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EPA OIG report highlights top management challenges for CSB in 2019


Washington — Potential elimination of the agency and a lack of leadership authority are among the key managerial challenges facing the Chemical Safety Board in the new year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General Annual Plan for Fiscal Year 2019.

Released Dec. 12, the plan is intended to guide the direction of EPA OIG’s 2019 audit and investigative work.

President Donald Trump’s FY 2019 budget proposed eliminating CSB, but Congress has continued to fund the agency. The budget uncertainty, according to the plan, has hindered the agency’s ability to attract, hire and retain staff.

In May, Vanessa A. Sutherland announced her resignation as CSB chair, leaving only three of the five board seats filled. Members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.


EPA OIG recommends CSB strengthen its internal policies and request that Congress provide the chairperson with more authority to “correct inappropriate or destabilizing behaviors by board members.” The chairperson does not have the statutory authority to hold board members accountable or take corrective action against them.

A challenge cited in FY 2017 – addressing human resources management issues – has been removed as it nears a resolution, EPA OIG states in the plan. CSB has completed 17 of 18 recommendations from a 2015 Office of Personnel Management report. The remaining item – to establish a Human Capital Plan – has been developed and drafted. It will be implemented in FY 2019, according to the plan.

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