Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board's management problems, focusing on: (1) the status of the Board's organization and operations; (2) the Board's efforts to update and develop plans, policies, and procedures for accomplishing the Board's mission, including those aimed at ensuring the objectivity of its investigative activities; and (3) whether the Board would benefit from the independent oversight of an inspector general.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board||The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board should develop and implement clear policies and procedures on potential conflicts of interest and consider other policies and procedures that would further promote investigative impartiality and thoroughness, such as ensuring substantive disagreements among investigative team members are appropriately identified and addressed, the reporting of minority views of Board members in investigative reports, the handling of requests for reconsideration of aspects of issued reports, and external peer review.|
|Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board||To provide the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board with the benefits of independent institutional oversight and to protect the government's financial interests, the Board should develop an agreement with an existing office of inspector general, giving that office the authority to investigate the Board's operations and programs, monitor agency responses to its recommendations, report to the Board and Congress about weaknesses and deficiencies, and provide a hotline to report instances of suspected fraud, waste, or abuse. The Board should also notify Congress in the event that it is unable to negotiate an agreement for these services with an existing inspector general.|