|November 5, 2008|
FY 2008 Performance Budget Overview
The Department of Labor's (DOL) FY 2008 Performance Budget reflects the FY 2006 FY 2011 Strategic Plan, published on September 29, 2006. This plan provides a revised set of strategic goals and targets in the Department's continuing effort to focus on meeting the challenges of the future. It also continues the effort to improve the integration of the Department's performance objectives with resource requirements into a performance-budget submission. The FY 2008 request is $ 10.6 billion in discretionary budget authority and 16,869 full-time equivalents employees (FTE).
The FY 2008 performance budget builds upon the Department's FY 2006 FY 2011 Strategic Plan goals of A Prepared Workforce, A Competitive Workforce, Safe and Secure Workplaces, and Strengthened Economic Protections. This performance budget meets the Annual Performance Plan requirement under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), and sets out specific annual performance targets and the strategies to attain them.
Because of the variety of Departmental agency missions and their extensive and wide-ranging performance goals, this Overview section provides key agency goals that will be reflected in the Department's FY 2008 Annual Performance and Accountability Report. Appendix I provides changes to goals included in the FY 2007 Performance Budget Overview and to Program Year 2006 goals. These goals will be reported in the FY 2007 Performance and Accountability Report. Appendix II indicates changes in Program Year 2007 goals from the FY 2007 Performance Budget Overview that will be reported in the FY 2008 Performance and Accountability Report.
The Department's FY 2008 budget format provides a Performance Chapter for each of the Department's agencies. This easy-to-find section allows the reader a single source of performance information and associated resources in a clear and concise manner in accordance with the requirements of GPRA. It includes program performance information as it relates to DOL's strategic goals performance goals, indicators, targets, and prior year results along with Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART) evaluations and recommendations, and agency efficiency measures.
The mission of DOL is to promote the welfare of the Nation's job seekers, wage earners, and retirees by improving working conditions, enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act, expanding opportunities for training and employment, protecting retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find qualified workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements.
The FY 2008 budget submission focuses on the following Departmental priorities:
In addition to these program-specific priorities, the Department has been making steady and significant progress in implementing the President's Management Agenda (PMA) and the PART. As of June 30, 2005, DOL became the first Department to attain Green scores in all five government-wide PMA initiatives: Strategic Management of Human Capital, Competitive Sourcing, Improved Financial Performance, Expanded Electronic Government, and Budget and Performance Integration. The Department also achieved Green scores in the agency-specific initiatives of Eliminating Improper Payments and Faith-based and Community Initiative. The Real Property initiative has a Yellow status score with Green in progress. The Department's focus on these priority areas resulted in accomplishments that include revamping the Department's performance management system including tying performance standards to DOL strategic goals and completing 22 competitions involving 409 FTE positions resulting in savings totaling $36.4 million over five years. In addition, in support of Expanded Electronic Government, the Department serves as the managing partner of GovBenefits.gov a partnership of Federal agencies with a shared vision: to provide improved, personalized access to government assistance programs.
The Department has also conducted PART reviews of key programs and implemented follow-up recommendations. Thirty-two programs have been reviewed to date, and agencies are using PART recommendations to improve performance measures and targets, develop efficiency measures, and focus program evaluations. A more detailed discussion of the PMA and PART can be found at the conclusion of the Performance Budget Overview. Agency budget submissions include program-related discussion of PART reviews and displays of recommendations and implementation status.
To accomplish the Secretary's priorities in FY 2008, DOL will use its resources to accomplish four strategic goals and supporting performance goals. These goals embrace the range of authorized employment and labor programs administered by the Department. The four strategic goals and supporting performance goals form the basis of the annual targets and associated strategies and resource requirements and are presented in greater detail within the agency performance-budgets. The Department will measure its accomplishments in FY 2008 using the key agency goals identified below.
As shown in the following table, the President's 2008 Budget requests $10.6 billion in discretionary budget authority for DOL. In addition, the Budget includes $39.8 billion in mandatory spending.
The following charts illustrate how the FY 2008 DOL Request supports each Strategic Goal:
Strategic Goal 1 A Prepared Workforce: Develop a prepared workforce by providing effective training and support services to new and incumbent workers and supplying high quality information on the economy and labor market.
A strong national economy depends, in part, on preparing new and returning entrants to the workforce with the right skills for today's jobs. Many industries and sectors of the economy will be adding new jobs or transforming their business processes, requiring new and different worker skills. Service-providing, rather than goods-producing, industries will account for most of the new jobs created. Employment in the largest two occupational groups, professional and related occupations and service occupations, is expected to increase the fastest.
Individuals entering the workforce need current and reliable information on occupations to identify growth industries, earnings potential, and skill requirements and will need access to educational opportunities to qualify for those jobs. Being prepared means public officials, business owners, and individuals need to be knowledgeable about trends in the global, national, and local economies. They need up-to-date, high-quality labor market information to formulate public policy, negotiate a purchasing agreement, or decide what field to pursue as a career. The Department plays a crucial role in public and private decision-making processes by producing statistics that are timely, accurate, and relevant.
Through the FY 2008 budget, the Department continues to position itself to meet the employment needs of the workforce by aligning its programs with the emerging demands of industries within the worldwide economy. While employers and workers bear ultimate responsibility for adapting to the challenges of a global economy, the Department has a responsibility to help them.
DOL recognizes that particular groups of returning and new entrants to the workforce face unique challenges. These groups include at-risk and out-of-school youth, veterans returning from service to their country, people with disabilities, women making a significant work-life transition, and ex-offenders re-entering the workforce. Through targeted training and outreach programs and partnerships, the Department provides comprehensive services that enable these groups to achieve their employment goals. As workforce growth slows, every participant's contribution becomes vitally important for a healthy economy.
DOL focuses on both education and workforce skills when developing programs and strategies for youth. One key predictor of economic success is education. As educational attainment levels increase, the unemployment rate decreases. Given this correlation, the Department makes a meaningful investment in at-risk teenagers and young adults to help them become productive and self-sufficient members of the nation's workforce.
To meet these challenges, the workforce system has developed several strategies to ensure services go to the neediest youth, with particular emphasis on out-of-school youth, and to develop demand-driven strategies that will cultivate a pipeline of young workers with skills for the 21st Century economy. DOL will coordinate better utilization of resources across Federal programs and within communities; increase the focus on program performance outcomes; and identify and determine how best to replicate employer-based models.
