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Highlights

The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) was enacted in 2000 to compensate Department of Energy employees and contractors who developed work-related illnesses such as cancer and lung disease. Energy administered Subtitle D of the program. Subtitle B of the program is administered by the Department of Labor, which uses estimates of workers' likely radiation exposure to make compensation decisions. The estimates, known as dose reconstructions, are performed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The act specified that the President establish an Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health to review the scientific validity of NIOSH's dose reconstructions and recommend whether workers should be part of special exposure cohorts whose claimants can be compensated without dose reconstructions. A recent memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to Labor has raised concern about potential efforts to unduly contain the cost of benefits paid to claimants. This testimony presents GAO's past work on program performance and the work of the advisory board. It also highlights GAO's ongoing work relevant to issues raised by the OMB memorandum. GAO interviewed key officials and reviewed contract and other agency documents.

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