Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Reader Comment – CSB Hemorrhaging

Yesterday Rosearray, a long-time reader of this blog, left a comment on my blog post about the two recent CSB confirmations. Richard made the point (with lots of supporting evidence, please see his comment) that the staff of the CSB is in near complete disarray. His closing comment summed up the situation neatly:

“What the heck! It sure looks to me like the CSB is flat out hemorrhaging personnel.”

This situation, as one might hope, is well known to the leadership of the CSB. Chair Lemos discussed it in her recent testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on September 29th, 2021. She noted:

“After accepting this role last year, I was shocked to learn of the low staff numbers. Our agency is critical to the safety and well-being of our workers, the public, communities, and environment.

“To address this, we have prioritized hiring a robust, diverse, and engaged Mission Product Team. Right now, we are completing the hiring of four investigators, and will follow shortly by bringing on additional hires to round out the technical team. By year end FY23, our plan is to have an all-time high number of investigation and technical specialists on the Mission Product Team.

“We also have increased technical contractor support, with expertise in specialized fields, such as metallurgy, blast modeling, and equipment testing. This enhances our capability, agility and reach without the need for employing all subject matter experts in-house.

The Trump Administration’s attempting to defund the CSB did little to help the Board overcome a number of internal problems that it had been facing for a number of years. People have little incentive to stick around when they keep hearing that the program could be defunded in the next year. So, it should be no surprise to anyone that there would be numerous vacancies at the CSB. But these problems take time to fix, and it is hard for a Board of One to get a lot of proactive work done. We need to give Lemos, Owns and Johnson some breathing room to fix these problems.

No comments:

/* Use this with templates/template-twocol.html */