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Recommendation No. 18

Provide the medical payments section of each district office with schedules of medical costs and fees for use as guides in the payment of bills.


It should not be necessary to embark on a major undertaking to execute
As noted in the findings, the Veterans Administration

this recommendation.

and Blue Shield maintain fee schedules. A number of reputable insurance companies have them, as well. Development of a DOL schedule should not be

difficult, with the note offered by the Task Force that there would be flexibility in its application to cover unusual circumstances.

Recommendation No. 19

Centralize mail and file activities in district offices in order to meet recommended standards.


This recommendation is acceptable.

Recommendation No. 20

Adopt a procedure to pay medical bills automatically up to a predetermined 1 threshhold with a sampling technique to insure quality control.

Footnote: Originally recommended by the FECA Effectiveness Study


We have no objection to this recommendation, but are interested in the

"threshhold" prior to its application.

Recommendation No. 22

Revise the procedure manual and incorporate bulletins and program memorandums into one text.


We have no objection to this recommendation.

Recommendation No. 23

Institute a system of internal auditing in the district offices with reports of findings sent to the national office. Integrate with this system an external audit by the national office Accountability Review Team.


We believe the dual internal-external audit proposed by the Task Force will be duplicative and costly. An annual audit by the Accountability Review Team, including examination of a sampling of claims should suffice.

Recommendation No. 25

Furnish the district offices with copies of significant decisions of the Branch of Hearings and Review, and statistics on the numbers and types of cases not affirmed by that branch, so that the training of examiners and adjudication performance of the district offices can be upgraded.


We find little to recommend this proposal. It entails a judgment about "significant" decisions by the national agency, and confines the statistics to rejected claims only.

Recommendation No. 26

Amend the FECA to provide the Secretary of Labor with the authority,

not withstanding the limitations under the Privacy Act, to require (1) claimants to furnish their social security numbers (SSN) for use as a case reference, and (2) Federal agencies to furnish information necessary for the processing of compensation cases.


We have reservations about this recommendation.

It deals with the sensi

tive issue of claimants' privacy, requirements of the Privacy Act and transmission of information to the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs possibly without the prior knowledge of the affected employee. We would appreciate further discussion of the compelling need for these changes, before offering a position.

Recommendation No. 27

Consolidate and revise sections 8124 and 8128 of the FECA to (1) more clearly designate the order of appeals, (2) require that requests for review be made. within 90 days of an adverse decision, and beyond that period only for good cause, and (3) that requests for hearings be made within 30 days from the time of a reconsideration decision.


We must object to the proposed amendments to the Act. The findings do not support the legislative revisions advocated. We believe, moreover, that it would serve neither the purposes of the claimant, federal agencies, DFEC, nor taxpayers to convert FECA hearings into an adversary proceeding. In the event the Task Force discovers more substantial legal grounds for such a change, we are interested in obtaining that information before a decision is made to effectuate any change.

94-539 - 78 - 16

Recommendation No. 28

Provide the Secretary of Labor with authority to delegate to the employing agencies, some or all of the responsibility for pursuing third-party action against parties liable for injury to FECA claimants. Delegation would be made on a selective basis only to those agencies which the Secretary determines to have the interest and capability to effectively administer this function.


We discern no justification for assigning this function to federal agencies. To the contrary, the Task Force findings reveal that in 1971 and 1972 the recovery rates in third-party cases were quite impressive. We believe that if DFEC were sufficiently staffed, those rates could be achieved again with consequent savings to offset the cost of additional employees.

Recommendation No. 21

Establish a list of standards on timeliness of specific actions, to be used by DFEC as a guide in handling all aspects of the claims process. Recommendation No. 24

Institute the use of an action-control list to be used on each case folder to record all case actions performed.

Recommendation No. 29

Develop a comprehensive training program for all claims examiners, from the newly hired to the supervisory claims examiner.

Recommendation No. 30

Institute a system through which candidates for trainee examiner positions are identified through both internal and Civil Service Commission PACE examination sources in order to provide a full range of candidates for these positions.

Recommendation No. 31

Develop a career path program for district office employees to allow employees from lower level clerical positions to advance through all district office jobs.

Recommendation No. 32

Review the existing position classification standards for the claims examiner series to assure that it properly reflects current occupational criteria and that it meets OWCP needs with respect to grade-level determination. Recommendation No. 33

Develop and incorporate a management information system (MIS) for DFEC as a part of the FECA automation effort designed to improve control and management of the claius processing.


Since the matters embraced by these proposals deal with internal personnel policy, we believe they should be subjects of discussion with Local 12, American

Federation of Government Employees and AFGE National Council of Field Labor Locals, which represent the employees involved.

The hearing is recessed.

[Whereupon at 11:55 a.m., the subcommittee recessed, to reconvene on Monday, June 27, 1977, at 9:00 a.m.]


Part 1

MONDAY, JUNE 27, 1977



Washington, D.C.

The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 9:20 a.m., in room 2261, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Joseph M. Gaydos (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Members present: Representatives Gaydos, Sarasin, and Buchanan.

Staff present: Paul F. Dwyer, counsel; James M. Stephens, assistant minority counsel, and Terre Belt, research assistant.

Mr. GAYDOS. The Subcommittee on Compensation, Health and Safety will be in order.

This is a continuation of hearings on the Federal Employees' Compensation Act. Our first witness is Mr. Kenneth T. Blaylock, national president, American Federation of Government Employees, accompanied by Mr. Tollie Vann, and Mr. Jim Lynch.

The committee is very happy to welcome you. Thank you for the past efforts of your group. We are always glad to hear you. We know we can call upon you in the future for additional clarification and information. For the other members who are not present, the record will include your written statements and also include any discourse between you and the committee. It will be complete so we can read it later on at some future date.

Mr. Sarasin.

Mr. SARASIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

We welcome the witness, Mr. Blaylock, and I look forward to his testimony. As you mentioned, we are in the process of continuing hearings now concerning the OWCP, and we are looking for information. We have heard some stories. We are looking for answers. Mr. GAYDOS. Mr. Blaylock, you may proceed in the manner you deem best.


Mr. BLAYLOCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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