National Mine Health and Safety Academy:

Progress and Problems

FPCD-78-35: Published: Apr 25, 1978. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 1978.

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The Department of the Interior established the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in 1971 to support Bureau of Mines efforts to reduce accidents and improve health conditions in mines and mineral industries through training. The Federal Mine Health and Safety Amendments Act of 1977 transferred the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration to the Department of Labor but left the Academy within the Department of the Interior.

The Academy has made progress in increasing its level of student training and reduced costs per student by using more of its capacity, but its training capacity is still far in excess of its present mission training. The Academy will have to add other training programs and draw students from outside the Administration to fully use its facilities. During the Academy's development, the faculty spent most of its time on course development, but since it has not followed criterion-referenced instruction, it cannot be assured that course materials are adequate. Problems experienced in daily administrative operations stem principally from the staff's lack of thorough knowledge in accounting and financial management and in procurement functions. Advantages of locating the Academy in the Department of Labor are that it would place the Academy organizationally closer to the Mining Administration, its primary user, and it would permit continuity in support services which the Administration provides.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Interior should direct Academy officials to: (1) identify other training programs compatible with the Academy's current mission and ensure coordination for such training; (2) use job and task analysis when appropriate and coordinate with on-the-job training during course development; and (3) give priority to evaluating academy training programs. To strengthen daily operational effectiveness, the Secretary should: (1) give priority to organizing and appropriately staffing the business office; (2) develop and implement a management information system; (3) establish administrative controls to ensure that funds are properly spent and accounted for; and (4) establish property accounting controls that conform to the Mining Administration's principles and standards.

    Agency Affected:


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