The Occupational Safety and Health Act authorizes the Secretary of Labor to establish national occupational safety and health standards and to enforce compliance through workplace inspections and penalties for violations. GAO reviewed the adequacy of the accounting controls and procedures used by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Office of the Solicitor for processing penalty cases and collecting and safeguarding penalty payments.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Labor||1. The Secretary of Labor should require OSHA and the Office of the Solicitor to develop and implement a recordkeeping system to provide improved management controls over penalty receipts in transit between Labor offices. At a minimum, such a system should require receiving offices to acknowledge receipt of payments.|
|Department of Labor||2. The Secretary of Labor should require OSHA and the Office of the Solicitor to emphasize to their field offices the importance of forwarding penalty receipts promptly. Receipts should be forwarded on the day of collection, or at least by the following business day. The Secretary should also require OSHA headquarters to make daily collections and deposits of penalty receipts from the post office box.|
|Department of Labor||3. The Secretary of Labor should require the Office of the Solicitor to establish a uniform minimum penalty for regional solicitors to use in determining whether to pursue court action to recover unpaid penalties in collection cases.|