DOL is committed to developing innovative strategies and programs for women who often experience several transitions during the course of their careers. The Department is developing a multi-regional demonstration project that serves women who are making a significant transition in their work lives. Each region focuses on a different target population of women in transition representing a spectrum of work-life needs, such as spouses of active duty military reservists, women recovering from substance abuse, baby boomers changing careers, and families in need recipients striving for self-sufficiency.
DOL Agencies supporting A Prepared Workforce are the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Office of Job Corps, Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), and the Women's Bureau (WB).
In FY 2008, the Department proposes to dedicate $2.5 billion of its discretionary budget authority for agency-specific strategies supporting the Prepared Workforce strategic goal. These strategies include $574 million for labor statistics programs, $1.7 billion for employment and training programs, and $206 million for veterans' programs.
Performance Goal: Improve information available to decision-makers on labor market conditions, and price and productivity changes.
The Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is an independent national statistical agency that collects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates essential statistical data to the American public, the U.S. Congress, other Federal agencies, State and local governments, business, and labor. BLS provides statistical information that supports the formulation of economic and social policy, decisions in the business and labor communities, legislative and other programs affecting labor, and research on labor market issues. These important policies and decisions affect virtually all Americans.
The Department identified several strategies to support the goal of producing statistics that are relevant, timely, and accurate. The Department will better inform the public by increasing customer awareness and appropriate use of existing data products and will use feedback gathered from data users to determine how the data or dissemination media could be changed to better serve the American public. DOL will build value through innovation by analyzing and evaluating new economic survey methods, new technologies, and new survey design and collection approaches; and sponsoring research and evaluations by known experts to determine how best to improve BLS data.
Performance Goal: Improve educational achievements of Job Corps students, and increase participation of Job Corps graduates in employment and education.
Economically disadvantaged youth often face multiple barriers to gainful employment. Through 122 centers nationwide, the Job Corps program provides intensive training to more than 60,000 youth ages 16 through 24. Students receive academic and vocational training as well as social education and other support services, such as housing, transportation and family support resources. By incorporating the best thinking, research, and practices of business, education, labor, and other partners, the program strives to be the nation's premier career-focused, alternative education pipeline for disadvantaged youth.
Key strategies include implementing new data validation procedures; reporting performance using common job training performance measures; and implementing integrated competency-based career and academic training. As a campus-based residential program, the Department will continue to examine its physical assets to determine whether they are being fully utilized and supporting the mission. The program is improving outreach and recruitment services and will continue to examine ways to reduce the share of students who drop out of the program and improve services overall. The Job Corps program will more effectively train its students by adopting system-wide strategies and models, innovative curricula and applied academics, and prioritizing industry sectors to determine in-demand career skills.
Performance Goal: Increase placements and educational attainments of youth served through the WIA youth program.
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) youth program is an important component of an integrated workforce system. WIA authorizes services to low-income youth (age 14-21) with barriers to employment. Eligible youth are deficient in basic skills or are homeless, are a runaway, are pregnant or parenting, are offenders, school dropouts, or foster children. The program serves both in- and out-of-school youth, including youth with disabilities and other youth who may require specialized assistance to complete an educational program or to secure and hold employment. Service providers prepare youth for employment and post-secondary education by stressing linkages between academic and occupational learning. They also assist youth by providing tutoring, alternative schools, summer employment, occupational training, work experience, supportive services, leadership development, mentoring, counseling, and follow-up services.
The Department has outlined a new strategic vision for the delivery of youth services under WIA. This vision emphasizes that out-of-school youth and those most at risk of dropping out are an important part of the new workforce that will be needed to fill job vacancies in the knowledge economy. WIA-funded youth programs will help connect these youth with quality secondary and post-secondary educational opportunities and high-growth and other employment opportunities. Efforts are now focused on four major areas: alternative education, demand-driven strategies for serving youth that provide them with the skills businesses need, serving the neediest youth, and improved performance.
Performance Goal: Improve the registered apprenticeship system to meet the training needs of business and workers in the 21st Century.
The Department is redesigning the registered apprenticeship system to address employers' demand for efficiency, reliability, openness, and responsiveness. Established by the National Apprenticeship Act of 1937, the National Registered Apprenticeship System operates in cooperation with State agencies, businesses, program sponsors, industry leaders, employers, employer associations and educational institutions. As the nationally recognized credentialing system for skilled, craft, and technical trade training programs throughout the U.S., the program's effectiveness is largely defined by its ability to prepare qualified workers who meet the needs of employers. To meet this need, the Department identified several primary opportunities for improvement to promote a demand-driven system.
To strengthen program outcomes, DOL will increase the linkages of apprenticeship programs with other workforce development and educational systems and strengthen the demand-driven nature of apprenticeship through industry involvement. DOL will expand the credentialing process and increase options for career development within an occupational or industry apprenticeship system. The Department recognizes the voluntary nature of the Apprenticeship program's relationships with employers, State Apprenticeship Councils/Agencies and State Workforce Agencies influences its ability to capture information consistent with the Federal job training program common measures, but believes that capturing comprehensive data on participants' employment outcomes is critical to knowing whether the programs are successful. To encourage States' cooperation and improve the quality of performance data, Apprenticeship has been expanding its Registered Apprenticeship Information System (RAIS) electronic registration project. The program is also working to increase the participation of women in registered apprenticeship programs.
Performance Goal: Improve the employment outcomes for veterans who receive One-Stop Career Center services and Homeless Veterans' Program services.
The Department helps veterans find jobs by funding grants to State Workforce Agencies for the delivery of employment and workforce information services through One-Stop Career Centers in local communities. These grants support Disabled Veteran Outreach Program specialists dedicated to serving veterans who need special employment assistance due to disabilities or barriers to employment. These grants also support Local Veterans Employment Representative (LVER) staff members, who conduct outreach to area employers to identify their employment needs, and develop employment opportunities for veterans. LVER staff members also provide transition employment assistance workshops to service members prior to their separation from the armed services.
The Department also serves targeted veterans such as homeless veterans and seriously injured veterans who need individualized employment assistance in order to reenter the workforce. The Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program (HVRP) and the Veterans' Workforce Investment Program are funded through a competitive grant process. Funding is open to a wide range of program operators, including State and local governments, faith-based organizations, and other community-based organizations. These grants are closely linked with other service providers to optimize their effectiveness in delivering employment services. For example, HVRP grants are closely coordinated with grant programs administered by the Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Veterans Affairs and other community resources that support related interventions, such as substance abuse treatment.
