Lapas attēli

You correctly state the problem a small businessman must face when attempting to seek a just disposition of charges brought against him by the Labor Department. I fully share your concern and I assure you that I shall continue my efforts to eliminate all bottlenecks and red tape from the appeal processes under this law.


Mr. MICHEL. In one instance you indicate there will be no increase in staff, and in another, you indicate three new judges will be added to help handle the increased caseload? How do you correlate the two statements ?

Mr. MORAN. Perhaps I didn't make myself as clear as I should have. In my own mind—and in our operations—I separate the judges from all other categories of employees. I have a tendency to refer to all nonjudges as "staff.” To make it clear, therefore, let me put it this way: There will be no increase in the administrative staff. There will be an increase of three in the number of judges. The total employment increase therefore will be three.


Mr. MICHEL. Of the cases on which a decision is rendered, what percentage have been decided in favor of the employer, and what percentage in favor of OSHA ?

Mr. Moran. The Department of Labor has fully prevailed in 15 percent of all cases disposed of by decision to this date. In the remaining 85 percent, the employer has fully or partially prevailed or the case was settled by mutual agreement of all parties.


Mr. MICHEL. What is the average wait at present for a businessman who brings a case before you? Any prospects for reducing the waiting period?

Mr. Moran. The answer to this question depends upon whether a member of the Commission exercises his discretionary-review authority under section 12(j). If this does not happen—and it has not happended in about 70 percent of the cases during the past year—the average waiting time from the filing of an objection to the OSHA action to the final disposition of the case is about 71/2 months. I think this is a reasonable time period but I am continually striving to reduce it even further. The additional three judges requested in this appropriation will help bring about an improvement in this waiting time.

Now we come to the bad news. If a member of the Commission exercises his discretionary-review right within 30 days of the judge's decision, it will add another year and a half to the waiting time. Consequently, such a case will have a waiting time of about 2 years between the time the cited employer files his objection and the final disposition of the case. The prospects of reducing this horrible situation depends upon how long it takes the person selected to fill the existing

vacancy in the membership to make up his mind on each case--and how hard he, or she, works to get cases resolved. I have proposed in the past that the members set a time limit on their dispositions. For example, if the members have not disposed of the case within 3 or 4 months after one of them has directed discretionary review of a judge's decision, that judge's decision would be automatically affirmed. In fortunately, I have been unable to get Commissioner Cleary or former Commissioner Van Namee to agree on placing any time limit on ourselves. However, I assure you that I shall again propose such a limit when a new member takes office and that I shall continue to work toward expeditious disposition of all cases.

Suggestions Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 8 of the legislative recommendations I made in response to Mr. Natcher's request would each effect more expeditious dispositions so Congress--as well as the members of the Commission—can do something to eliminate the unreasonable delays which are occurring in case dispositions. If the Commission members haven't dramatically improved this situation by the end of the year, it seems to me that legislative action is essential.


Mr. MICHEL. What accounts for the substantial reduction in printing and reproduction costs?

Mr. MORAN. We have introduced a number of cost-saving techniques into this process recently and we have more planned. It is necessary, as I am sure you realize, to reproduce a multitude of documents-briefs, decisions, complaints, answers, motions and other things—so all the parties to a case and, in many instances, all judges, members lawyers, reporting services and interested persons may keep up with developments. In the past we used Xerox machines for this. Several months ago we switched to a multilith process which does the same job at pennies per page less cost. This is a tremendous saving when multiplied by the number of pages reproduced. We have also cut down on the number of documents reproduced and have arranged for some costsaving changes in the printing of “OSAHRC Reports," the bound volumes of all decisions of the Commission which are printed and sold by the U.S. Government Printing Office.

Justification of the Budget Estimates


Salaries and Expenses

For expenses necessary for the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission Z55,512,0007 $5,675,000.

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