20 CFR § 658.603 - Employment and Training Administration regional office responsibility.

§ 658.603 Employment and Training Administration regional office responsibility.

(a) The Regional Administrator must have responsibility for the regular review and assessment of SWA performance and compliance with ES regulations.

(b) The Regional Administrator must participate with the National Office staff in reviewing and approving the State Plan for the SWAs within the region. In reviewing the State Plans the Regional Administrator and appropriate National Office staff must consider relevant factors including the following:

(1) State Workforce Agency compliance with ES regulations;

(2) State Workforce Agency performance against the goals and objectives established in the previous State Plan;

(3) The effect which economic conditions and other external factors considered by the ETA in the resource allocation process may have had or are expected to have on the SWA's performance;

(4) SWA adherence to national program emphasis; and

(5) The adequacy and appropriateness of the State Plan for carrying out ES programs.

(c) The Regional Administrator must assess the overall performance of SWAs on an ongoing basis through desk reviews and the use of required reporting systems and other available information.

(d) As appropriate, Regional Administrators must conduct or have conducted:

(1) Comprehensive on-site reviews of SWAs and their offices to review SWA organization, management, and program operations;

(2) Periodic performance reviews of SWA operation of ES programs to measure actual performance against the State Plan, past performance, the performance of other SWAs, etc.;

(3) Audits of SWA programs to review their program activity and to assess whether the expenditure of grant funds has been in accordance with the approved budget. Regional Administrators also may conduct audits through other agencies or organizations or may require the SWA to have audits conducted;

(4) Validations of data entered into management information systems to assess:

(i) The accuracy of data entered by the SWAs into the management information system;

(ii) Whether the SWAs' data validating and reviewing procedures conform to Department instructions; and

(iii) Whether SWAs have implemented any corrective action plans required by the Department to remedy deficiencies in their validation programs;

(5) Technical assistance programs to assist SWAs in carrying out ES regulations and programs;

(6) Reviews to assess whether the SWA has complied with corrective action plans imposed by the Department or by the SWA itself; and

(7) Random, unannounced field checks of a sample of agricultural work sites to which ES placements have been made through the clearance system to determine and document whether wages, hours, working and housing conditions are as specified on the job order. If regional office staff find reason to believe that conditions vary from job order specifications, findings must be documented on the Complaint/Apparent Violation Referral Form and provided to the State Workforce Agency to be handled as an apparent violation under § 658.419.

(e) The Regional Administrator must provide technical assistance to SWAs to assist them in carrying out ES regulations and programs.

(f) The Regional Administrator must appoint a RMA who must carry out the duties set forth in this subpart. The RMA must:

(1) Review the effective functioning of the SMAs in his/her region;

(2) Review the performance of SWAs in providing the full range of employment services to MSFWs;

(3) Take steps to resolve ES-related problems of MSFWs which come to his/her attention;

(4) Recommend to the Regional Administrator changes in policy towards MSFWs;

(5) Review the operation of the Complaint System; and

(6) Serve as an advocate to improve service for MSFWs within the ES. The RMA must be a member of the Regional Farm Labor Coordinated Enforcement Committee.

(g) The RMA must be appointed by the Regional Administrator after informing farmworker organizations and other organizations in the region with expertise concerning MSFWs of the opening and encouraging them to refer qualified applicants to apply through the Federal merit system. The RMA must have direct personal access to the Regional Administrator wherever he/she finds it necessary. Among qualified candidates, individuals must be sought who meet the criteria used in the selection of the SMAs, as provided in § 653.108(b) of this chapter.

(h) The Regional Administrator must ensure that staff necessary to fulfill effectively all the regional office responsibilities set forth in this section are assigned.

(i) The RMA within the first 3 months of his/her tenure must participate in a training session(s) approved by the National Office.

(j) At the regional level, the RMA must have primary responsibility for:

(1) Monitoring the effectiveness of the Complaint System set forth at subpart E of this part;

(2) Apprising appropriate State and ETA officials of deficiencies in the Complaint System; and

(3) Providing technical assistance to SMAs in the region.

(k) At the ETA regional level, the RMA must have primary responsibility for ensuring SWA compliance with ES regulations as it pertains to services to MSFWs is monitored by the regional office. He/she must independently assess on a continuing basis the provision of employment services to MSFWs, seeking out and using:

(1) Information from SMAs, including all reports and other documents;

(2) Program performance data;

(3) The periodic and other required reports from SWAs;

(4) Federal on-site reviews;

(5) Other reports prepared by the National Office;

(6) Information received from farmworker organizations and employers; and

(7) Any other pertinent information which comes to his/her attention from any possible source.

(8) In addition, the RMA must consider his/her personal observations from visits to ES offices, agricultural work sites, and migrant camps.

(l) The RMA must assist the Regional Administrator and other line officials in applying appropriate corrective and remedial actions to State agencies.

(m) The Regional Administrator's quarterly report to the National Office must include the RMA's summary of his/her independent assessment as required in paragraph (f)(5) of this section. The fourth quarter summary must include an annual summary from the region. The summary also must include both a quantitative and a qualitative analysis of his/her reviews and must address all the matters with respect to which he/she has responsibilities under these regulations.

