WOTC database 08/04/21 (Department of Labor and Industry, Workforce Services Division)

Emily Corwin filed this request with the Department of Labor and Industry, Workforce Services Division of Montana.

It is a clone of this request.

Multi Request WOTC database 08/04/21
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

Communications

From: Emily Corwin

Attention: Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) Unit

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Montana Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

1) All reports regarding Work Opportunity Tax Credits certified in 2019 and 2020 provided to the US Department of Labor, including forms 9058.
2) Any database tracking Work Opportunity Tax Credit certifications which is created or maintained by your department or by any third party vendor under contract with your department, preferably in .csv or .xlsx format. If it is easier, the database can be limited to the calendar or fiscal years ending in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
3) The most recent of any contracts with third party vendors to track WOTC certifications.

My goal is to ascertain which businesses and industries are applying for and/or receiving Work Opportunity Tax Credits, for which categories of employees and which occupations. If a conversation could help narrow or expedite the completion of this request, I am available at 802 233 4992 and emily_corwin@harvard.edu.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days.

Sincerely,

Emily Corwin

From: Department of Labor and Industry, Workforce Services Division

Hi Emily: Our Workforce Services Division will be able to help you with this request. I have included Christy Robbins who works in this program on this email. I have also included a link to their webpage. Thank you.

https://wsd.dli.mt.gov/employers/wotc

Melissa West
Compliance/Inspector Supervisor

Montana Department of Labor & Industry
Business Standards Division
PHONE (406) 841-2330
melwest@mt.gov<mailto:melwest@mt.gov>

From: Emily Corwin

Hello,

I have not received any updates from Christy Robbins. Please advise.

Many thanks,
Emily Corwin

From: Department of Labor and Industry, Workforce Services Division

Hi Emily,

Please find the information you need here WOTC Performance webpage [dol.gov]<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/www.dol.gov/agencies/eta/wotc/performance__;!!GaaboA!9YPD4K69JRLxXeTeqJ1pR8XA_Rxl4BWHGKT-NiUulmQ4NyEnSkfuFfcHGvIdCd4$> … DOL/ETA website.
Thanks,
Tanner

Tanner Woodward
Programs Supervisor

Montana Department of Labor & Industry
Workforce Services Division
Phone (406)444-1620
twoodward@mt.gov<mailto:twoodward@mt.gov>

From: Emily Corwin

Hi Tanner,

While I understand USDOL has recommended states respond to my request as you have, the existence of a national aggregate report of data does not satisfy Montana’s responsibility to disclose records in its custody which are not exempt from public records laws.

For item #1 of my request, I am seeking – in particular – statewide data on wages and job positions. This is documented in forms 9058 and is not available on the USDOL reports you recommended I view. If these forms are exempt from disclosure, please cite the relevant statutes. At this point over a dozen states have provided me with these records. Some examples are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nm11juhxwes8a9m/AAA7K5aB-wVGqhLFKb40_J-Qa?dl=0

For item #2 I am seeking the following fields from whatever database Montana uses to populate form 9058, preferably in .csv or .xlsx format. In most cases, this database is created from the information received on DOL ETA forms 9061 or 9062. If it is easier, the database can be limited to the calendar or fiscal years ending in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The fields I am seeking are:

Business name | Target group | Starting wage | Job position | Approved/denied | Application date

Examples of other states’ responsive records can be found at the same link provided above.

Many thanks,
Emily
--
Emily Corwin
Nieman/Abrams Fellow 2020-2022<https://nieman.harvard.edu/news/2020/07/nieman-foundation-for-journalism-announces-2021-fellows/>
twitter: @emilycorwin<https://twitter.com/emilycorwin>
phone: 802 233 4992

From: Department of Labor and Industry, Workforce Services Division

Good morning Emily,

Happy New Year!

Thanks for your patience. Please find in attachment the Montana’s WOTC quarterly reports (2018-2020) with the data you are looking for. Quarter ending 6/30/2020 is in attachment “WOTC Quarter end 3 31 2020”. I left you a voice message at 802 233 4992 also letting you know this is being sent. If you have questions please reach back to me at twoodward@mt.gov<mailto:twoodward@mt.gov> and/or 406-444-1620.
Thanks,
Tanner
Tanner Woodward
Programs Supervisor

Montana Department of Labor & Industry
Workforce Services Division
Phone (406)444-1620
twoodward@mt.gov<mailto:twoodward@mt.gov>

Warning An exclamation point.

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From: Emily Corwin

Thanks so much for this, Tanner.

The attached forms definitely fulfil the first part of my request. The second part, requesting 6 fields from a database of WOTC applications, does not appear to be included. Can you tell me if this is a) an omission (and they are forthcoming) b) if such a database does not exist or c) if Montana does maintain such a database but considers it exempt from public records law?

I'll paste that most recent request below.

Many thanks,
Emily
-------
November 19, 2021

This is a follow up to a previous request:

Hi Tanner,

While I understand USDOL has recommended states respond to my request as you have, the existence of a national aggregate report of data does not satisfy Montana’s responsibility to disclose records in its custody which are not exempt from public records laws.

