News & Resources

Exclusion list the subject of DOL report

Dec 04, 2011 Mike Garretson

A new report from the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General questions the legitimacy of debt collection reporting practices by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), The Associated Press reports. According to the Charleston Gazette, the MSHA created an "Exclusion List" in February 2008 as a way to avoid starting debt collection proceedings for mine operators who paid their fines but were unable to be matched to their specific payments. These operators wouldn't face debt collection enforcement for unpaid fines "because of uncertainty caused by unapplied payments," the news source reports. "The Exclusion List has served the purpose of not referring debt to Treasury for which payments have been received, but not yet applied, a significant savings in time and administrative costs," MSHA chief Joe Main told the media outlet. As of September 2010, the list contained 325 operators with penalty cases totaling $8 million. The IG was also able to identity three scofflaw violators - those who knowingly committed criminal offenses - who owed nearly $850,000 in unpaid debt.