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Successful government institutions attribute their accomplishments to great governance which entails monitoring the public affairs and standard maintenance of public resources. Finance is the most crucial resource in all public institutions and the best way to ensure it is put into use meaningful use is through accountability. Financial accountability in federal agencies is meant to ensure all decisions and actions taken are constantly supervised to meet the stipulated objects and attend to the needs of society. Moreover, the surveillance on public agencies ensures that they work to their fullest potential and that the public sees the value of the appropriated funds used. The American government works with a budget allocated on different agencies and often it is the misuse of the allotted funds leads to poor service delivery.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a United States Government agency under the Department of Labor. The agency was established by Congress in December 1970 under the occupational safety and health Act and its mission is to protect all the American workers by preventing them from any fatalities, illnesses or injuries when working. Consequently, the agency ensures that all standards pertaining to health and safety in the work environment are adhered to by both employees and employers. Moreover, OSHA works together with other agencies in developing and enforcing occupational health and safety programs to all Federal workers and also provides resources required to run related consultation programs.
OSHA comes up with a budget yearly and submits it to Congress for approval before its implementation. OSHA Safety and Health standard plans in the FY 2019 were to come up with four final rules which would require immediate allocation of funds. The crane-operator regulation was also to be finalized after a ten-year delay. It is also in 2019 that the agency is to enact three proposed rules including the update on the hazard communication standards. Furthermore, OSHA has plans to make five information requests and jumpstart the three SBREFA panels this year. Finally, the agency has set up programs to issue 30 documents that will aid in education and outreach on health and safety hazards and also support the outreach efforts. All these plans require funds and OSHA made a request for $17,878,000 with a full-time equivalent (FTE) of 69 to health facilitate the activities in 2019.
In comparison to 2019, OSHA has projected its request for funds for the Safety and Health standard activities of 2020 to be $18,000,000 with 67 FTE an increase of $122,000 and a decrease in FTE by 2. In FY 2020, the company aims at publishing two final rules which include one that will handle the beryllium legal issue affecting industries in general and the other two proposed rules. Additionally, OSHA plans to issue guidance materials, documents meant to assist in compliance, and education materials meant to create awareness on different safety and health hazards.
Aside from activities centered on safety and health standards, there are other programs implemented by the agency to prevent illnesses, accidents, and fatalities which are also budgeted for. Federal enforcement is one activity that promotes workplace standard compliance and is regulated under the occupational safety and health act of 1970. The program achieves its goal through worksite inspections and the encouragement of voluntary cooperation between employers and employees in keeping workplaces safe. The FY 2020 request for the program is $212,780,000 with 1345 FTE, an increase from the FY 2019 budget by $3,780,000 with an addition of 26 FTE. The other program similar to Federal enforcement is the State Programs which functions by providing grants to states that have embraced the OSHA approved plans on occupational health and safety. The FY request for 2020 is the same as that of 2019 and stands at $102,350,000.
Technical support is another activity crucial in ensuring occupational health and safety standards are met more so in critical industries such as food, medicine, and engineering. The program helps in compliance assistance and standard-setting among other Federal OSHA activities. The FY budget requested for 2020 has not changed from the one enacted in 2019 which is 24,469,000 with the same FTE of 93 (FY 2020 Congressional Budget Justification Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Federal compliance assistance is another OSHA program that involves a number of corporative programs meant to train, provide compliance assistance awareness to employers and employees, especially to small businesses. The FY 2020 requested budget has increased by $433,000 and 2 FTE compared to FY 2019 placing the 2020 budget at $73,914,000.
The other important program is the State Compliance Assistance which covers 90 percent of the corporate agreements funded by the government. The program works by providing consultation on compliance upon request to employers and incorporates plans to minimize accidents and illnesses in small industries. The requested budget for this activity for the FY 2020 is similar to that used in FY 2019 which is $59,500,000. The final program in support of OSHA’s goals is the Safety and Health Statistics program which supports the agency’s operations by providing management information, information technology infrastructure and statistical sustenance. The budget requested for the activity in FY 2020 has been increased by $5,500,000 from FY 2019 to $38,400,000 but with a constant FTE of 33.
The safety of American workers is a priority and through the Department of Labor, the government has enacted OSHA to ensure respective standards are applied. Consequently, there are resources appropriated yearly to ensure that all the functions and goals of the agency are attained. Accountability of the allocated funds is essential for good governance and therefore federal regulations expect that OSHA comes up with an estimated budget annually. From the budget analysis, there is an increase in almost all programs meant to facilitate OSHA’s objectives which is due to the increased demand to create awareness on safety and health hazards. However, the training grants program has been eliminated in FY 2019 and 2020 to balance the budget since some of the activities are duplicated in State and Federal enforcement programs. The results of the agency activities and the federal support in terms of funds are evident with 15% of reduced fatalities and 20% reduced illnesses and accidents in FY 2019.
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