Coal Tattoo

MSHA ‘stonewalling’ Congress on audit reports

This just in:

U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) released the following statement today after the Mine Safety and Health Aministration failed to provide requested documents regarding the administration’s enforcement of mine safety:

“More than three weeks after I asked Assistant Secretary Main to produce information related to his administration’s enforcement of mine safety, I am still waiting. We understand numerous internal audits may have uncovered critical details about enforcement lapses of the administration. Deadlines have come and gone, and despite providing the administration with additional time, not a single audit has been turned over to the committee. Where are the documents? Stonewalling a congressional investigation into mine safety impedes our ability to protect the health and well-being of America’s miners. As the Assistant Secretary testifies before the Senate today, I strongly urge him to explain this inaction and provide all documents without further delay.”

Chairman Kline and members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce recently learned of a March 2010 report released by MSHA’s accountability office detailing several instances in which MSHA officials failed to enforce existing rules and regulations. Chairman Kline sent a letter to Assistant Secretary Joseph A. Main on March 7, 2011 to express his concerns about this report and request a copy of all reports, audits and post-audit reports generated by MSHA’s Office of Accountability since 2007. Despite a deadline of March 21, 2011, MSHA has failed to provide a single audit to the committee.

Recall that Rep. Kline asked for these records after a Gazette story about the MSHA Office of Accountability.