Mine Safety and Health Administration:

Implementation of the Inflation Adjustment Act

GAO-03-288R: Published: Nov 27, 2002. Publicly Released: Nov 27, 2002.

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The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 went under a governmentwide review by GAO earlier this year. The act required each federal agency to issue a regulation adjusting its covered maximum and minimum civil monetary penalties for inflation by October 23, 1996, and requires them to make necessary adjustments at least once every 4 years thereafter. GAO determined that the Mine Safety and Health Administration within the Department of Labor published its first round of penalty adjustments in April 1998, but has not published a second round of adjustments for at least two eligible penalties.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On February 10, 2003, MSHA published a direct final rule revising its civil penalty amounts for inflation. Specifically, MSHA adjusted two of its three penalties that were statutorily established by Congress, and adjusted other penalties that were not statutorily established. An MSHA official said that the agency's actions were prompted by GAO's review.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Labor should direct the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health to initiate a regulatory action as soon as possible to adjust eligible civil penalties in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Inflation Adjustment Act.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor


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