Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Washington District Office
800 North Capitol St. NW, Suite 120
Washington, DC 20002-4244
(202) 513-7300 Fax: (202) 513-7301
June 12, 2015
Mary Philippe, Treasurer
International Guards Union of America
Case Number: 450-6003502()
LM Number: 544-116
Dear Ms. Philippe:
This office has recently completed an audit of International Guards Union of America (IGUA) Local 150 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 Trustee Edwin Barnes and you on May 26, 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 Local 150’s 2013 records revealed the following recordkeeping violations:
1. General Reimbursed Expenses
Local 150 did not retain adequate documentation for reimbursed expenses incurred by some union officers. For example, the union did not retain receipts for some reimbursements to officers for Comcast Cable, a refrigerator, and a purchase from Walmart.
As noted above, labor organizations must retain original receipts, bills, and vouchers for all disbursements. The president or treasurer (or corresponding principal officer) of your union, who are required to sign your union’s LM report, are responsible for properly maintaining union records.
2. Meal Expenses
Local 150 did not require officers to submit itemized receipts for some meal expenses. The union must maintain itemized receipts provided by restaurants to officers and employees. These itemized receipts are necessary to determine if such disbursements are for union business purposes and to sufficiently fulfill the recordkeeping requirement of LMRDA Section 206.
In addition, Local 150’s records of meal expenses did not always include written explanations of union business conducted or the names and titles of the persons incurring the restaurant charges. Union records of meal expenses must include written explanations of the union business conducted and the full names and titles of all persons who incurred the restaurant charges. Also, the records retained must identify the names of the restaurants where the officers or employees incurred meal expenses.
3. Lost Wages
Local 150 did not retain adequate documentation for lost wage reimbursement payments to some local union officers. The union must maintain records in support of lost wage claims that identify each date lost wages were incurred, the number of hours lost on each date, the applicable rate of pay, and a description of the union business conducted.
During the exit interview, I provided a compliance tip sheet, Union Lost Time Payments, that contained a sample of an expense voucher Local 150 may use to satisfy this requirement. The sample identifies the type of information and documentation that the local must maintain for lost wages and other officer expenses.
4. Failure to Maintain Meeting Minutes
During the audit, you advised OLMS that the membership and executive board authorized financial matters at membership and executive board meetings. However, Local 150 maintained no minutes for a majority of those meetings. Minutes of all membership or executive board meetings must report any disbursement authorizations made at those meetings.
Based on your assurance that Local 150 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-3, filed by Local 150 for fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, was deficient in the following areas:
1. Disbursements to Officers
Local 150 did not include some reimbursements to officers in the amounts reported in Item 24 (All Officers and Disbursements to Officers). It appears the union erroneously reported these payments in Item 48 (Office and Administrative Expense).
The union must report most direct disbursements to Local 150 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. 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 150 amended its constitution and bylaws in 2011, but did not file a copy with its LM report for that year. Local 150 has now filed a copy of its constitution and bylaws.
I am not requiring that Local 150 file an amended LM report for 2013 to correct the deficient items, but Local 150 has agreed to properly report the deficient items on all future reports it files with OLMS.
The audit disclosed the following other violation:
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.
However, Local 150 obtained adequate bonding coverage and provided evidence of this to OLMS during the audit. As a result, OLMS will take no further enforcement action regarding this issue.
I want to extend my personal appreciation to IGUA Local 150 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.