(n) The RMA must review the activities and performance of the SMAs and the State monitoring system in the region, and must recommend any appropriate changes in the operation of the system to the Regional Administrator. The RMA's review must include a determination whether the SMA:

(1) Does not have adequate access to information;

(2) Is being impeded in fulfilling his/her duties; or

(3) Is making recommendations that are being consistently ignored by SWA officials. If the RMA believes that the effectiveness of any SMA has been substantially impeded by the State Administrator, other State agency officials, any Federal officials, or other ES staff, he/she must report and recommend appropriate actions to the Regional Administrator. Copies of the recommendations must be provided to the NMA electronically or in hard copy.

(o)

(1) The RMA must be informed of all proposed changes in policy and practice within the ES, including ES regulations, which may affect the delivery of services to MSFWs. He/she must advise the Regional Administrator on all such proposed changes which, in his/her opinion, may adversely affect MSFWs or which may substantially improve the delivery of services to MSFWs.

(2) The RMA also may recommend changes in ES policy or regulations, as well as changes in the funding of State Workforce Agencies and/or adjustments of reallocation of the discretionary portions of funding formulae as they pertain to MSFWs.

(p) The RMA must participate in the review and assessment activities required in this section and §§ 658.700 through 658.711. He/she, an assistant, or another RMA, must participate in National Office and regional office on-site statewide reviews of employment services to MSFWs in States in the region. The RMA must engage in the following activities in the course of participating in an on-site SWA review:

(1) Accompany selected outreach workers on their field visits;

(2) Participate in a random field check of migrant camps or work sites where MSFWs have been placed on intrastate or interstate clearance orders;

(3) Contact local WIOA sec. 167 National Farmworker Jobs Program grantees or other farmworker organizations as part of the on-site review, and must discuss with representatives of these organizations perceived trends, and/or other relevant information concerning MSFWs in the area; and

(4) Meet with the SMA and discuss the full range of the employment services to MSFWs, including monitoring and the Complaint System.

(q) During the calendar quarter preceding the time of peak MSFW activity in each State, the RMA must meet with the SMA and must review in detail the State Workforce Agency's capability for providing the full range of services to MSFWs as required by ES regulations, during the upcoming harvest season. The RMA must offer technical assistance and recommend to the SWA and/or the Regional Administrator any changes in State policy or practice that he/she finds necessary.

(r) As appropriate, each year during the peak harvest season, the RMA must visit each State in the region not scheduled for an onsite review during that fiscal year and must:

(1) Meet with the SMA and other ES staff to discuss MSFW service delivery; and

(2) Contact representatives of MSFW organizations to obtain information concerning ES delivery and coordination with other agencies and interested employer organizations.

(s) The RMA must initiate and maintain regular and personal contacts, including informal contacts in addition to those specifically required by these regulations, with SMAs in the region. In addition, the RMA must have personal and regular contact with the NMA. The RMA also must establish routine and regular contacts with WIOA sec. 167 National Farmworker Jobs Program grantees, other farmworker organizations and agricultural employers and/or employer organizations in his/her region. He/she must attend conferences or meetings of these groups wherever possible and must report to the Regional Administrator and the Regional Farm Labor Coordinated Enforcement Committee on these contacts when appropriate. He/she also must make recommendations as to how the Department might better coordinate ES and WIOA sec. 167 National Farmworker Jobs Program services to MSFWs.

(t) The RMA must attend MSFW-related public meeting(s) conducted in the region, as appropriate. Following such meetings or hearings, the RMA must take such steps or make such recommendations to the Regional Administrator, as he/she deems necessary to remedy problem(s) or condition(s) identified or described therein.

(u) The RMA must attempt to achieve regional solutions to any problems, deficiencies, or improper practices concerning services to MSFWs which are regional in scope. Further, he/she must recommend policies, offer technical assistance, or take any other necessary steps as he/she deems desirable or appropriate on a regional, rather than State-by-State basis, to promote region-wide improvement in the delivery of employment services to MSFWs. He/she must facilitate region-wide coordination and communication regarding provision of employment services to MSFWs among SMAs, State Administrators, and Federal ETA officials to the greatest extent possible. In the event that any SWA or other RMA, enforcement agency, or MSFW group refers a matter to the RMA which requires emergency action, he/she must assist them in obtaining action by appropriate agencies and staff, inform the originating party of the action taken, and, upon request, provide written confirmation.

(v) The RMA must initiate and maintain such contacts as he/she deems necessary with RMAs in other regions to seek to resolve problems concerning MSFWs who work, live, or travel through the region. He/she must recommend to the Regional Administrator and/or the National Office inter-regional cooperation on any particular matter, problem, or policy with respect to which inter-regional action is desirable.

(w) The RMA must establish regular contacts with the regional agricultural coordinators from WHD and OSHA and any other regional staff from other Federal enforcement agencies and must establish contacts with the staff of other Department agencies represented on the Regional Farm Labor Coordinated Enforcement Committee and to the extent necessary, on other pertinent task forces or committees.

(x) The RMA must participate in the regional reviews of the State Plans, and must comment to the Regional Administrator as to the SWA compliance with the ES regulations as they pertain to services to MSFWs, including the staffing of ES offices.

[81 FR 56352, Aug. 19, 2016, as amended at 85 FR 630, Jan. 6, 2020]