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Panoptic Enterprises' FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: March 8, 2002

SUBJECT: Department of Labor (DOL); Annual Report From Federal Contractors Regarding Veterans' Employment

SOURCE: Federal Register, March 8, 2002, Vol. 67, No. 45, page 10804

AGENCIES: Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS), DOL

ACTION: Notice

SYNOPSIS: VETS is soliciting comments on methodologies for calculating the maximum and minimum number of employees for VETS-100, the Federal Contractor Veterans' Employment Report.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The DOL regulations pertaining to VETS-100 are in Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Public Contracts and Property Management; Chapter 61, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Veterans' Employment and Training, Department of Labor; Part 61-250, Annual Report From Federal Contractors.

For more on the final rule that added language specifying how contractors were to determine the maximum and minimum number of employees during the period covered by a VETS-100, see the October 11, 2001, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Department of Labor; Annual Report From Federal Contractors Regarding Veterans' Employment."

For more on the interim rule that removed that language, see the December 19, 2001, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Department of Labor; Annual Report From Federal Contractors Regarding Veterans' Employment."

DATES: Comments must be submitted no later than April 8, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments to Norman Lance, Chief, Investigations and Compliance Division, VETS, at the U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans' Employment and Training Service, Federal Contractor Program Comments -- Notice, 6101 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304; or by e-mail to Lance-Norman@dol.gov. Written comments limited to 10 pages or fewer may be transmitted by facsimile (fax) at 202-693-4755.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Norm Lance, Chief of Investigations and Compliance Division, VETS, 202-693-4731, or by e-mail to Lance-Norman@dol.gov. Those with hearing impairments may call 800-670-7008 (TTY/TDD).

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: One of the provisions of the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 added a requirement that contractors and subcontractors report the maximum number and the minimum number of persons they employed during the reporting period to the Secretary of Labor.

To implement this provision, VETS added the following to paragraph (a)(3) of 41 CFR 61-250.10, What reporting requirements apply to federal contractors and subcontractors, and what specific wording must the reporting requirements contract clause contain?, and 41 CFR 61-250.11, On what form must the data required by this part be submitted?:

"The minimum and maximum number of employees reportable at each hiring location during the period covered by the report must be determined as follows: Contractors must review payroll records for each of the pay periods included in the report. The minimum number of employees is the total number of employees paid in the payroll period in which the contractor had the fewest number of employees. The maximum number of employees is the total number of employees paid in the payroll period in which the contractor had the greatest number of employees."

It was brought to the attention of DOL that the revised language might have inadvertently increased the recordkeeping burden on some contractors, and that it might be difficult for those contractors to match up payroll periods, employees, and physical VETS-100 reporting locations in the way contemplated by the rule. To permit contractors flexibility in how they determine the maximum and minimum number of employees, VETS deleted this language from 41 CFR 61-250.10(a)(3) and 41 CFR 61-250.11. However, VETS retained the basic statutory requirement to report the maximum and minimum number of employees. In addition, in the introduction to the December 19, 2001, rule deleting the language, VETS expressly requested comments on the methods contractors intend to use to calculate the minimum and maximum number of employees to obtain additional information on which to base future guidance or regulations on methodology(s) for determining the maximum and minimum number of employees.

Because of a lack of response to the request for comments, VETS is concerned that the request in the introduction to the December 19, 2001, rule was overlooked. Therefore, VETS is reiterating the request for comments about how to determine the maximum and minimum number of employees. Specifically, VETS is requesting comments on the methodology contractors would prefer to use to calculate the minimum and maximum number of employees, particularly how a methodology interacts with organizational structure, payroll, or pay systems for particular types of employers (for example, nature of industry, single or multiple establishments), and how employees on extended leave of absence are counted. Also sought are comments on the recordkeeping burden and other information contractors feel will clarify the process for determining the maximum and minimum number of employees. VETS will consider this information when preparing guidance or regulations for contractors' future reporting cycles.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2002 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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