Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS)
U.S. Department of Labor
Employment Standards Administration
Office of Labor-Management Standards
Atlanta District Office
61 Forsyth Street, SW
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404)562-2083 Fax: (404)562-2087
June 20, 2007
Ms. Melissa Goodman, Executive Director
American Federation of Television & Radio Artists
455 East Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30305
Re: Case Number
LM File Number: 048-190
Dear Mr. Goodman:
This office has recently completed an audit of American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (AFTRA) 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 you, President, Barry Stoltze, and Treasurer, Robert Bost on April 27, 2007, 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 both reporting and record-keeping violations.
Failure to File Bylaws
The CAP 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 constitution or bylaw changes are made. AFTRA amended its constitution and bylaws in 2005, but a copy was not filed with its LM report for that year. A copy of the constitution and bylaws has now been filed.
Deficient Annual Report
The CAP 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 AFTRA for fiscal year ending December 31, 2005, was deficient in the following areas:
1. Item 24, Column E ((All Officers and Disbursements to Officers -Allowances and Other Disbursements)
AFTRA failed to include some reimbursements to officers. Such payments appear to have been erroneously reported in the amount reported in item 48 (Office and Administrative Expense) or item 54 (Other Disbursements).
All direct disbursements to officers and some indirect disbursements made on behalf of its officers must be reported 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. An "indirect disbursement" to an officer is a payment to another party (including credit card companies) 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). Even if the officer does not receive an official salary from the local, allowances paid to the officer along with the disbursements mentioned above must be accurately reported.
I am not requiring that AFTRA file an amended LM report for 2005 to correct the deficient items, but as agreed, AFTRA will properly report the deficient items on all future reports filed with this agency. I provided you with an LM-3 Reporting Instructions Manual to assist you in filing future reports. Before filing, review the report thoroughly to be sure it is complete, accurate, and signed properly with original signatures.
Record Keeping Violation
Title II of the LMRDA establishes certain reporting and recordkeeping requirements. Section 206 requires, among other things, that adequate records be maintained for at least 5 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, all records used or received in the course of union business must be retained. This includes, in the case of disbursements, not only the retention of original bills, invoices, receipts, and vouchers, but also adequate additional documentation, if necessary, 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 note can be written on it providing the additional information. An exception may be made only in those cases where 1) other equally descriptive documentation has been maintained, and 2) there is evidence of actual oversight and control over disbursements.
The audit revealed one record-keeping violation of AFTRA failure to maintain all voided checks from the audit year. Voided checks are considered a financial record and must be maintained for a minimum of five years.
During the exit interview, you stated you would keep all of these records in the future. As agreed, provided that AFTRA maintains adequate documentation as discussed above in the future, no additional enforcement action will be taken regarding these violations.
I want to extend my personal appreciation to American Federation of Television & Radio Artists 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: Barry Stoltze, President