States of America
June 26, 2002
Dear Mr. Childs:
This is in response to the Office of Management and Budget’s memorandum of February 27, 2002 with regard to the inventory of commercial activities performed by Federal employees. The inventory is required by the “Federal Activities Inventory Reform Act of 1998,” P.L. 105-270 (the FAIR Act).
The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (Review Commission) is a small independent, adjudicatory agency created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Its mission and functions are inherently governmental: 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. As such, it does not provide administrative or commercial services to the public.
Currently, the Review Commission staff consists of 69 FTEs comprised mainly of administrative law judges, presidentially appointed commissioners and attorneys. The administrative law judges hear and adjudicate cases brought to the Agency. The presidentially-appointed commissioners selectively review cases decided by the judges. Attorneys support this judicial activity through their research. The activities performed by these employees are inherently governmental in nature as they involve sensitive and confidential information used to make legal policy decisions inherent in the adjudication of disputes.
Additionally, we have nine employees who perform managerial, public affairs, information technology, budget, personnel, contracting, and budget functions and who are engaged in policy development. These employees are also performing inherently governmental activities. These employees have access to confidential information with respect to the decisional process of the Commission. As a small agency, we have single individuals performing multiple functions. It is impossible, therefore, to separate and cost specific functions.
Commercial Activities Contracted Out
I would like to note that many of the functions identified by OMB as lending themselves to commercial activity have already been commercialized or are supplied by other government agencies. The services that we contract for involve:
Processes and Challenges
In FY 2002, OSHRC reviewed the activities performed by the small number of Review Commission employees and the OMB guidance to determine if any activities performed by our employees should be included in the inventory of commercial activities. A similar process was followed in prior fiscal years.
As the need to contract out for services emerges, the Review Commission follows a competitive process. All procurement actions, including actions for services, are in accord with the Federal Acquisition Regulations.
The Review Commission has received no questions or challenges regarding our activities under the FAIR Act.
As requested, we completed the Excel spreadsheet that we obtained from the OMB website. It will be e-mailed as instructed. Any questions concerning commercial activities within the Review Commission should be directed to me. I may be reached at 202-606-5390.
Ledia Esther Bernal