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FY 2003 Annual Performance Plan - Overview of the DOL Strategic Plan

2. Overview of the DOL Strategic Plan

The Department of Labor’s Strategic Plan for FY 1999–2004 outlines the mission, vision, departmental structure, three strategic goals, and attendant outcome and performance goals.  The Plan facilitates increased coordination, and fosters greater cohesion within the Department.  Through these strategic goals, DOL staff and the American public can see a direct link between the Department’s purpose, its activities, and its vision for the future.

The Department began its formal strategic and performance planning process in 1997.  A Strategic and Performance Planning Workgroup comprised of representatives of the major DOL agencieswas established to develop the Department’s Annual Performance Plans and to periodically update andrevise the Strategic Plan.  To shepherd and synchronize implementation activities to comply with the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), DOL also created a departmental GPRA staff, housed in the Office of Budget.  The Department has emphasized continuous improvement in the outcome focus of goals and performance measures as well as the effectiveness of strategies in achieving higher levels of performance during the development of each succeeding plan.  Semi-annual Program Reviews with Agency executives are held to evaluate mid- and end-of-year progress towards current annual performance goals. 

The Department’s Strategic Plan which sets the long-term objectives and direction of core mission responsibilities was originally prepared in 1997 in accordance with the requirements of GPRA.  The DOL Strategic Plan was revised most recently in the summer of 1999, primarily to reflect the programs and objectives of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), and this plan was finalized in September 2000, following the negotiation of WIA performance goals with the States.  This Strategic Plan covering FY 1999–2004 provides a framework for the Department’s FY 2003 Annual Performance Plan.

During the second quarter of FY 2002, the Department will initiate the process of updating and revising the Strategic Plan to highlight the Secretary’s vision and goals for guiding the Department to more effectively serve the needs of the 21st Century workforce.  The Secretary’s vision is to ensure that all American workers have as fulfilling and financially rewarding a career as they aspire to have and to make sure that no worker is left behind in the dynamic, global economy of the new millennium.  Both workers and employers will confront a continuing shift from manufacturing to service jobs, requiring a more skilled workforce.  The aging workforce may place increasing demands on employers to offer more choices that permit employees to balance their family and work lives, as employers seek to recruit and retain a highly skilled workforce. 

The Department of Labor, for its part, will need to adapt its strategic direction and practices to recognize the changing nature of the 21st Century workforce and workplace.  For example, the Department’s new strategies will feature the use of a variety of educational and compliance assistance approaches to persuade a much larger proportion of employers than can be reached through traditional inspection programs of the value of providing a safe and healthful work environment where all workers have opportunities for rewarding careers.  The Department will also expand choices in our programs, for example, by enlisting the participation of faith-based and community-based organizations to offer their services to workers seeking DOL assistance to meet the higher skill demands of the 21st Century economy.

The major elements addressed in the FY 1999–2004 Strategic Plan are summarized below.  These elements have provided the foundation for Departmental activities since FY 1999 and a context for the FY 2003 Annual Performance Plan, pending the update of the Strategic Plan.

2.1 Mission

The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements.  In carrying out this mission, the Department administers a variety of Federal labor laws including those that guarantee workers’ rights to safe and healthful working conditions; a minimum hourly wage and overtime pay; freedom from employment discrimination; unemployment insurance; and other income support.

2.2 Vision

We will promote the economic well-being of workers and their families, help them share in the American dream through rising wages, pensions, health benefits and expanded economic opportunities, and foster safe and healthful workplaces that are free from discrimination.

2.3 DOL Strategic Goals

Through these strategic goals, the Department, its partners, and the American public can see a direct link between the Department's mission and its activities:

A Prepared Workforce-Enhance opportunities for America's workforce
A Secure Workforce-Promote the economic security of workers and families
Quality Workplaces-Foster quality workplaces that are safe, healthy, and fair.

Associated with each of these goals are specific programs designed to implement the Department of Labor's core responsibilities. These programs are highlighted under the appropriate strategic goal in Section 4, FY 2003 Performance Goals, Strategies and Cross-Cutting Programs.

As discussed on page 3, the Department will be updating and revising DOL's strategic goals and plan during the second quarter of FY 2002 to highlight the Department's initiatives for serving the needs of the 21st Century Workforce.

2.4 DOL Organization

The Department of Labor is organized into major program areas, or agencies, each headed by an Assistant Secretary or other agency head who administers the various statutes and programs for which the Department is responsible.  These programs are carried out through a network of regional offices and a series of field, district, and area offices, as well as, in some cases, through local-level grantees and contractors.  Some of these agencies are directly responsible for the achievement of the goals described in this plan, while others provide indirect support.  The agencies are listed in alphabetical order.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB)
Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
Employment Standards Administration (ESA)
Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI)
Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP)
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management (OASAM)
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy (OASP)
Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO)
Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
Office of the Solicitor (SOL)
Office of the 21st Century Workforce
Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA)
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)
Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS)
Women’s Bureau (WB)

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