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OSHA spent only 53% of money allocated for inspections: report

Washington – OSHA exceeded its goal of increasing worksite inspections under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but spent only 53 percent of the money it was allocated, according to a new audit report from the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.

The Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus package, included money for building and road construction, among other areas. OSHA was given $13.6 million for inspection and enforcement of Recovery Act-related projects, of which the agency obligated $7.7 million but actually spent $7.2 million, auditors found.

The money went toward contracts and orders for outreach programs, enforcement grants for State Plan states, and salaries and expenses. Although OSHA used emphasis programs to target enforcement efforts, the programs lacked outcome measures, the auditors said, adding that they could not determine whether the programs actually improve safety.

The report noted that OSHA offered $3.7 million to State Plan states, but most states did not seek grants.

Auditors recommended that OSHA develop a framework for implementing inspection programs that are funded by a temporary grant and keep better inspection data.