DOL continues to undertake specific program initiatives to meet the emerging needs of veterans and to assure continuous improvement in the services provided. DOL is developing and implementing State Workforce Agency performance standards to improve employment outcomes for veterans. DOL will continue to work effectively to address homelessness among veterans and problems faced by distinct veteran group such as the disabled and aging. DOL is expanding the Recovery and Employment Assistance Lifelines program and its crosscutting
Strategic Goal 2 A Competitive Workforce: Meet the competitive labor demands of the worldwide economy by enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the workforce development and regulatory systems that assist workers and employers in meeting the challenges of global competition.
Three trends are transforming the American workforce and the manner in which people work:
The world has become dramatically more interconnected and competitive. Advances in the fields of communication, technology and travel have greatly diminished national borders as barriers to global commerce. The country's economic development and competitive advantage depend on the competitiveness of the workforce one that creates new products, makes better products, and brings them to the market faster.
To succeed, policies must embrace the emerging changes in our economy in how people work, where they work, what skills they need, and how they balance professional and family lives. The fastest growing jobs of the future will need to be filled by knowledge workers who have specialized skills and training. The demand for knowledge workers is growing and many of the fastest growing jobs, on average, require postsecondary credentials.
An increasingly competitive and worldwide economy will put require changes in the current regulatory construct. Historically, the Department of Labor developed labor policies and programs under conditions of labor surpluses and based employment laws and regulations on traditional, full-time, long-term work arrangements. Over the next two decades, the relevance of these, and other assumptions will be challenged.
The nation's future success will largely depend on the ability to continue to meet the needs of employers for new and skilled workers. To this end, DOL must ensure that the workforce investment system is responsive to the changing needs of business and is focused on linking job seekers with opportunities in high-growth industries. DOL will strengthen partnerships among the workforce investment system, business and industry, education and training providers, faith-based and community organizations, and economic development agencies. These partnerships are critical to understanding the skills demanded by the labor market and will enable the Department to make informed investments in job training. Furthermore, DOL will take the necessary steps to ensure that tools and information are available to help match workers with employers. Finally, the workforce investment system will reach out to every available worker to ensure there are enough skilled workers and to help maintain the nation's competitiveness.
Departmental programs supporting this goal focus on the continued retooling of the workforce and refinement of a workforce investment system that is responsive to a demand-driven economy addressing employer skill needs that are geared toward technological advancements and global competition. Similarly, our regulatory strategies and approaches have been retooled to promote the greater flexibility desired by workers and employers. Employment-related laws, regulations and regulatory practices have been reconsidered to ensure they do not impose unnecessary costs on employers without yielding corresponding benefits to the workforce and the economy.
Many employers, to compete more effectively in the highly competitive global economy, have restructured their companies, and increasingly relied on non-traditional employment practices that include part-time, temporary, and contractor-supplied workers. At the same time, many Americans have difficulty balancing work demands with their personal lives.
The Department will promote the greater flexibility desired by workers and employers. This includes examining the regulatory environment employment-related laws, regulations and regulatory practices in light of non-traditional work arrangements and the need to reduce regulatory burdens. Some regulations written decades ago may no longer be applicable or effective; they may impose costs on employers without yielding corresponding benefits to the workforce. The shift to knowledge work will also reinforce the ongoing trend of non-traditional work arrangements.
The Department is building a workforce investment system that is more adaptable, demand-driven, less administratively costly, and able to train greater numbers of individuals by undertaking specific, critical strategies that reflect and will lead to system-wide improvements. To accomplish this significant undertaking, the Department will implement multiple, integrated approaches that examine key partnerships, educational models, service delivery, and strategies to maximize resources. DOL is establishing strategic partnerships with education and business and prioritizing the use of system resources to respond to business' needs for labor and skills. The Department is increasing system focus on understanding, predicting, and populating the high-growth marketplace, using models and lessons developed by the President's High Growth Job Training Initiative and identifying competency models for new and incumbent workers, particularly in high-growth industries.
To maximize resources, workforce systems are introducing additional innovative, consumer-controlled, and less staff intensive methods of adult worker preparation. Enhancing the system's role as labor market and career advisor will help workers and businesses make self-directed, informed choices in preparing for their future. The Department is examining workforce education approaches and developing strategies for a regional, integrated approach to workforce development, economic development, and education. Integrating system services (such as the array of separate, congressionally authorized programs for dislocated workers), further using and expanding the existing public infrastructure (such as the nationwide network of community colleges, vocational, adult and special education programs, and apprenticeships), as well as reducing duplication and achieving economies of scale will maximize resources and minimize duplication of services. The Department is working to increase the number of adults and dislocated workers, being trained by the workforce investment system.
To measure performance, the Department's employment and training programs use a set of common performance measures, an integral part of the performance accountability system. They serve as a uniform management and oversight tool for the workforce investment system by describing the core purposes of programs using a universal language. While workforce services vary from program to program, two core purposes are employment for adults and skill attainment for youth. Data collection focuses on how many people found jobs; whether they stay employed; and what they earned.
In order to ensure competitive and quality workplaces the Department, through work conducted by the Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB), promotes internationally-recognized workers rights and labor standards, including those that relate to the elimination of exploitive child labor. Key strategies for this contribution to the competitiveness of the American workplace include research, monitoring and reporting on international labor developments, including the labor dimension of U.S. trade and investment agreements, and the application of labor standards, and the newly mandated responsibilities of monitoring and combating forced labor and child labor carried out in foreign countries. The Department also participates in policy development and representation in the negotiation of trade agreements and in international organizations such as the International Labor Organization, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and other international forums where labor issues are addressed. The Department assists in the formulation of international economic and labor policies and programs that lead to open markets globally and benefit U.S. workers.
Performance goals and major initiatives that support A Competitive Workforce are managed by six DOL agencies the Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy (OASP), the Women's Bureau (WB), the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), and ILAB.
The Department's $3.8 billion of FY 2008 discretionary funding will contribute to maintaining a Competitive Workforce through efforts to address worker shortages in sectors of the American economy and build a demand-driven workforce system. Included in this goal is $3.7 billion for employment and training programs, $18.6 million to support policies and practices for disabled workers, and $8.2 million to assist veterans.
Performance Goal: Increase the employment, retention, and earnings of individuals registered under the Workforce Investment Act Adult program.
The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Adult program is designed to help adult workers (employed and unemployed) acquire the skills and jobs they need to compete in a global economy. WIA Adult program funds are provided by formula to States and local communities, which operate statewide networks of One-Stop Career Centers. The Centers provide a continuum of seamlessly-integrated services (including services under the Wagner-Peyser Act and the WIA Dislocated Worker program) which reflect comprehensive assistance to workers and employers. States also use the WIA Adult program to leverage additional, non-federal resources in order to increase the quality and variety of assistance they are able to offer.