For item #1 of my request, I am seeking – in particular – statewide data on wages and job positions. This is documented in forms 9058 and is not available on the USDOL reports you recommended I view. If these forms are exempt from disclosure, please cite the relevant statutes. At this point over a dozen states have provided me with these records. Some examples are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nm11juhxwes8a9m/AAA7K5aB-wVGqhLFKb40_J-Qa?dl=0

For item #2 I am seeking the following fields from whatever database Montana uses to populate form 9058, preferably in .csv or .xlsx format. In most cases, this database is created from the information received on DOL ETA forms 9061 or 9062. If it is easier, the database can be limited to the calendar or fiscal years ending in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The fields I am seeking are:

Business name | Target group | Starting wage | Job position | Approved/denied | Application date

Examples of other states’ responsive records can be found at the same link provided above.

Many thanks,
Emily
--
Emily Corwin
Nieman/Abrams Fellow 2020-2022<https://nieman.harvard.edu/news/2020/07/nieman-foundation-for-journalism-announces-2021-fellows/>
twitter: @emilycorwin<https://twitter.com/emilycorwin>
phone: 802 233 4992

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PLEASE NOTE: This request is not filed by a MuckRock staff member, but is being sent through MuckRock by the above in order to better track, share, and manage public records requests. Also note that improperly addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than "MuckRock News" and the department number) requests might be returned as undeliverable.

---

From: Department of Labor and Industry, Workforce Services Division

Hi Emily,

Thanks. Montana is still working on the 2nd part of your request and will let you know once we know more. Hope this helps.
Thanks,
Tanner

From: Department of Labor and Industry, Workforce Services Division

To whom it may concern,

On February 23, 2022, I sent the email below to Ms. Corwin’s Harvard email address, emily_corwin@harvard.edu, regarding this information request. The Department received another request for the information on Sunday, March 7, 2022, so I am forwarding the email below to the MuckRock email address referenced in the request.

Please confirm receipt of this email.

Thank you,

Haley Nelson

Haley A. Nelson

Agency Counsel

Department of Labor & Industry

P.O. Box 1728, Helena, MT 59624-1728

(406) 444-1745

Haley.Nelson@mt.gov

From: Emily Corwin

Hello,

I seem to have received a fragment of an email earlier today, stating only "To whom it may concern,". I want to make sure you know that the rest did not come through.

Many thanks,
Emily Corwin
802 233 4992

From: Department of Labor and Industry, Workforce Services Division

Ms. Corwin,

Thank you for letting me know that the email did not go through. I have attached the entirety of that email.

Please let me know if you have any trouble accessing it.

Thank you,

Haley Nelson

Haley A. Nelson
Agency Counsel
Department of Labor & Industry
P.O. Box 1728, Helena, MT 59624-1728
(406) 444-1745
Haley.Nelson@mt.gov

From: Nelson, Haley
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2022 12:32 PM
To: emily_corwin@harvard.edu
Cc: Robbins, Christy <crobbins@mt.gov>; Woodward, Tanner <TWoodward@mt.gov>; Valdez, Roy <Rogelio.Valdez@mt.gov>
Subject: Montana FOIA Request: WOTC Database

Ms. Corwin,

I apologize if you received an earlier version of this email with some formatting mistakes. Please disregard it.

I have reviewed your information request the Department’s WOTC database, summarized below. We have provided you with item # 1 of your request for 2018, 2019, and 2020, that included the target group, starting wage, job position, and approved/denied information.

For item #1 of my request, I am seeking – in particular – statewide data on wages and job positions. This is documented in forms 9058 and is not available on the USDOL reports you recommended I view. If these forms are exempt from disclosure, please cite the relevant statutes. At this point over a dozen states have provided me with these records. Some examples are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nm11juhxwes8a9m/AAA7K5aB-wVGqhLFKb40_J-Qa?dl=0 [dropbox.com]

For item #2 I am seeking the following fields from whatever database Montana uses to populate form 9058, preferably in .csv or .xlsx format. In most cases, this database is created from the information received on DOL ETA forms 9061 or 9062. If it is easier, the database can be limited to the calendar or fiscal years ending in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The fields I am seeking are:

Business name | Target group | Starting wage | Job position | Approved/denied | Application date

For item # 2 of your request, the Department cannot release the business name of employers who apply for the tax credit under our state law that protects the confidentiality of a corporations tax records, § 15-31-511, MCA. The law states it is unlawful for the Department of Revenue to disclose “any federal return or information in or disclosed on a federal return or report required by law or rule of the department under this chapter.” Section 15-31-511(1)(b). Although we are the Department of Labor, the information is federal tax information and corporations have a reasonable expectation that this information will remain private and will not be disclosed.

Regarding application dates, the application date information for 2018 through approximately September 2019 is no longer available because the information was not moved during a conversion to a new database in approximately September 2019. The application date information for approximately October 2019 through 2020 will have to be accessed by our Department’s internal IT services. We are currently working on an estimate of how much time and expense it will take to access that application date information pursuant to Montana’s Public Records laws, § 2-6-1006, MCA. Please let us know if you would like this information, and we will provide you with a time and expense estimate.

If you would like any information in a different format than what we have already provided, please let us know specifically, and we can work on a time and expense estimate for that as well.

Thank you,

Haley Nelson

Haley A. Nelson

Agency Counsel

Department of Labor & Industry

P.O. Box 1728, Helena, MT 59624-1728

(406) 444-1745

Haley.Nelson@mt.gov

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