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FY 2017
U.S. Chem ical Safety and Hazard
Investigation Board
Management Challenge
July 27, 2017

CSB	U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
OIG	Office of Inspector General
OPM	Office of Personnel Management
Cover photos: Photos are from the CSB's 2017-2021 Strategic Plan.
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* — *	U.S. Environmental Protection Agency	July 27,2017
^	z Office of Inspector General
At a Glance
What Are Management
According to the Government
Performance and Results Act
Modernization Act of 2010,
major management challenges
are programs or management
functions, within or across
agencies, that have greater
vulnerability to waste, fraud,
abuse and mismanagement,
where a failure to perform well
could seriously affect the ability
of an agency or the federal
government to achieve its
mission or goals.
As required by the Reports
Consolidation Act of 2000, the
Office of Inspector General is
providing the issue we consider
as the U.S. Chemical Safety
and Hazard Investigation
Board's (CSB's) major
management challenge for
fiscal year 2017.
This report addresses the
following CSB goal:
• Preserve the public trust by
maintaining and improving
organizational excellence.
Fiscal Year 2017 U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard
Investigation Board Management Challenge
Based on our continuous audit work, CSB public
hearings, congressional hearings and CSB board
meetings, we identified one management
challenge—related to human resources
management—that represents a new management
challenge for CSB.
Continued CSB
management attention
on human resources
should help CSB
maximize its limited
CSB Should Continue to Address Human Resources Management
CSB's leaders should continue to address the human resources management
recommendations from a 2015 Office of Personnel Management evaluation
report and complete implementation of corrective actions. Also, CSB leaders
should address the findings in the board's March 2017 organizational
Prior Management Challenges and Internal Control Weakness Removed
Due to corrective actions taken by CSB and additional justification CSB provided,
we removed the following three management challenges cited in our fiscal year
2016 report:
•	CSB should continue to address employee morale.
•	CSB should increase its investigations and improve investigative
management controls.
•	CSB should establish a chemical reporting regulation.
We also removed an internal control weakness previously cited—dealing with the
need for CSB to address issues regarding purchase cards and program
operations—due to corrective actions taken.
Send all inquiries to our public
affairs office at (202) 566-2391
or visit www.epa.gov/oiq.
Listing of OIG reports.

July 27, 2017
The Honorable Vanessa Allen Sutherland
Chairperson and Board Member
U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
1750 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 910
Washington, D.C. 20006
Dear Ms. Sutherland:
Enclosed is the Office of Inspector General's (OIG's) fiscal year 2017 management challenge for
consideration as part of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board's (CSB's)
Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act review. The Reports Consolidation Act of 2000 requires our
office to report what we consider the most serious management and performance challenges facing CSB.
We used audit, evaluation and investigative work; public hearings; CSB board meetings; and additional
analysis of CSB operations to arrive at the issues presented.
We added the challenge that "CSB Should Continue to Address Human Resources Management" to this
report. We removed the three management challenges and one internal control weakness cited in the
fiscal year 2016 management challenges and internal control weakness report due to CSB's
responsiveness in addressing and implementing recommendations associated with deficiencies.
You are not required to provide a written response to this final report. Should you choose to provide a
final response, we will post your response on the OIG's public website. Your response should be
provided as an Adobe PDF file that complies with the accessibility requirements of Section 508 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The final response should not contain data that you do not want
to be released to the public; if your response contains such data, you should identify the data for
redaction or removal along with corresponding justification. We will post this report to our website at
Arthur A. Elkins Jr.

cc: Mr. Manuel H. Ehrlich Jr., Board Member, CSB
Mr. Rick Engler, Board Member, CSB
Dr. Kristen M. Kulinowski, Ph.D., Board Member, CSB
Ms. Anna Brown, Director of Administration and Audit Liaison, CSB
Ms. Kara Wenzel, Acting General Counsel, CSB

