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MSHA News Release No. 95-027
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: (703) 235-1452

July 7, 1995

FEDERAL MINE INSPECTORS TO GET MORE ETHICS TRAINING, SCRUTINY

In response to continuing concerns about corruption among a small number of employees within the agency, the U.S. Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has embarked upon a program to provide special ethics training to all Federal mine inspectors. The training program is being developed in conjunction with the union which represents agency employees, the National Council of Field Labor Locals, AFGE. In addition, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, J. Davitt McAteer announced an investigator with the Labor Department's Office of the Inspector General will be assigned to the agency on a continuing basis to investigate allegations of employee waste, fraud, and abuse.

"There can be no excuse for any corruption in an agency whose integrity has a direct effect on the safety and health of American miners," McAteer said. "I am committed to make sure that all our employees know the rules and that any and all complaints of misconduct continue to be promptly and fully investigated."

NCFLL President Jesse Rios added: "Like MSHA, our union has no tolerance for employee corruption and supports the agency's decision to provide additional training."

McAteer and Rios said all MSHA inspectors will undergo the additional training by the end of the year.

During the tenure of Assistant Secretary McAteer, MSHA has taken an aggressive stance against employee misconduct. In recent months several MSHA inspectors have been convicted of accepting bribes or gratuities from mine operators. These inspectors are no longer with MSHA.

McAteer said the sad fact that a few inspectors have been dishonest is not a reflection on the integrity of the majority of MSHA inspectors who are dedicated to the mission of providing a safe workplace for the nation's miners.