DOL Requests Comments for Draft Strategic Plan

Tuesday, November 7, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will publish  a request for
comments on its draft FY2018-2022 Strategic Plan in
the Federal Register.  The draft strategy plan
itself can be found here
or on the DOL website. The notice will open a period of 30 days in which
stakeholders can comment on the draft Strategic Plan. The notice states that
the draft Strategic Plan represents “the Secretary’s vision, the Department’s
mission, and a description of how component agencies will achieve supporting
goals and strategic objectives in the next four years.”

The draft strategic plan has a total of four goals.  The first strategic DOL goal-Support the
Ability of All Americans to Find Good Jobs-focuses on how to use DOL resources
to close the current skills gap such as apprenticeships and training as well as
how to increase the job opportunities for veterans and their spouses; for individuals
with disabilities and working women.
Interestingly, the Strategic Plan notes that the Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS) should provide timely, accurate and relevant information on
the labor market, working conditions and price changes.  BLS was attacked by President Trump during
the 2016 election for providing inaccurate data.

The second strategic goal-Safe Jobs and Fair Workplaces-outlines
the plans for each of the enforcement agencies under the DOL.  The common denominator for OSHA, MSHA, Wage
& Hour, OFCCP, ILAB and OLMS is increased focus on compliance assistance to
employers.  The Wage and Hour Division
specifically indicates it is planning to modernize its compliance assistance,
while the OFCCP states that it will expand its compliance assistance and
stakeholder engagement.

The third strategic goal-Promote Strong Workers’
Compensation and Benefits Programs-covers the DOL’s agencies that handle
workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation, and retirement security.

The DOL’s Management Goal has the usual discussion of
working more effectively, more efficiently and with more accountability.  More to the point, however, is the DOL’s goal
to upgrade its technology capability which would increase its ability to work
smarter with fewer employees.

Surprisingly, the Strategic Plan does not mention how it
will comply with the OMB initiative to restructure the federal government to
reduce the size of the civilian workforce and eliminate unnecessary programs
although the strategic plan although the plan indicates that reform plan
initiatives will be inserted in the December revised draft.

FortneyScott is planning on preparing comments. If you are
interested in participating, please contact David S. Fortney.