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Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)


U.S. Department of Labor

Office of Labor-Management Standards
Kansas City Resident Investigator Office
Two Pershing Square Bldg.
2300 Main Street, Suite 1000
Kansas City, MO 64108
(816) 502-0290 Fax: (816) 502-0288





January 21, 2016



Mrs. Rebekah Stafford, Treasurer
AFGE Local 1612
1455 North Sherman Ave.
Springfield, MO 65802
Case Number: 510-6006483
LM Number: 503347


Dear Mrs. Stafford:

This office has recently completed an audit of AFGE Local 1612 under the Compliance Audit Program (CAP) to determine your organization’s compliance with the provisions of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA), 5 U.S.C. 7120, and the Department's regulations, 29 CFR 458. As discussed during the exit interview with you and President Karrie Wright on January 19, 2016, 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.

Recordkeeping Violations

Title II of the LMRDA establishes certain reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Section 206 of the LMRDA and Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) Section 403.7 require, among other things, that labor organizations maintain adequate records for at least five years after reports are filed by which the information on the reports can be verified, explained and clarified. Pursuant to 29 C.F.R. Section 458.3, this recordkeeping provision of the LMRDA applies to labor organizations subject to the requirements of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA) as well. Therefore, as a general rule, labor organization must retain 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 1612’s 2014 records revealed the following recordkeeping violations:

1. General Expenses


Local 1612 did not retain adequate documentation for expenses incurred by union officers totaling at least $7,588. For example, the local did not retain a hotel receipt in the amount of $373.84, and the local did not retain an airline receipt in the amount of $523.00

As 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. Meal Expenses


Local 1612 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. For example, the local officers purchased numerous meals from Hy-Vee without including the names and titles of the persons incurring the charges or the union business conducted. 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.

Based on your assurance that Local 1612 will retain adequate documentation in the future, OLMS will take no further enforcement action at this time regarding the above violations.

Other Issues

1. Expense Policy


As I discussed during the exit interview with you, the audit revealed that Local 1612 does not have a clear policy regarding when the union will pay for officer meals. OLMS recommends that unions adopt written guidelines concerning such matters.

I want to extend my personal appreciation to AFGE Local 1612 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.

Sincerely,


Investigator


cc: Mrs. Karrie Wright, President