[Federal Register Volume 66, Number 244 (Wednesday, December 19, 2001)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65452-65454]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 01-31188]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Veterans' Employment and Training Service

41 CFR Part 61-250

RIN 1293-AA07


Annual Report From Federal Contractors

AGENCY: Veterans' Employment and Training Service, Department of Labor.

ACTION: Interim final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) is 
amending its regulations implementing the VETS-100 reporting 
requirement. This amendment revises the final rule that was published 
on October 11, 2001 (66 FR 51998), and that went into effect on 
November 13, 2001, to withdraw from the rule the specification for how 
Federal contractors filing the report were to calculate the maximum and 
minimum number of employees. The basic requirement to report the 
maximum and minimum number of employees remains.

DATES: Effective Date: This regulation is effective December 19, 2001.
    Comment Period: Comments must be received on or before January 18, 
2002.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be sent to Norman Lance, Chief, 
Investigations and Compliance Division, VETS, by regular mail at the 
U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans' Employment and Training Service, 
Federal Contractor Program FRN-Comments--Interim Final Rule, Federal 
Contractor Program Office, 6101 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304, 
or by e-mail at Lance-Norman@dol.gov. Written comments limited to 10 
pages or fewer also may be transmitted by facsimile (FAX) at (202) 693-
4755. Receipt of submissions, whether by U.S. mail, e-mail or FAX 
transmittal, will not be acknowledged; however, the sender may request 
confirmation that a submission has been received, by telephoning VETS 
at (202) 693-4731(VOICE)

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (VEOA) was signed into 
law in October 1998. The statute extended the affirmative action and 
reporting responsibilities of Federal contractors and subcontractors. 
Among other changes, the VEOA added the 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.
    On October 5, 2000, VETS published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
(65 FR 59684) to implement the provisions of the VEOA, including the 
requirement for reporting the minimum and maximum number of employees. 
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking did not contain guidance on how 
covered contractors were to determine the minimum and maximum number of 
employees. One commenter asked for clarification about how to determine 
the minimum and maximum number of employees. The commenter asserted 
that there could be continuous changes in employment levels at a 
company and that it was unclear exactly when the minimum and maximum 
number of employees had to be determined. To respond to the concerns of 
the commenter, VETS clarified the regulation language by adding the 
following language to the final rule:

    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.

    This new language was inserted in section 61-250.10(a)(3), and also 
in section 61-250.11 under the paragraph entitled ``Maximum and minimum 
number of employees.'' (66 FR 52004-52005, October 11, 2001).
    It has been brought to the attention of VETS that the revised 
language might have inadvertently increased the record keeping burden 
on some contractors. VETS has learned that it might be difficult to 
match up payroll periods, employees, and physical VETS-100 reporting 
locations in the way contemplated by the final rule. For example, some 
companies use separate payrolls and pay dates for nonexempt and exempt 
employees within a single establishment. Other companies maintain 
separate payrolls and pay dates for bargaining unit employees and 
nonbargaining unit employees. Some companies temporarily remove 
employees who are on short-term leaves of absence from their payrolls. 
These absent employees, however, still may be considered ``active'' 
employees for purposes of the VETS-100 report.
    To permit contractors flexibility in how they determine the maximum 
and minimum number of employees, VETS is making two amendments to part 
61-250. In each place in which the instructions quoted above were 
placed in the rule, the instructions now are being withdrawn. 
Accordingly, contractors will be required to report the maximum and 
minimum number of

[[Page 65453]]

employees, but the method by which the count must be conducted will not 
be mandated.
    However, VETS expressly requests comments on the methods 
contractors intend to use to calculate the minimum and maximum number 
of employees. VETS plans on publishing this information, either in 
regulatory format or as guidance to contractors, for future reporting 
cycles.

II. Revised Sections

Section 250.10  What Reporting Requirements Apply to Federal 
Contractors and Subcontractors, and What Specific Wording Must the 
Reporting Requirements Contract Clause Contain?

    Section 61-250.10(a)(3). The language quoted above that specified 
how contractors were to determine the maximum number and minimum number 
of employees is withdrawn. Contractors are still obligated to provide a 
count of the maximum and minimum number of employees. However, 
contractors may use any reasonable method for calculating and 
determining the maximum number and minimum number of employees during 
the reporting period.