Performance Goal: Increase the employment, retention, and earnings of individuals registered under the Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker program.
The Workforce Investment Act Dislocated Worker program aims to quickly reemploy laid off workers and preferably to enhance their employability and earnings by increasing occupational skills. The Department allocates 80 percent of the WIA Dislocated Worker funds by formula to the States. The Secretary may use the remaining 20 percent for discretionary activities specified in the Workforce Investment Act, including assistance to localities that suffer plant closings, mass layoffs or job losses due to natural disasters and military base realignment and closures. The Dislocated Worker program often is part of a continuum of seamlessly-integrated services (including services under the Wagner-Peyser Act and the WIA Adult program) which reflect comprehensive assistance to workers and employers. States also use the WIA Dislocated Worker program to leverage additional, non-federal resources in order to increase the quality and variety of assistance they are able to offer.
Performance Goal: Improve outcomes for job seekers and employers who receive One-Stop employment and workforce information services.
A fundamental underpinning of the nation's One-Stop Career Centers is the delivery of core employment and workforce information services to a universal population of both businesses and job seekers. Funded principally through WIA, the Wagner-Peyser Act, and the Title 38 programs administered by the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), employment and workforce information services are designed to help workers (employed and unemployed) obtain jobs and give employers access to skilled workers to compete in the global economy. Providing effective employment and workforce information services that recognize the uniqueness of local/regional labor market conditions and the needs of workers is key to achieving successful outcomes for both workers and employers. Such services are provided in collaboration with a wide array of One-Stop partners and are fully integrated for seamless service delivery to customers. Core employment and workforce information services are part of a continuum of core, intensive, and training services available through One-Stop Centers.
Employment services are provided universally to customers at no charge, with special emphasis on services for Unemployment Insurance (UI) claimants, migrant and seasonal farm workers, veterans, and businesses. Services include a wide array of workforce and labor market information, career guidance products and tools, assessments, job matching and referral, reemployment services for UI claimants, targeted services for veterans and more.
Performance Goal: Increase the employment, retention, and earnings of individuals served through Community-Based Job Training Grants.
The public workforce investment system provides employer access to human capital (youth, unemployed, and dislocated workers) and helps place skilled workers in jobs, as well as promoting accountability by reporting employment outcomes. The Department is working to train more individuals by enhancing the capacity of community colleges to provide workers with skills required to succeed in high-growth, high-demand industries. Community and technical colleges are important partners in offering industry-designed curricula so that students and job-seekers can be confident of learning the skills needed to acquire a job in their desired occupation. Partnerships with local industry and the workforce investment system are essential for developing effective workforce development strategies. The roles of the partners include offering career and skill information to young people charting their education and career courses, accessing new labor pools, training workers, and building the capacity of educational institutions to train workers. Industry representatives play an important role in defining workforce challenges.
Performance Goal: Build a demand-driven workforce system by increasing the accessibility of workforce information through the National Electronic Tools.
Current, comprehensive, relevant, accessible information on occupations and labor markets is critical for planning and delivering demand-driven workforce services. The Department contributes to the state and national workforce information system by creating and broadly disseminating such information, particularly on high-growth industries and occupations, via several types of products collectively referred to as National Electronic Tools. Customers include employers, job seekers, state and local Workforce Investment Boards, and the One-Stop delivery system, who find this service useful for business, education, economic development and individual career decisions. The Department will continue to collect and report data on the impact of workforce information on participant employment outcomes. Additional strategies include improving provision of career information and guidance; continuing collaboration with business, industry, education, and economic development; enhancing resources that connect customers to the workforce investment system; maintaining investments in critical infrastructure; and continuing important system-building strategies.
Performance Goal: Assist older workers to participate in a demand-driven economy through the Senior Community Service Employment Program.
The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) assists low-income persons age 55 or older by providing opportunities to remain in or re-enter the workforce. Enhancements to the SCSEP that will be pursued in the context of reauthorization of the Older Americans Act include strengthening the efforts of the workforce investment system to integrate the full spectrum of services available to older workers and increasing the range of training services that can be offered for older workers. The reauthorized program should more effectively target those most in need, institute a two-year maximum on program participation, and provide flexibility to grantees to use other training options in addition to community service employment. The improved program would be streamlined to achieve more efficient administration and better labor market outcomes, including placement in private-sector employment with earnings growth potential, for older workers.
Performance Goal: Assist workers impacted by international trade to better compete in the global economy through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program.
The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program provides training, income support, and reemployment services to workers who lose their jobs due to increased imports or shifts in production to foreign countries. The Department has employed several strategies to make the program an integral part of the public workforce investment system's responsibility to develop a competitive workforce consistent with business requirements in high-growth, high-demand sectors. Program design strategies include integrating the program with other dislocated worker programs, proposing Trade Act of 2002 regulations, and implementing a re-engineering of the petition review process that establishes eligibility for the program. To support outreach and education efforts, DOL is increasing awareness of the Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance program for older workers, expanding co-enrollment in assistance programs, and providing compliance assistance. The Department will continue to strengthen outcomes through comprehensive assessments of trade-affected workers, by incorporating performance accomplishments into the funding formula for state TAA training funds, and by processing results from the independent five-year net impact evaluation.
Performance Goal: Address worker shortages through the Foreign Labor Certification Program.
Foreign workers may be legally hired on a temporary or permanent basis when no American workers are available, able, willing or qualified, provided their employers file applications with the Department to adequately document the need. The Department is implementing numerous re-engineering initiatives to improve processing efficiency while maintaining the integrity of the program and deterring fraud. Technology will play a growing role in improving processes. The Department is working to eliminate the duplicative, staff-intensive State role in the Permanent Labor Certification Program by relying on electronic filing of applications and utilizing an employer attestation process. The Department will continue to evaluate the automated H-1B Program and increase outreach efforts to encourage employers to file petitions electronically.
Other strategies to improve the Foreign Labor Certification programs include continuing the Permanent Program backlog elimination and reengineering the H-2B temporary program. DOL will continue to seek legislative approval to fund application processing activities for the permanent labor certification program through an employer-paid application fee. The Department will focus on improving overall program integrity by emphasizing fraud detection and prevention and by providing employer compliance assistance.
Performance Goal: Build knowledge and advance disability employment policy that affects and promotes systems change.
