Department of Labor:

Administering the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act

HEHS-00-116: Published: Jun 30, 2000. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 2000.

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Cynthia Maher Fagnoni
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) of 1959, focusing on: (1) the Department of Labor's organizational structure and use of fiscal year (FY) 1999 resources to implement LMRDA; and (2) how the Department of Labor administers and enforces each title of the act for which it is responsible.

GAO noted that: (1) Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) responsibilities under LMRDA range from ensuring that union members gain access to collective bargaining agreements to safeguarding unions' funds from embezzlement and other illegal actions; (2) OLMS' national office and its 21 field offices had a FY 1999 budget of just over $28 million and 300 full-time-equivalent staff working primarily to administer LMRDA and provisions of related legislation; (3) GAO's analysis of Labor's efforts to administer each title of the act found that OLMS performs investigations and compliance audits, monitors reporting and disclosure requirements, and provides compliance assistance, but investigations are the tool most frequently used; (4) OLMS uses voluntary compliance and litigation to enforce the act's requirements, but the voluntary compliance approach is used most often; and (5) regarding the Department of Justice's (DOJ) enforcement efforts under the memorandum of understanding with Labor, GAO found that DOJ plays a significantly greater role in litigating cases involving reporting violations, which are considered to be less serious infractions of the law.

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