A news release from DoL Secretary Elaine L. Chao said the funding bump would bring the EBSA budget total to $147.4 million for its efforts at enforcing the nation’s benefits and retirement security laws (See EBSA Enforcement Action Gains Reach $1.4B in 2006 ).
The news release said the budget includes proposals to help reduce the $18-billion shortfall at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), the nation’s private-sector pension insurance system, including giving the agency the authority to vary its insurance premium.
“The budget will also allow EBSA to increase the quality, timeliness and transparency of pension information disclosed to the public, as well as to maintain the strong enforcement record of recent years,” Chao said in the news release.
The budget also includes, according to the announcement:
- funding for 36 new Wage and Hour Division employees. The budget provides for $182.4 million, a $16.7-million increase. The budget also proposes legislation increasing the amount of civil monetary penalties that can be assessed against employers who willfully violate child labor laws.
- a $17.9-million increase for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) funding to a budget total of $490.3 million, which will fund 89,700 federal and state safety and health inspections.
- an additional $11.2 million to boost Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS) funding to $56.9 million and strengthen union financial integrity protections and Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act compliance.
- the FY 2008 budget request of $78.7 million for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) includes a $7.6 million increase and 18 additional FTEs for the labor racketeering program.
Under the president’s budget, total Department of Labor budget authority (discretionary and mandatory) for FY 2008 would be $50.4 billion, up from $46.7 billion in FY 2007.