Continuing Professional Education to Office of Inspector General (OIG) auditors and staff for just over $1,400 per participant. This professional training requirement is mandated by GAO's Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) for the OIG to maintain its audit accreditation.
Total Number of Participants: 140

Agency: U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division
Conference Title: Wage and Hour Division Investigators, BASIC I Training
Conference Expenses: Total expenses incurred: $317,972
Location: Arlington, VA
Date: July 9-27, 2012
Explanation: Basic I Investigator classroom training is designed to educate new Wage and Hour Investigators concerning the Wage and Hour Division's enforcement responsibilities and agency procedures. This training focuses primarily on the statutory provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act and applicable regulations, as well as the investigative techniques to be used in enforcing these provisions.
Total number of Participants: 49

Agency: U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division
Conference Title: Wage and Hour Division Investigators, BASIC II Training
Conference Expenses: $350,811
Location: Baltimore, MD
Date: August 13-31, 2012
Explanation: The Wage and Hour Division Basic II Investigator Training focuses on advanced regulatory knowledge and investigative skills. The curriculum includes training related to Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, the Service Contract Act, Agriculture-related Acts, including the Migrant and Seasonal Worker Protection Act, H-2A provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act and Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, H-1B and H-2B provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and portions of the Fair Labor Standards Act related to state and local government employees and workers with disabilities. The training also addresses outreach and education and investigative techniques.
Total number of Participants: 61

Agency: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
Conference Title: Current Employment Statistics (CES) National Conference
Date: August 21-23, 2012
Location: Washington, DC
Cost: $117,000
Explanation: This training was key to ensure uniformity in the analysis and dissemination of Current Employment Statistics across the country. Additionally, this meeting allowed a forum for States to communicate their concerns about the 2011 restructuring of the State & Area program of the CES.
Total number of Participants: 79

Reporting of Actions taken by the Agency to Reduce Conference Expenses

As required by Presidential Executive Order 13589 "Promoting Efficient Spending" and OMB Memorandum 12-12 "Promoting Efficient Spending to Support Agency Operations", the Department of Labor has taken the measures below to reduce spending on conferences:

  1. Established a stringent Conference Review and Approval Process by which agencies must submit all conference plans and proposed expenses for review and approval. The plans are reviewed by a conference review panel and approved by the Department's Senior Executive official for conferences. In addition, conferences that exceed $100,000 must be reviewed and approved by the Deputy Secretary, and those that exceed $500,000 are subject to a process by which the Secretary of Labor must waive federal expense limitations on conferences, review and approve. Experience indicates that conferences in excess of $500,000 are rare within the Department of Labor.
  2. Promoted the use of Webinar, WebEx, Teleconference and other electronic alternatives to in-person conference attendance, in order to reduce conference and travel expenses.
  3. Post-Conference Review Process: The Department's Office of the Chief Financial Officer has developed a post-conference review process to ensure that actual costs did not exceed that which was approved through the conference review process.
  4. Education: 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 extraneous expenses, etc. This process has resulted in reduced conference expenses.

Note: OMB Guidance does not require the reporting of net conference expenditures for the fiscal year and therefore the Department is not reporting net expenditures on its website. However, the Department maintains net conference spending data, should this become a requirement and/or if the OMB requests this data in the future.

If there are any questions concerning this reporting, or if additional information is required. Please contact Cynthia Jones, Office of the Chief Financial Officer at