Section 61-250.11  On What Form Must the Data Required by This Part Be 
Submitted?

    The language quoted above, which appears as a paragraph entitled 
``Maximum and minimum number of employees'' under section 250.11, is 
withdrawn. All other instructions in this section on how to prepare the 
VETS-100 report remain intact.

III. Regulatory Procedures

Executive Order 12866

    The Department of Labor has determined that this Interim Final Rule 
is not economically significant as defined in the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act. However, this rule has been reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget under Executive Order 12866. This rule will not: 
(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, or 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
communities; (2) create a serious inconsistency, or otherwise 
interfere, with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) 
materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user 
fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or (4) raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
Executive Order 12866. Therefore, a regulatory impact analysis is 
unnecessary.

Congressional Review Act

    This Interim Final Rule is not a major rule for purposes of the 
Congressional Review Act.

Unfunded Mandates

    Executive Order 12875--This Interim Final Rule does not create an 
unfunded Federal Mandate upon any State, local, or tribal government.
    Unfunded Mandate Reform Act of 1995--This Interim Final Rule does 
not include any Federal mandate that may result in increased 
expenditures by State, local and tribal governments in the aggregate of 
$100 million or more, or increased expenditures by the private sector 
of $100 million or more.

Executive Order 13132

    These regulations have been reviewed in accordance with Executive 
Order 13132 regarding Federalism. This rule will not have substantial 
direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and the States, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, the 
requirements of section 6 of Executive Order 13132 do not apply to this 
rule.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This Interim Final Rule does not substantially change the existing 
obligations of Federal contractors or subcontractors. The Department of 
Labor certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small business entities. Therefore, 
no regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The inclusion of guidelines in the October 11, 2001, final rule on 
how to determine the minimum and maximum number of employees may have 
inadvertently resulted in greater burden than that reflected in the 
rule. By removing the portion of the rule that specified how the 
minimum and maximum number of employees was to be computed, this 
Interim Final Rule restores the burden to that reflected in the final 
rule.

Absence of Notice of Proposed Rulemaking/Effective Date of This Interim 
Rule

    The Department of Labor has determined that it is unnecessary and 
contrary to the public interest to publish a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding this amendment. This Interim Final Rule 
will prevent covered contractors from having to comply with a possibly 
significant and inadvertent increase in their recordkeeping burdens. 
The portion of the October 11 rule that is being removed simply 
provided information on how the maximum and minimum number of employees 
was to be computed; removing that information nevertheless retains 
unchanged the fundamental statutory requirement that contractors report 
their maximum and minimum employment.
    For the above-listed reasons, the Department of Labor finds that 
publishing an NPRM, and providing a period for notice and comment, 
before implementing this Interim Final Rule is unnecessary and contrary 
to the public interest, and therefore pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) 
good cause exists for publishing these regulations as an Interim Final 
Rule. Furthermore, the Department finds that the above-listed reasons 
also constitute good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) for waiving the 
customary requirement to delay the effective date of a regulation for 
30 days following its publication. Therefore, this Interim Final Rule 
is effective immediately upon publication.

List of Subjects in 41 CFR Part 61-250

    Government contracts, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Veterans.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 13th day of December 2001.
Frederico Juarbe, Jr.,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training 
Service.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 41 CFR part 61-250 is 
amended as set forth below:

PART 61-250--ANNUAL REPORT FROM FEDERAL CONTRACTORS

    1. The authority citation for part 61-250 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 38 U.S.C. 4212(d).


Sec. 250.10  [Amended]

    2. Section 250.10 is amended in the contract clause by removing all 
of paragraph (a)(3) except for the first sentence.


Sec. 250.11  [Amended]

    3. Section 250.11 is amended in the contract clause by removing the 
paragraph entitled ``Maximum and minimum number of employees:'' which 
appears under the heading entitled

[[Page 65454]]

``Information on Employees (Veterans and non-veterans).''

[FR Doc. 01-31188 Filed 12-18-01; 8:45 am]
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