WASHINGTON, D.C. | June 3, 2011
Dear Mr. Petrole:
On March 3, 2011, the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections of the Committee on Education and the Workforce held an oversight hearing on safety inspection and enforcement practices of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The hearing examined a previously unreleased March 25, 2010 MSHA report to the Senate Appropriations Committee highlighting serious deficiencies in MSHA’s enforcement of safety and health regulations. This report was based on information collected by MSHA’s Office of Accountability.
During questioning regarding the Office of Accountability’s report, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joe Main stated the problems identified in the March 25, 2010 report had been corrected. However, the Committee discovered the document was only one of many similar audits conducted by the Office of Accountability.
On March 7, I asked MSHA to produce all documents pertaining to audits conducted by the Office of Accountability. As a result of this request, MSHA subsequently produced 60 audit documents; however, they contain substantial redactions that prevent a complete understanding of the audits. As the agency’s Acting Inspector General, your office is empowered to review the documents without redactions.
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