The Department recognizes that the traditional, stove-piped, service-based systems and programs addressing the employment of people with disabilities and an insufficient understanding of employer perspectives have resulted in outcomes that have not significantly increased the employment rate of people with disabilities for the past 20 years. To address these issues, DOL has implemented an approach that looks at disability and employment comprehensively, within the Department and across the Federal government, to develop innovative policies and strategies for implementation throughout the workforce investment system and for employers. The Department will continue to develop national disability employment policy; foster implementation of effective policies and practices within state and local workforce investment systems and with employers; conduct research that validates effective strategies for providing disability-employment related services and supports; and provide technical assistance on implementing effective systems-change strategies to both the demand and supply side of the labor market. The Department will measure success toward achieving this outcome by counting the results of activities undertaken the number of policy-related documents, formal agreements, and effective practices.
Performance Goal: Maximize regulatory flexibility and benefits and promote flexible workplace programs.
Many employment laws and regulations were written decades ago and were based on, among other things, traditional on-site, full-time, long-term employment relationships between workers and employers. Over the next several years, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy and the Department's regulatory agencies will continue to conduct comprehensive reviews of key laws and regulations to determine their effectiveness and applicability to the new workplace.
The Department's regulatory mission needs to fully achieve its objectives of protecting worker rights, benefits, and safety while minimizing regulatory burdens that can impede the productivity and competitiveness of the nation's economy. Over the past several years, the Department has made strides, including targeting enforcement efforts to address the most egregious problems; and, expanding electronic options for employers to meet their reporting obligations. Over the next several years, DOL will continue to analyze the effectiveness of this strategy, seek ways to build upon the successes, exploit technology to improve our effectiveness and reduce regulatory burden, and take other steps necessary to ensure that the DOL regulatory infrastructure is consistent with the evolving work environment.
Workplace flexibility is an employee benefit that aids employers in recruiting and retaining a talented workforce. The Department's Flex-Options for Women project helps business owners develop workplace flexibility policies and programs for their employees. The project brings together corporate executives and entrepreneurs who volunteer to mentor business owners interested in developing flexible workplace policies and programs. By encouraging entrepreneurs to focus on work redesign and implementing flexible work options, employees will improve their ability to manage work and life responsibilities while business owners realize positive bottom line impacts.
Strategic Goal 3 Safe and Secure Workplaces: Promote workplaces that are safe, healthful and fair; guarantee workers receive the wages due them; foster equal opportunity in employment; and protect veterans’ employment and re-employment rights.
The Department promotes and enforces some of the most widely recognized legal standards for gainful employment and quality workplaces. Many of these laws, programs, and regulations support the strategic goal for safe and secure workplaces. The Department is developing new and innovative approaches to implementing the laws and programs that protect the safety, health, and rights of workers. While the Department demonstrates continued success in protecting workplaces, one of the Department's key challenges is developing strategies suited for the changing 21st Century workplace.
The Department protects the rights of workers covered under the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 by responding promptly to imminent danger situations; investigating fatalities, catastrophes and worker complaints; enforcing whistle blower rights under 14 statutes; and inspecting Federal agencies to protect Federal workers. In the past thirty years, occupational injury and illness rates have declined 56 percent, yet the Department continues to confront a variety of challenges. Since 1970, the number of workers DOL is responsible for protecting has expanded dramatically from 58 million workers at 3.5 million worksites to 113 million workers at 7.25 million establishments. To effectively respond to this increased demand, the Department uses a targeted approach by directing inspections and outreach to worksites and industries with the highest injury and illness rates. In addition to workplace inspections, the Department employs a variety of compliance assistance and educational and outreach programs to improve employer health and safety management systems. By focusing on emergency preparedness, DOL is also helping workplaces get ready to respond to workplace emergencies such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks.
Under the provisions of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (Mine Act) of 1977 as amended by the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (MINER Act), the Department protects the health and safety of workers in the mining industry. More than 300,000 people work directly in the mining sector which provides essential raw materials for the nation's transportation infrastructure, construction and housing, communications, medicine, the arts, manufacturing, consumer goods, and agricultural industries. Just as mining is vital to the American economy, a safe and healthy mining workforce is critical to the continued successful operation of the mining industry. From FY 2000 to FY 2005, fatalities in the mining industry and the fatal injury rate both declined by 35%, the lowest levels since 1910 when statistics were first recorded. While these are outstanding achievements, the Department remains short of its goal of zero fatalities. While the trend in mining fatalities has been steadily declining, 2006 saw coal mining fatalities reach a high of 47, a number not seen since 1995. The Department recognizes that the mining environment is an inherently hazardous workplace. Current economic and demographic issues facing the mining industry add to this challenge. Critical to the Department's success is an effective blend of meaningful mine inspections accompanied by education and training and technical support to develop technical solutions to health and safety problems and assist in their application in the mines.
The Department remains committed to promoting compliance with labor standards to better protect all workers, especially those most economically disadvantaged and vulnerable. Through proper administration and enforcement of laws, the Department ensures that low-wage workers receive the wages due to them. These laws include the Fair Labor Standards Act, which establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers, and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, which regulates the hiring and employment activities of agricultural employers, farm labor contractors, and associations using migrant and seasonal agricultural workers.
As a result of the Department's enforcement activities, the number of workers receiving back wages, which is the difference between what the employee was actually paid and the amount he or she should have been paid, has increased by 13 percent since FY 2001. While the Department has experienced increased success in obtaining recoveries (including $171.9 million in back wages in FY 2006), the Department still faces a number of compliance challenges. The nation increasing relies on foreign workers to fill employers' needs in low-wage, labor-intensive industries such as agriculture, garment, health care, guard and janitorial services, restaurants, and hotel/motels. Many immigrants, in particular, are employed in informal work relationships where they are paid in cash and off-the-books. Low-wage industries draw on this type of temporary or day labor arrangement to meet workforce demands. The increasing use of contingent workers and temporary help services has resulted in the restructuring of other traditional industries with increasing reliance on subcontracting arrangements. These changes provide new challenges for the 21st Century.
The Department is responsible for the administration of anti-discrimination and equal employment opportunity regulations for Federal contractors and subcontractors employing more than 20 percent of the labor force in America, or approximately 26 million workers. Many Federal contractors have demonstrated their commitment to equal opportunity and have adopted inclusive human resource policies and procedures at all levels. Notwithstanding this success, discrimination still exists in the workplace and the Department is committed to ensuring full compliance with these laws. Strong enforcement focuses on worst offenders with increased consequences for violations. In FY 2006, the Department set a record with $51,525,235 in financial remedies for 15,273 American workers. The Department's continued success is largely driven by the use of Active Case Management which emphasizes the strategic use of enforcement resources and targeting establishments with the highest likelihood of discrimination. The Department also adopted Contract First, an initiative that streamlines the contractor identification process thereby allowing compliance officers to spend more time on compliance evaluations.
