Budget

Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission


OSHRC


Fiscal Year 2002

Integrated Budget Request

and

Annual Performance Plan


April 2001






Table of Contents


Fiscal Year 2002 Integrated Annual Performance Plan and Budget Request

Page

I. Summary and Highlights

II. Introduction -- Mission, Vision, and Strategic Goals

III. Budget Request and Annual Performance Plan by Organizational Function

IV. Strategies in the Strategic Plan (Revised)

V. FY 2001 Revised Final Annual Performance Plan

VI. Budget by Object Classification Category

VII. Other Tables


I. Summary and Highlights

The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission is requesting $8,964,000 in funding for FY 2002. This amount is 2.8 percent above the amount available for FY 2001 ($8,720,000). The request would support 70 FTEs. The increase reflects the impact of the January 2001 and 2002 pay raises.

This amount would allow the Review Commission to fulfill its legislative mandate to serve as an administrative court providing just and prompt resolution of disputes involving the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers charged with violations of Federal safety and health standards, and employees and/or their representatives. The request supports the goals in our strategic plan that aim to improve service to and communications with the public along with an organizational goal that supports the two main goals.

Highlights of the FY 2002 budget request, more fully detailed in subsequent sections, are as follows:

The principal factors that affect the workload of our Administrative Law Judges are the number of safety and health inspections carried out by OSHA each year, the nature of those inspections, and the rate at which employers choose to contest the citations issued and penalties proposed by OSHA as a result of its enforcement activity. The FY 2002 request assumes that OSHA will conduct approximately the same number of inspections in FY 2002 as are planned for FY 2001.

At the Commission level, the maintenance of a three-member Commission, or at a minimum, a quorum, is the major factor impacting the Commission's workload. The Commission consists of three members. The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires a quorum of two Commissioners and the affirmative vote of two Commissioners to decide a case. During periods when the Commission has no quorum, no cases can be decided. With fewer than three members, deadlocks on votes may result. Cases with large proposed penalties and more complex cases have a greater likelihood of an impasse with only two members. Action on important issues may be postponed and issuance of pending cases may be delayed. During FY 2002 we expect that the Commission will be fully staffed. However, there is currently a vacancy in the Commission.

Conclusion

Spending has been pared to the maximum extent possible in every area. Our goals are to resolve cases and provide information to the public. Without the needed funding, the ability to resolve cases at the Administrative Law Judge and Commission levels would be impacted. Our communications with the public would be diminished and organizational effectiveness would be reduced.


II. Introduction -- Mission,

Vision, and

Strategic Goals

The Review Commission is an independent, adjudicatory agency created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Its sole statutory mandate is to serve as an administrative court providing just and expeditious resolution of disputes involving OSHA, employers charged with violations of Federal safety and health standards, and employees and/or their representatives. The Review Commission was created by Congress as an agency completely independent of the Department of Labor to ensure that OSHA's enforcement actions are carried out in accordance with the law and that all parties are treated consistent with due process should a dispute arise.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Review Commission's Rules of Procedure provide two levels of adjudication when an employer timely contests an OSHA citation for alleged violations of the Act or failure to abate such alleged violations. The first is a trial level, which affords an opportunity for a hearing before a Review Commission Administrative Law Judge. The judge's decision becomes final unless the decision is directed for review to the Commission. The second level is a discretionary appellate review of the judge's decision by the Commission members. Both before its judges and the Commissioners, the Review Commission provides fair and impartial adjudication of cases concerning the safety and health of employees' working conditions in the United States.

The principal (national) office of the Review Commission is located in Washington, D.C. There are also regional offices in Atlanta and Denver.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission is to provide an impartial forum for the just and prompt adjudication of workplace safety and health disputes involving the Department of Labor, employers and employees, and/or their representatives under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

Vision Statement

The Review Commission continues to strive to be: