10 CFR § 851.40 - Investigations and inspections.

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§ 851.40 Investigations and inspections.

(a) The Director may initiate and conduct investigations and inspections relating to the scope, nature and extent of compliance by a contractor with the requirements of this part and take such action as the Director deems necessary and appropriate to the conduct of the investigation or inspection. DOE Enforcement Officers have the right to enter work areas without delay to the extent practicable, to conduct inspections under this subpart.

(b)Contractors must fully cooperate with the Director during all phases of the enforcement process and provide complete and accurate records and documentation as requested by the Director during investigation or inspection activities.

(c) Any worker or worker representative may request that the Director initiate an investigation or inspection pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section. A request for an investigation or inspection must describe the subject matter or activity to be investigated or inspected as fully as possible and include supporting documentation and information. The worker or worker representative has the right to remain anonymous upon filing a request for an investigation or inspection.

(d) The Director must inform any contractor that is the subject of an investigation or inspection in writing at the initiation of the investigation or inspection and must inform the contractor of the general purpose of the investigation or inspection.

(e)DOE shall not disclose information or documents that are obtained during any investigation or inspection unless the Director directs or authorizes the public disclosure of the investigation. Prior to such authorization, DOE must determine that disclosure is not precluded by the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552 and part 1004 of this title. Once disclosed pursuant to the Director's authorization, the information or documents are a matter of public record.

(f) A request for confidential treatment of information for purposes of the Freedom of Information Act does not prevent disclosure by the Director if the Director determines disclosure to be in the public interest and otherwise permitted or required by law.

(g) During the course of an investigation or inspection, any contractor may submit any document, statement of facts, or memorandum of law for the purpose of explaining the contractor's position or furnish information which the contractor considers relevant to a matter or activity under investigation or inspection.

(h) The Director may convene an informal conference to discuss any situation that might be a violation of a requirement of this part, its significance and cause, any corrective action taken or not taken by the contractor, any mitigating or aggravating circumstances, and any other information. A conference is not normally open to the public and DOE does not make a transcript of the conference. The Director may compel a contractor to attend the conference.

(i) If facts disclosed by an investigation or inspection indicate that further action is unnecessary or unwarranted, the Director may close the investigation without prejudice.

(j) The Director may issue enforcement letters that communicate DOE's expectations with respect to any aspect of the requirements of this part, including identification and reporting of issues, corrective actions, and implementation of the contractor's safety and health program; provided that an enforcement letter may not create the basis for any legally enforceable requirement pursuant to this part.

(k) The Director may sign, issue and serve subpoenas.