The Department also helps to protect employment retention rights for veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserve. The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) provides that returning service-members are reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service. The law applies to virtually all public and private employers, regardless of size. The Department administers USERRA, investigates complaints, and performs educational outreach, all significant activities serving the men and women called to active duty over the course of the war on terror.
Agencies supporting this strategic goal include the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) within the Employment Standards Administration (ESA).
The Department proposes $1.2 billion of discretionary budget authority in FY 2008 to conduct programs and activities that support A Safe and Secure Workforce. These programs include $803.8 million for worker occupational safety and health, $278.8 million for wage and hour and equal opportunity compliance, and $13.7 million to protect veterans' re-employment rights.
Performance Goal: Improve workplace safety and health through compliance assistance and enforcement of occupational safety and health regulations and standards.
The Department's efforts to protect workers' safety and health are built on the foundation of a strong, fair, and effective enforcement program and outreach, education, compliance assistance and voluntary cooperative programs. Although the Department seeks to assist the large majority of employers who want to meet their obligations under its worker protection laws, it will direct its enforcement resources to those who expose employees to serious hazards. DOL will conduct its inspection programs to ensure that they identify the most hazardous workplaces and make the best use of inspection resources. DOL will also continue to make available effective compliance assistance programs and tools and offer employers and employees opportunities to participate in a variety of voluntary cooperative programs. Through these efforts DOL strives to improve workplace safety and health protections and prevent occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities.
The Department will continue to use a balanced approach to protect the safety and health of America's workers. The Department's OSHA regulations and standards will continue to be developed or revised under the agency's focused regulatory agenda. DOL will continue to direct inspections and outreach at establishments and industries with the highest injury, illness, and fatality rates and will respond to complaints of serious workplace hazards. As part of the Department's outreach effort, selected sites with high injury and illness rates will be notified in writing of available services for addressing workplace hazards. Small business employers who receive notification will be provided an opportunity to seek assistance through the free, DOL-funded State Consultation Program. These efforts will be supplemented by National and Local Emphasis Programs designed to target unsafe conditions or high hazard industries. To bolster its enforcement and standard-setting activities, the Department will provide compliance assistance, outreach, and training for employers and employees. DOL also offers a variety of cooperative programs including the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), the Alliance Program, the Strategic Partnership Program, the Consultation Program and its Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), under which employers, employees, and other stakeholders work with the Department to improve workplace safety and health. Experience demonstrates that the implementation of VPP principles results in a significant reduction in injury and illness
Performance Goal: Reduce work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in mines.
A safe and healthy mining workforce is critical to the continued successful operation of the mining industry. From FY 2000 to 2005 the fatal injury rate in the mining industry declined by 35%. In that same period, the all-injury incident rate dropped by 23%. These are outstanding achievements; however, DOL remains clearly short of its goal of zero fatalities, zero injuries, and an end to occupational illness in the mining industry. As the nation witnessed the tragedies at the Sago Mine and Alma Mine No. 1 in West Virginia and the Darby Mine No. 1 in Kentucky incidences which claimed the lives of 19 miners, mining remains a dangerous occupation. It is DOL's responsibility, through MSHA, to conduct thorough investigations and identify the root causes to prevent similar occurrences.
As noted earlier, the Department is implementing the most significant mine safety legislation in nearly 30 years: the MINER Act. The Miner Act represents the first revisions to federal mine safety laws since the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act became law in 1977. It builds upon the efforts of MSHA to improve mine safety nationwide and calls for the modernization of safety practices and development of enhanced communication technology. The provisions include requiring each underground coal mine to develop and continuously update a written emergency response plan; requiring each underground coal mine to make available two experienced rescue teams capable of a one-hour response time; requiring wireless two-way communications and electronic tracking systems within three years; giving MSHA the authority to request an injunction to shut down a mine in cases where the mine operator has refused to pay a final MSHA penalty; raising the criminal penalty cap to $250,000 for first offenses and $500,000 for second offenses, as well as establishing a maximum civil penalty of $220,000 for flagrant violations. It also creates a scholarship program to mitigate an anticipated shortage of trained and experienced miners and MSHA enforcement personnel.
DOL will continue expanding its active partnerships with industry, labor, and equipment manufacturers in order to identify and evaluate new technologies for their potential to strengthen miners' health and safety, reduce accidents, and strengthen mine rescue efforts. Technologies include proximity detection devices, hydrogen-powered fuel cells, fall protection devices, and remote control bulldozers. DOL will continue its outreach efforts to address priority issues, which include risks related to roof fatalities and fires/heating events/methane ignitions through Preventive Roof/Rib Outreach Program, Winter Alert, and Mine Emergency Preparedness. DOL will also continue its ongoing commitment to the State Grants Program which funds the implementation of state-of-the-art mine rescue equipment and rigorous safety training.
Performance Goal: Ensure workers receive the wages due them.
DOL's commitment to protecting workers' wages and hours remains steadfast. Protecting the most vulnerable workers will continue to be a key focus of the Department. Low-wage industries that employ large numbers of vulnerable workers, including young workers, are characterized by relatively high violation rates of minimum wage, overtime and child labor requirements. The balance of three complementing strategies directed enforcement, compliance assistance and partnerships and collaborations helps the Department leverage resources to prevent violations, while also preparing DOL to face new challenges. In the coming years, the Department will continue its outreach and education efforts to increase awareness of employment laws among employers, employees and other stakeholders. Other strategies include using quantitative and qualitative performance indicators and targets to increase performance, conducting independent reviews of the program to identify opportunities for improvements, and improving data collection processes, especially those related to wage determination.
Performance Goal: Federal contractors achieve equal opportunity workplaces.
DOL is committed to fostering workplaces that are free of discrimination and offer equal opportunities to Americans. The Department monitors Federal contractors' compliance with applicable laws and executive orders, and assures that minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and eligible veterans are afforded an equal opportunity to compete for employment and advancement. To achieve equal opportunity workplaces the Department will emphasize the use of compliance assistance to inform Federal contractors of their obligations and help them comply with requirements. DOL will monitor and vigorously enforce compliance with Federal equal employment opportunity laws. The Department will continue to evaluate data collection processes and modernize agency data collection systems. Other strategies include reviewing program regulations and requirements to identify areas for improvement or reform.
Performance Goal: Reduce employer-employee employment issues originating from service members' military obligations conflicting with their civilian employment.
Under USERRA, the Department of Labor ensures that returning veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserve components suffer no penalties in their civilian jobs as a consequence of their military service. This is especially important today, with the activation of half a million Guard and Reserve members since September 11, 2001.
