Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, her Solicitor and other political operatives in DOL continue to dismiss requests from Cong. George Miller (D-CA) and Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) for documents related to the development of her draft risk assessment proposal.  The latest non-response, dated Aug 5, refers five times to the almighty “deliberative process” as a reason for refusing to disclose information related to the outside contractors who were involved in its development.  That’s just plain hogwash.

If you look closely at Congress’ request for records, they ask for:

  • a list of all meetings concerning the development of this proposed regulation at which anyone not employed by the Department attended, including the dates of any such meetings, the names of those attending the meetings, and the agenda and minutes of those meetings.
  • A list of all oral communications, telephonic, electronic, in-person or otherwise, with external parties relating to the development of this proposed regulation, including the date of each such communications and the names of the individuals involved.

If Secretary of Labor Chao, Asst. Secretary Sequeira, and Solicitor of Labor Gregory F. Jacob were audacious enough to exclude career DOL health scientists from their master plan to downgrade workers’ health risks, they should NOT be allowed to shield themselves with claims of “Executive Branch privilege,” “separation of power” liberties, or “deliberative process” license.

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For more details on Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao’s draft proposal on occupational health risk assessment, see this page on the SKAPP website.