BOMB PLANT NEWS | DOE Inspector General Issues Report Focuses on Questionable SRS Contractor Hiring Practices at (Mixed Oxide) MOX plant

Bomb Plant NewsViolating Contractors not Named, Penalties not Levied

{Note – Report makes weak suggestions for corrective action but I’m betting the focus is on poor Latino construction workers, which is a shame.

In its rush to build the costly SRS MOX plant, the unnamed MOX Contactor (Shaw Areva MOX Services) was found to be in violation of employment law and told by NNSA in a letter:  “The letter also notified the contractor that some of the subcontractors working on the Site were not complying with statutory requirements to verify that employees are U.S. citizens or are otherwise legally entitled to employment in the United States.”  (in Overview, page 2)} Tom Clements

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Text of e-mailed message from IG’s office:

Inspection of Employment Verification at Savannah River Site
INS-0-10-01

November 10, 2009

Our inspection found that not all Site subcontractors verified employment eligibility in accordance with Federal requirements. This condition allowed the possibility that individuals who are not eligible to work in the United States (U.S.) could be employed by Department subcontractors and potentially access the Site. We did not identify any weakness regarding unauthorized employees having access to the Site.

We specifically found that four subcontractors contacted during our inspection failed to utilize the I-9 Form to determine worker eligibility. Subsequent to our review, two of the four subcontractors stated that, as a result of our review, they have started using the I-9 Form. We also found that twenty-two percent (136) of the 600 I-9 Forms obtained from our sample of 21 Site subcontractors were missing key elements, including the subcontractor’s affirmation that the identity documentation was reviewed and appeared authentic; and, the employee’s signature to affirm that the employment information was correct; and, 16 subcontractor employees from a judgmental sample had social security numbers that may have been used by other individuals in the general population. We referred this matter to the Social Security Administration for further review.

In June 2008, an amendment to Executive Order 12989 required Federal contractors verify employee’s eligibility with an electronic employment verification system (E-Verify). E-Verify would provide immediate feedback to the employer concerning the eligibility status of the new hire including the validity of identification documents. We noted during our review that three subcontractors utilize the E-verify system to validate the authenticity of the employee’s information. One subcontractor indicated that if a discrepancy is noted by E-Verify, the employee is allowed three business days to address the discrepancy. In addition, we determined that a number of subcontractors accessed other internet-based databases which identify discrepancies regarding a social security number, date of birth, current address, and passports. We asked subcontractor officials who did not utilize the E-Verify or similar systems what indicators they used to determine if the documentation provided by an employee was authentic. In most cases, these officials told us that they conducted a visual inspection of the documentation for authentication. These officials also informed us that if an employee were to provide a fake social security card, the subcontractor officials would not be able to confirm its authenticity. We noted that the E-Verify system would identify a concern with the documentation. The increased use of E-Verify by the Site subcontractors will help to ensure that the identity documentation for employment belongs to the individual presenting them.

We recommend that the Manager, Savannah River Operations Office: Ensure contractors establish a method to notify existing and future subcontractors to comply with federal requirements related to employment verification; and, develop a process to notify contractors of the E-Verify system.

To view the full report, click on the following link:
http://www.ig.energy.gov/documents/INS-O-10-01.pdf

For more information, contact Felicia Jones –  felicia.jones@hq.doe.gov

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