To enable veterans and members of National Guard and Reserve units to serve on active duty without penalty to their civilian employment status, DOL investigates their employment and reemployment complaints and conducts compliance assistance activities to reduce the number and severity of complaints. A significant part of this effort involves providing as many on-site briefings as possible to National Guard and Reserve units as they are mobilized, and again as they are demobilized. DOL also engages in continuous outreach efforts to increase public awareness of the civilian employment rights of returning service members. This includes extensive outreach to educate multiple organizations on the new USERRA regulations, other special compliance assistance initiatives with employers, and the development and maintenance of Web-based tools that explain the provisions of the USERRA statute in clear terms.
DOL measures its USERRA investigation and compliance assistance efforts through a comprehensive USERRA Progress Index, which is a weighted measure of success across the full range of employment and reemployment issues that service members face. The baseline for the USERRA Index was established during FY 2005 and was expressed as 100% without calculation of the Index for other fiscal years. In the absence of data on year-to-year change, DOL projected an increase of five percent per year. The result of 101% for the Index provided a realistic indication of the extent of change in the Index that is attainable each year.
DOL anticipates that constrained funding for FY 2007 will result in reduced staff effort. However, increased efficiencies will enable DOL to maintain the Index at 101% for FY 2007. For FY 2008, DOL anticipates that a restoration of staff effort comparable to FY 2006, coupled with increased efficiencies, will make the target of 102% realistic.
DOL's challenge for the future is to continue to increase the quantity and quality of information available on the World Wide Web for both service members and employers. DOL also will continue to work closely with the Department of Defense and the individual Military Services to maximize the direct delivery of information on USERRA to Reserve and National Guard members and units.
Strategic Goal 4 Strengthened Economic Protections: Protect and strengthen worker economic security through effective and efficient provision of unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation; ensuring union transparency; and securing pension and health benefits.
Achieving a high level of economic protection for the workforce is vital to a strong and stable national economy. The Department of Labor is committed to strengthening economic protections through programs that administer payments of temporary benefits for the unemployed and that protect workers from the economic effects of work-related injuries and illness. The Department also safeguards union democracy and assures financial accountability for the millions of Americans who are union members. It also protects employee benefits plans against fraud and abuse.
The Department of Labor administers and enforces Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), in both civil and criminal areas. ERISA established broad standards of responsibility for those who are charged with managing more than 700,000 covered retirement plans, approximately 2.5 million covered health plans, and similar numbers of other welfare benefit plans, such as those providing life or disability insurance. The employee benefit plans under DOL jurisdiction hold nearly $5 trillion in assets and cover approximately 150 million Americans.
The Department fulfills its responsibilities in this area through enforcement, compliance assistance, technical assistance, outreach and education to covered Americans and plan sponsors. In addition, the Department, through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), insures and administers the pension payments for defined benefit plans that have terminated.
The Department also has a long history in administering workers' compensation claims. Originating with the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA), the Department has since added programs covering groups working in specific industries where there is a risk of injury or illness, such as longshoremen, harbor and maritime workers, coal miners and civilian employees of American military bases. Since the passage of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (EEOICPA), the Department of Labor has become the principal Agency responsible for processing claims from current and former employees, contractors, and subcontractors of the Department of Energy who became ill as a result of their work in the nation's nuclear weapons program. The Department continues to find new ways to improve customer service to workers and employers with initiatives in compliance assistance, performance measurement, and technological support for timelier outcomes and enhanced customer service.
Three DOL agencies and one government corporation chaired by the Secretary of Labor help the Department to strengthen economic protections: the Employment and Training Administration, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, PBGC, and the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) and the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) within the Employment Standards Administration.
To strengthen the Economic Protections of the nation's workers, the Department requests $3.0 billion in discretionary budget authority in FY 2008. These programs include $2.6 billion for the unemployment insurance program, $118.8 million for operation of the workers' compensation programs and to ensure union integrity, and $147.0 million for pension and health benefit security.
Performance Goal: Make timely and accurate benefit payments to unemployed workers, facilitate the reemployment of unemployment insurance beneficiaries, and set up unemployment tax accounts promptly for new employers.
DOL's strategies to pay unemployment insurance claims accurately and promptly include providing oversight and assistance to States. The Department continually monitors State performance and ensures that States, which fall below minimum criteria, establish corrective action plans. The Department also promotes continuous improvement in performance by providing technical assistance and training and arranging multi-State conferences to share best practices.
The Department promotes the accuracy and integrity of unemployment insurance payments by fostering States' use of and access to tools such as the National Directory of New Hires; by conducting and sharing analyses of approaches to identify and prevent or recover overpayments; and by sharing information on States' best practices. DOL continues to provide States an added incentive to prevent and detect overpayments through the use of a State-level detection of overpayments core measure with a performance criterion. In addition, the Department continues its efforts to support identity theft prevention activities and to promote payment accuracy and swift reemployment of unemployment insurance beneficiaries through reemployment and eligibility assessments.
Performance Goal: Reduce the consequences of work-related injuries.
The Department will take a number of steps to improve coordination of benefits and service for Federal employees who suffer work related injuries or illnesses. These steps will include continuation of the quality case management program in which new injury cases receive early intervention, providing better medical care, communicating more effectively with medical providers, and screening cases for appropriateness of medical and pharmacological treatment. OWCP also seeks to strengthen early case intervention and assistance to Federal employers in the continuation-of-pay period to achieve better recovery and return-to-work outcomes.
DOL will also seek to continue the gains produced by the Safety, Health and Return-to-Employment (SHARE) initiative to improve Federal agency performance in returning injured employees to work. SHARE has generated intense interest among many agencies and progress is being noted in SHARE reports.
DOL will strengthen its claimant outreach and customer service activities. In particular, DOL seeks to better identify potential EEOICPA claimant populations and guide them through the claims process. Communications and information services will be strengthened in all OWCP programs.
The Department seeks to improve employers' participation in their role as partners in the administration of laws and in service to their injured workers.
DOL will continue to maintain its workers' compensation programs via fair and balanced adjudication, and will work to reduce claims costs and delays stemming from unnecessary challenges to claims decisions. Specifically, the Department will continue to target reducing disputes in Longshore and Harbor Workers' claims.
DOL seeks to ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of benefits payments; accurate liability forecasts; and reduced risk and improved security for its benefit funds. DOL will assist
Performance Goal: Ensure union financial integrity, democracy and transparency.
