Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
U.S. Department of Labor Employment Standards Administration
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Dallas District Office
525 Griffin Street
Dallas, TX 75202
(972)850-2500 Fax: (972)850-2501
May 23, 2008
Mr. Kish Whitebird, Financial Secretary & Business Agent
111 Northeast 26th
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
LM File Number 003-077
Case Number: -
Dear Mr. Whitebird:
This office has recently completed an audit of Local 143 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 Patrica Patterson, Kevin Williams, Edward Stewart, Kendall Richard, and yourself on May 1,2008, 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.
The CAP disclosed the following:
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@) 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 Local 143's 2007 records revealed the following recordkeeping violations:
1. Credit Card Expenses
Local 143 did not retain adequate documentation for credit card expenses incurred
by Financial Secretary & Business Agent Kish Whitebird totaling at least $329. For
example, Whitebird admitted that he failed to obtain and retain receipts of gasoline purchases made with the union's gasoline credit cards. 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. Lack of Salary and Allowance Authorization
Local 143 did not maintain records to verify that the allowance reported in
Schedule 11 (All Officers and Disbursements to Officers) and the salary reported in
Schedule 12 (Disbursements to Employees) of the LM-2 was the authorized amount and therefore was correctly reported. The union must keep a record, such
as meeting minutes, to show the current salary and allowance authorized by the entity or individual in the union with the authority to establish salaries.
3. Lack of Salary Bonus Authorization
Local 143 did not maintain records to verify that the annual bonus paid to
Financial Secretary/Business Agent Kish Whitebird and Office Manager Patricia
Patterson were authorized. The union must keep a record, such as meeting minutes or a contract, to show the current salary and any salary bonuses authorized by the entity or individual in the union with the authority to establish salaries.
4. Lack of Fixed Asset Inventory
Local 143 failed to maintain an inventory of their fixed assets. Records must be
maintained that account for all union property. In the case of union furniture or
equipment, a record should include the date of purchase and cost and value of each item.
5. Auto Expenses
Financial Secretary & Business Agent Kish Whitebird received reimbursement for
business use of his personal vehicle and did not retain adequate documentation to
support payments to him and to gasoline companies Shell and Phillips/Conoco totalling at least $3,929 in 2007. Local 143 paid Shell for gasoline purchases made
by Office Manager Patricia Patterson for business use of her personal vehicle. Patterson did not retain adequate documentation to support payments made to
Shell totaling at least $143 during 2007. The union must maintain records which identify the dates of travel, locations traveled to and from, and number of miles
driven. The record must also show the business purpose of each use of a personal vehicle for business travel by an officer or employee who was reimbursed for
6. Failure to Maintain Meeting Minutes & Information not Recorded in Meeting Minutes
During the audit, you advised OLMS that the membership meetings are often
cancelled due to lack of a quorum. You also advised that Local 143 does not hold
Executive Board meetings. Local 143 was missing meeting minutes for several months in 2007. If the meetings were cancelled, then a note, indicating the meeting
was cancelled and the reason why, should be written in the meeting minutes book. OLMS requires that unions maintain adequate documentation for all expenditures.
If Local 143 authorizes disbursements in membership meetings, then the minutes of those meetings must be maintained.
Based on your assurance that Local 143 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 Form LM-2 filed by Local 143 for fiscal year ending December 31,2007, was deficient in the following areas:
1. Disbursements to Officers and Employees
Local 143 did not include some reimbursements to employees totaling at least $540
or payments made on behalf of officers and employees totaling at least $1,447 in
Schedule 11 (All Officers and Disbursements to Officers) and Schedule 12 (Disbursements to Employees). It appears that the local erroneously reported
these payments in Schedules 15 through 19. The union must report in Column F of Schedules 11 and 12 (Disbursements for Official Business) direct disbursements to officers and employees for reimbursement of expenses they incurred while conducting union business. In addition, the union must report in Column F of Schedules 11 and 12 indirect disbursements made to another party (such as a credit card company) for business expenses union personnel incur. However, the union must report in Schedules 15 through 19 indirect disbursements for business expenses union personnel incur for transportation by public carrier (such as an airline) and for temporary lodging expenses while traveling on union business. The union must report in Column G (Other Disbursements) of Schedules 11 and 12 any direct or indirect disbursements to union personnel for expenses not necessary for conducting union business.
2. Failure to File Bylaws
The audit disclosed a violation of LMRDA Section 201(a), which requires that a
union submit a copy of its revised constitution and bylaws with its LM report
when it makes changes to its constitution or bylaws. Local 143 amended its constitution and bylaws in 2005, but did not file a copy with its LM report for that
year. Local 143 has now filed a copy of its constitution and bylaws. Local 143 must file an amended Form LM-2 for fiscal year ending December 31,2007, to
correct the deficient items discussed above. I explained to you the filing procedures and the availability of filing software on the OLMS website (www.olms.dol.gov). The amended Form LM-2 must be electronically filed as soon as possible, but not later than July 7,2008. Before filing, review the report thoroughly to be sure it is complete and accurate, and properly signed with electronic signatures.
The audit disclosed the following other violation(s):
1. Inadequate Bonding
The audit revealed a violation of LMRDA Section 502 (Bonding), which requires
that union officers and employees be bonded for no less than 10 percent of the
total funds those individuals or their predecessors handled during the preceding fiscal year.
Local 143's officers and employees are currently bonded for $40,000, but they must be bonded for at least $45,813. Local 143 should obtain adequate bonding
coverage for its officers and employees immediately. Please provide proof of bonding coverage to this office as soon as possible, but not later than June 23, 2008.
I want to extend my personal appreciation to Local 143 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.
cc: Patricia Patterson, Office Manager
Kevin Williams, Vice-President
Edward Stewart, President
Kendall Richard, Sergeant-at-Arms