CHALLENGE: CSB Should Continue to Address Human Resources
Budget and resource constraints hamper the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation
Board's (CSB's) efforts to attract, hire, retain and train qualified staff. The CSB budget has not
increased in about 15 years. Although the CSB has submitted justification requests over the years
to increase its budget, Congress has not provided additional appropriations. Such budget
constraints have a significant impact on the agency's human resources (also called human
capital) management and hinder its ability to adequately respond to chemical incidents.
In March 2017, the President released his Budget Blueprint and proposed to eliminate funding
for the CSB. The CSB's fiscal year 2018 Budget Justification states:
If the CSB's many safety lessons prevent at least one catastrophic incident, the
money saved by avoiding damage to a facility and the surrounding community,
the avoidance of legal settlements, and the saving of human lives far outweigh the
agency's $11 million annual budget. Safety and prosperity are compatible. Strong
safety programs are critical for the economic success of the many industries that
use hazardous chemicals. Through its independent investigations, the CSB plays a
unique role in fostering collaboration with industry, regulators, standards setting
bodies and other professional organizations, thus emphasizing the CSB's vital
role in driving critical chemical safety change in the United States.
The CSB Chair identified stagnant budgets and resources as a major challenge to:
•	Attracting and keeping the right mix of technical staff.
•	Procuring necessary equipment for investigations and maintaining key databases.
•	Providing required and needed training to all staff, particularly technical staff such as
The Chair noted that physical science personnel are in demand and difficult to attract because
such candidates can make much more money in the private sector. Many new scientists coming
out of college are deciding to work in private industry. CSB' Board Order 008 established that
the agency may pay a retention incentive to a current employee if the agency determines that the
person has unique qualifications, or that the needs of the agency make it essential to retain the
employee and the employee would likely leave the agency in the absence of an incentive.
However, given budget constraints, the ability to provide such incentives is limited.
CSB continues to work on implementing a set of recommendations from the Office of Personnel
Management (OPM) from 2015, issued before the current CSB Chair was confirmed. OPM
conducted a review of the CSB's human resources systems to determine how effectively the
resources are being managed. In March 2015, OPM issued 18 recommendations to the former

CSB Chair and former Human Resources Director. Included among OPM's 18 recommendations
were that CSB create a workforce plan to identify and document competencies for mission-
critical occupations, as well as strategies to close the gaps; establish a hiring plan to ensure
investigative teams are established with the competencies and specializations needed to perform
the work; and conduct an organizational-based competency assessment to identify gaps that must
be addressed through training efforts.
The current CSB leadership developed an action plan to address OPM's recommendations, and is
still working toward completing those actions. According to the CSB Chair, the CSB had a
legacy of not focusing on the human resources function to ensure the agency had the best and
most talented workforce. The CSB recently hired a human resources specialist with experience in
the federal government, and that person is currently developing succession plans for the agency
and working to address a number of other challenges the agency faces.
In early 2016, the Chair requested that a contractor conduct an independent organizational
assessment of the CSB to gather information for the OPM evaluation and gain insight into
employee perceptions behind recent Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey findings. The
organizational assessment was completed March 31, 2017, and contained 10 findings and a set of
accomplishments. The findings were consistent with the OPM findings and recommendations,
and offered additional detailed information. The CSB accomplishments noted were as follows:
As of March 31, 2017, the CSB has finalized its 2016-2020 Strategic Plan
(including developing a new mission, vision, and objectives), developed its
agency Action Plan, developed an agency-wide Succession Plan, started work on
developing a Human Capital Implementation Plan, is developing an agency-wide
Training and Development (Career Development) Plan, has revised its
Performance Management System and all performance plans, is establishing an
annual needs assessment methodology, has updated well over half of the agency's
Board Orders, and is developing a week-long supervisory development course for
supervisors or managers on a variety of topics, including merit system
principles/prohibited personnel practices, hiring options, motivation, performance
management, discipline, and strategies for supervising/managing a virtual
CSB leadership should continue to address and implement the 2015 OPM recommendations and
the issues identified in the recent organizational assessment report for human resources
management improvements. Effectively completing and implementing these improvements
should increase human resources efficiency and help maximize the use of limited CSB funding.