DOL will continue efforts to advance the objectives of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) to ensure union democracy, financial integrity, and transparency through a comprehensive program of enforcement and compliance assistance. An effective program of union audits will continue to be emphasized to monitor and promote compliance with the Act and to correct statutory violations. The Department will continue to expand its Internet public disclosure service to improve public access to information reported by unions and others under the Act.
Performance Goal: Enhance pension and health benefit security.
DOL is committed to protecting the pension, health and other employee benefits of America's workers, retirees and their families and will strive to enhance retirement security and greater access to health benefits through a combination of aggressive enforcement, compliance and participant assistance, and regulatory and policy initiatives.
DOL will measure its success in its enforcement responsibilities by reporting the ratio of closed civil cases with corrected fiduciary violations to closed civil cases. The National Priorities ratios are subsets of the civil case measure that also reports the ratio of closed civil cases with corrected violations to closed civil cases. The National Priorities for 2008 include:
For criminal cases, DOL will monitor and report those cases that are accepted for prosecution. Through these performance measures, DOL will demonstrate its success in protecting plan assets and participants' benefits.
DOL will also continue to directly assist plan participants and beneficiaries in understanding their rights and responsibilities and protecting their benefits. EBSA has demonstrated steady improvement in its customer satisfaction index for participant assistance after a four-year initiative to evaluate its program. Commencing in FY 2007, EBSA will begin a similar initiative by measuring customer satisfaction of its compliance assistance programs. EBSA will report on its success in the Department's Performance Accountability Report.
DOL will promote increased participation in voluntary correction programs. EBSA's voluntary correction programs consist of the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP) and the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program (DFVCP). DOL evaluates success by measuring applications to both programs. DOL will continue to seek to increase participation in both programs and will improve or re-design the programs further as necessary.
Performance Goal: Improve the pension insurance program.
PBGC will emphasize safeguarding the pension insurance system for the benefit of participants, plan sponsors, and other stakeholders, providing exceptional service to customers and stakeholders, and exercising effective and efficient stewardship of its resources.
PBGC will focus on implementing pension reforms in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 as well as the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, the scope of which strengthens plan funding rules, enhances pension plan transparency, and reforms the premium structure for defined benefit plans. In concert, the PBGC will continue focusing on minimizing loss to the program. PBGC will increase technical assistance to plan sponsors to encourage their voluntary compliance with pension laws and regulations. To fulfill its commitment to providing the highest level of service to its customers and stakeholders, PBGC will continue to provide timely, accurate and responsive service to customers; empower and encourage customers to interact electronically with the PBGC; and, improve the quality and consistency of customer information. PBGC is striving to maintain sound and effective financial management systems and internal controls; align human capital strategies; and, implement cost effective information technology and business6 practices that ensure the achievement of corporate goals and performance results.
In 2001, the Administration implemented the President's Management Agenda (PMA), designed to help agencies improve management performance. The five government-wide PMA initiatives are:
DOL is also participating in three program initiatives that apply only to selected Federal
In order to measure progress against demonstrated goals each year, PMA portfolio managers were asked to identify where they would be proud to be in their respective PMA components as of July 1st. In turn, Federal agency leadership was tasked with identifying specific Proud to Be goals and milestones related to PMA implementation. The Department set ambitious but reachable goals for its PMA implementation. As noted earlier, on June 30, 2005 the Department of Labor became the first organization to achieve Green status scores on all five government-wide President's Management Agenda components. DOL also increased its standing in the agency-specific initiatives by achieving Green status scores in Elimination of Improper Payments and for its implementation of the Faith-based and Community Initiative; and has a Yellow status with Green progress in Real Property.
We recognize our work on PMA implementation is far from over. We must continue to meet new and more challenging commitments on all PMA components.
The Department has been a leader in addressing and implementing the Federal-wide e-Government initiatives captured within the PMA and is one of the managing partners of GovBenefits.gov. In 2006, DOL's e-Government accomplishments were recognized in a President's Quality Award.
The e-Government initiatives serve citizens, businesses, and federal employees by delivering high quality services efficiently and effectively. Instead of encouraging the development of additional stove-piped solutions, all Federal agencies across the government work together to develop common solutions that achieve mission requirements at reduced cost, thereby making resources available for higher priority needs.
In preparation for the FY 2008 budget, four Department of Labor programs were evaluated using the Program Assessment Rating Tool (PART). The outcomes of these evaluations underline DOL's efforts to produce results for American employees and employers. Of these programs, two were rated Moderately Effective; one was rated Adequate, and one Results Not Demonstrated.
The 32 DOL programs that have been evaluated from in the first five-year phase (CY 2002 CY 2006) through the PART process represent roughly 88 percent of its programs. Remaining programs and a re-PART of previously assessed programs will be scheduled for the FY 2009 budget cycle. The positive impact of PART on DOL management is evident in many ways, especially in program planning and internal evaluation. Together with the President's Management Agenda, the PART has created an incentive for a more transparent government.
*Programs do not undergo a PART review each year; some programs receive a follow-up PART if additional information is considered significant.
Agency Efficiency Measures
Efficiency Measures with baselines and targets have been developed for all PARTed programs. These have been included in agency budget submissions, per the requirements of the President's Management Agenda. The Department will continuously improve program effectiveness and efficient use of taxpayer dollars through the use of performance measurement.
This Appendix provides the Department of Labor FY 2007 and PY 2006 performance goals of record for inclusion in the FY 2007 Performance and Accountability Report. They have been revised and realigned to match the strategic goal structure and performance goal measures of the newly published FY 2008 FY 2011 Strategic Plan.
Strategic Goal 1 A Prepared Workforce: Develop a prepared workforce by providing effective training and support services to new and incumbent workers and supplying high quality information on the economy and labor market.
Strategic Goal 2 A Competitive Workforce: Meet the competitive labor demands of the worldwide economy by enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the workforce development and regulatory systems that assist workers and employers in meeting the challenges of global competition.
Strategic Goal 3 Safe and Secure Workplaces: Promote workplaces that are safe, healthful and fair; guarantee workers receive the wages due them; foster equal opportunity in employment; and protect veterans' employment and re-employment rights.
Strategic Goal 4 Strengthened Economic Protections: Protect and strengthen worker economic security through effective and efficient provision of unemployment insurance and workers' compensation; ensuring union transparency; and securing pension and health benefits.
This Appendix shows the Department of Labor Program Year 2007 goals for Job Corps, ETA and VETS. These goals cover the period from July 1, 2007 June 30, 2008, and will be reported in the FY 2008 Performance and Accountability Report.
Strategic Goal 1 A Prepared Workforce
Strategic Goal 2 A Competitive Workforce