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US Department of Labor
 
DOL SealAssistant Secretary for
Occupation Safety and Health
Washington, DC  20210
November 10, 2003
 
 
MEMORANDUM FOR: REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS
DIRECTORATE HEADS
DIRECTORS OF FREE STANDING OFFICES
   
FROM: JOHN L. HENSHAW
   
SUBJECT: SECRETARY CHAO'S CONFIDENTIALITY PROTOCOL FOR COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE INQUIRIES

The purpose of this memorandum is to transmit the Department of Labor's (DOL) Confidentiality Protocol for Compliance Assistance Inquiries (Compliance Assistance Protocol). The Compliance Assistance Protocol, which focuses on callers requesting compliance assistance information and guidance, has been approved by Secretary Chao and applies to compliance assistance efforts conducted by every agency within DOL.

The Compliance Assistance Protocol includes a statement of a uniform DOL policy to alleviate any concern that callers seeking information and guidance from DOL agency staff could become targets of enforcement action. It includes an explanatory portion that clarifies the purpose and limitations of the policy and also describes the differences between an inquiry and a complaint.

At the Secretary's Direction, the Protocol will be made available to the public on the DOL website. Since the Protocol will guide our interaction with the public regarding our compliance assistance efforts, I expect that it will be shared with every member of OSHA's staff. In the future, the Protocol will be incorporated into all OSHA Initial Training courses as well as courses that have Compliance Assistance components.

Attached to this memo is a copy of the Compliance Assistance Protocol. Please give the dissemination of the protocol your highest priority. I am also asking the Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs to disseminate this information to our State Plan States and Consultation Project partners. If you have any questions regarding this memorandum please contact Paula O. White on 202-693-2200.

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