Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

US Labor Department launches website for public feedback on regulations

March 18, 2011

On January 18, 2011, President Obama issued Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review” and two related Memoranda on Regulatory Compliance and Regulatory Flexibility, Small Business and Job Creation.

Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of Executive Order 12866 and aims to create a regulatory process that “strikes the right balance” between what is needed to protect health, welfare, safety, and the environment for all Americans, and what we need to foster economic growth, job creation, and competitiveness.  Executive Order 13563 provides several guiding principles for achieving that balance and urges that regulations:

  • take into account costs and benefits to society;
  • are developed in a manner that allows public participation;
  • are coordinated among agencies and simplified;
  • use the least burdensome methods to achieve regulatory goals; and
  • are based on the best available science.

The Executive Order also requires agencies to develop protocols for periodic review of significant regulations to determine whether they are outmoded, ineffective, insufficient, or excessively burdensome.  To ensure that the Department develops protocols that meet the objectives of the Executive Order, we invite you to participate in the discussion. Information obtained in response to this notice is not determinative of outcome because these questions are a vehicle for facilitating public dialogue rather than reaching consensus.

In compliance with this order, the U.S. Department of Labor today announced the availability of a new online tool to collect public feedback on ways to improve regulations and the department’s regulatory review process.

The online tool is part of the department’s compliance with Executive Order 13563, which calls for federal agencies to detail how they will review existing significant regulations to identify whether regulations may be made more effective or less burdensome.

Members of the public who wish to provide comments or suggestions to improve Department of Labor regulations by modifying, streamlining, expanding or repealing them are encouraged to visit http://www.dol.gov/regulations/regreview.htm.

In addressing these questions or others, the Department requests that participants identify with the regulation or reporting requirement at issue and provide legal citation(s) where available. 

The Department also requests that submitters provide, in as much detail as possible, an explanation of why a regulation or reporting requirement should be modified, streamlined, expanded, or repealed, as well as specific suggestions of ways the Department can better achieve Comments must be received no later than March 31.

its regulatory objectives. Whenever possible, please provide empirical evidence and data to support your response.

To add your comments and see what others are saying, visit http://dolregs.ideascale.com

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Affirmative Action in 2010 and Beyond: Enforcement and Compliance Strategies

October 4, 2010
July 26, 2010

In March, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) released its fiscal year 2011 budget request, along with its enforcement initiatives for 2010. The message is clear: OFCCP is better funded, more sophisticated, and more motivated than ever to aggressively enforce affirmative action rules and focus on systemic discrimination. Government contractors are well advised to prepare themselves for more audits and settlements, as there will be a marked increase in enforcement efforts by the OFCCP against non-construction federal contractors beginning October 2010.

OFCCP received a budget of $103 million for fiscal year 2010 under the appropriations legislation signed by President Obama on December 16, 2009. This amount was an increase of over $21 million from the fiscal year 2009 budget allotment of $82.1 million. For 2011, OFCCP has requested $113 million, a $10 million increase over 2010. With this increase in budget, OFCCP is in the process of significantly increasing its workforce and plans to increase the number of compliance evaluations by 20% in 2010.  Now, more than ever, the consequences for non-compliance places a bull’s eye on your company and can be serious: fines, negative publicity, potential civil lawsuits, and even debarment for severe cases.

“Compared with years past, OFCCP more quickly and accurately screens contractor establishments for indicators of potential discrimination … OFCCP is monitoring a larger portion of the federal contractor universe than it has in the past…We are proud of these results which demonstrate our commitment to enforcing the law,” said Charles James, deputy assistant secretary for OFCCP.

According to the OFCCP, the majority of ARRA funding and grants provided federal assistance to construction projects and therefore, special emphasis was placed on the construction industry beginning July 2009.  Their goal was to review a minimum of 360 construction contractors and 90 supply and service contractors, including at least 10% of first-time federal contractors.  These reviews are followed by quarterly compliance evaluations expected to last through September 30, 2010. If a non-construction firm, do not breathe a sigh of relief yet.  Keep in mind that once this period is over, the increased funding and staff will continue to be retained…

Diligent compliance analysis, to preserve privilege and anticipate likely audit concerns, can assist not only in improving overall compliance, but also in assuring that the company is getting the most out of its human resources program.  By understanding the most common compliance failures related to data retention and analysis, Business and HR Leaders can be better equipped with the ability to fully implement a compliant program and to successfully handle an audit.

A fact sheet with additional information about OFCCP’s enforcement results is available on its Web site at www.dol.gov/esa/ofccp.