Latest FMSHRC News

Friday, December 9, 2016

Agency Operations in the Absence of Appropriations

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission has reviewed the guidance provided in OMB Circular No. A-11, Section 124 (2015).  The Commission provides the following specific information as required:

• Brief summary of significant agency activities that will continue and those that will cease during an appropriations hiatus:  During an appropriations hiatus, the Commission will continue to adjudicate only those Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 disputes that arise from a mine emergency and are necessary to ensure continued public health and safety.  All other agency activities will cease during the hiatus.

• Estimated time to complete shutdown:
This shut-down could be completed in ½ day.

• Number of employees expected to be on-board before implementation of plan:
The Commission expects to have 72 employees on-board before implementation of plan.

• Resuming Operations:
Once operations are restored, furloughed employees will be notified by phone and email via the Commission’s MIR3 mass notification system to report to work the next day and resume operations.  Supervisors will allow the use of annual leave, compensatory time off, or credit hours if reporting to work on the day specified by the agency is not possible for employees to return to work.  All Commission functions, including oversight and disbursement of contract funds, will resume immediately after the furlough ends.

Critical IT contract personnel will be required to report to work earlier to begin the process of resuming normal IT operations and ensuring that all employees can assess all components of the network infrastructure before they are expected to report to work.

• Total number of employees to be retained under the plan because:

Their compensation in financed by a resource other than annual appropriations: None
They are necessary to perform activities expressly authorized by law:  None
They are necessary to perform activities necessarily implied by law:  None
They are necessary to the discharge of the President’s constitutional duties and powers:  None
They are necessary to protect life and property: Total of three (3)

 Two (2):  In the event of a mine emergency, one administrative law judge and one docket office employee are necessary to issue any orders and decisions      necessary to ensure continued public health and safety.

 One (1):  In accordance with the guidance from United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US Cert), the Commission will have one manager on call  who will be listed as a point of contact with the US Cert in the event of any alerts of malicious activity penetrating the network.  Upon notification of such  alerts, the designated manager on call will contact contract IT support to address the issues.  After the issues are resolved, the designated manager and  contractor support will return to a furlough status.

They are Presidential appointees:  Four (4)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Mary Lu Jordan was sworn in today as a Commissioner of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission for a term of six years expiring on August 30, 2020.  She was nominated by President Barack Obama on January 8, 2015, and confirmed by the Senate on March 27, 2015.  She has also been designated by the President as Chairman of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.

Michael G. Young was sworn in today as a Commissioner of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission for a term of six years expiring on August 30, 2020.  He was nominated by President Barack Obama on January 8, 2015, and confirmed by the Senate on March 27, 2015.
 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The President has designated Commissioner Patrick Nakamura to be Acting Chairman of the Commission.

The Commission terms of Mary Lu Jordan and Michael Young expired as of midnight on August 30.  Pending action on the vacancies, Mary Lu and Mike will serve the Commission as Counsels to the remaining Commissioners and will work on special projects.  Because the Commission has a quorum of three Commissioners remaining, the Commissioners will continue to issue decisions in pending review cases.
 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Today the Commission published in the Federal Register the attached extension of comment period. 

The Commission published an interim rule, entitled, “Procedural Rules to Permit Parties to File and Serve Documents Electronically,” in the Federal Register on December 23, 2013 (78 Fed. Reg. 77354), and a correction to the interim rule on January 17, 2014 (79 Fed. Reg. 3104).  The interim rule became effective on January 22, 2014. 

The Commission’s electronic case management system (e-CMS), which allows parties to file documents electronically through a portal which may be accessed on the Commission’s website, is being implemented in phases this spring.

The Commission has extended the comment period on the interim rule from April 22 to July 31, 2014, so that parties  may include in their comments any experiences they have had using the e-CMS.