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Treasury Glitch Leads to $91 Million in Unpaid OSHA Debts

June 5, 2020, 9:05 PM

A Treasury Department software bug contributed to $91 million in safety fines owed to OSHA going uncollected starting in 2017, the independent Office of Special Counsel said.

The counsel became involved after a whistleblower reported problems with how the Treasury Department and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were handling the collection of unpaid OSHA fines.

An investigation by the counsel and Treasury found that after a 2017 software change, the addresses of 10,904 employers who owed OSHA money were inserted into the wrong box on a form and debt collection letters never were mailed.

Although Treasury workers spotted the ...