The Labor Department and the Teamsters union's Central States Pension Fund announced agreement yesterday on what both sides called a precedent-setting consent decree providing for federal monitoring and independent management of the mammoth fund's assets for at least 10 more years.
The fund, which has grown to more than $3.5 billion, has generated controversy for more than 25 years because of investments in what critics called risky real estate ventures and undertakings backed by organized crime.
Labor Secretary Raymond J. Donovan said the decree "contains virtually all of the safeguards that the government has been seeking for over seven years and more."
The agreement calls for:
* Hiring an independent asset manager from among the nation's 75 largest banks, insurance companies and investment advisers. The choice must be approved by the courts.
* "Consultation" with the fund's trustees on "investment policies and objectives." However, Donovan said, the trustees will still be prohibited from recommending any individual acquisitions, investments or dispositions of fund assets "on a direct or indirect basis."
* Appointing an independent special counsel with complete access to pension fund files and meetings and to supervise compliance with the consent decree and make periodic reports to the court.
* Removing fund trustees and employes upon conviction of any of a long list of crimes, without waiting for appeals.
* Cooperation with Labor Department investigations and compliance with federal pension law and conditions imposed by the IRS in return for granting the fund tax-exempt status.
* Continued jurisdiction by a federal district judge in Chicago, currently James B. Moran, for at least 10 more years, then for another five if the Labor Department insists, and beyond that "for good cause shown."
* Continuing the fund's control over its benefits and administration account which, according to a recent GAO study, was the subject of a 1978 attempt to manipulate it for a $91 million loan.