March 5, 2014
The Alliance of Nuclear Worker Advocacy Groups (ANWAG) announced today to the federal agencies responsible for implementing the Energy Occupational Illness Compensation Program of 2000, as amended (EEOICPA) - the Department of Labor (DOL), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) the creation of an all-volunteer citizens advisory board. The interim advisory board will oversee DOL’s Division of Energy Employees Illness Compensation (DEEOIC implementation of the compensation program. Three entities, besides ANWAG, have recommended that DEEOIC be provided with an advisory board- the Government Accountability Office in 2010, the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine, in 2012 and Econmetricia in 2005. The latter two organizations were contracted by DEEOIC to provide recommendations on the program, at a cost of almost two million dollars for those reports Many of these recommendations still await implementation.
Legislation was introduced in both the 112 and 113 congress to create such an advisory board. This board would generate transparency in policy decisions as well as ensuring that claims are decided in a consistent manner using the best science available.
Until congress passes the legislation the DEEOIC Interim Advisory Board (DIAB) will provide oversight of the program and advise DEEOIC on the various issues related to the claims adjudication process.
The board will begin the oversight process by holding town hall meeting in the next few months to gather information from the clamants, authorized representatives and other interested parties. Information can also be submitted to www.diaboard.org. Finding and recommendations will be furnished to the White House, DEEOIC, the Ombudsman and Congress.