Subscribe

Email Updates
Sign up to stay informed about the latest happenings at Interior.

Subscribe

Sign up to stay informed about the latest happenings at Interior.
Email Updates
Sign up to stay informed about the latest happenings at Interior.
U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs
twitter facebook youtube tumblr instagram Google+ flickr
Resources for:


Share

Minerals Management Overhaul; Oil Drilling Safety Plans: Michael Bromwich




STATEMENT OF MICHAEL R. BROMWICH

DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF OCEAN ENERGY MANAGEMENT,

REGULATION AND ENFORCEMENT

BEFORE THE

COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES

UNITED STATES SENATE

ON THE CONTINUING REFORM OF THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF

PROGRAM

JUNE 24, 2010

Thank you, Chairman Bingaman, Ranking Member Murkowski, and Members of the

Committee for the opportunity to be here today with Secretary Salazar. I appreciate

being included in this hearing and being part of the discussions about reorganization of

the Outer Continental Shelf program.

Overview

My appointment as the new Director started on Monday, and therefore I have had only a

short amount of time to begin to understand the Bureau’s programs, operations, and

challenges. I would like to take my time to introduce myself and give you an overview of

my vision and goals.

When the President and Secretary Salazar asked me to take this assignment, I was a

partner in the firm of Fried Frank. I headed the firm's Internal Investigations,

Compliance and Monitoring practice group and concentrated on conducting internal

investigations for private companies and other organizations; providing monitoring and

oversight services in connection with public and private litigation and government

enforcement actions; and representing institutions and individuals in white-collar

criminal and regulatory matters. I also provided crisis management assistance and

counseling.

Even while in private practice I have had significant experience with turning around

troubled government agencies. I served for six years as the Independent Monitor for the

District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department and had just begun performing

the same role for the Virgin Islands Police Department, which involved overseeing

sweeping reforms of those Departments’ use of force programs. I also conducted a

comprehensive investigation of the Houston Police Department’s Crime Lab and

provided HPD with extensive recommendations for reforming its Crime Lab, which had a

long history of very serious problems.

In the private sector, I have conducted many major internal investigations for companies,

including in the energy industry; reviewed the compliance programs and policies of

major companies in a variety of industries, conducted extensive field reviews of such

programs and made recommendations for their improvement; and represented companies

and individuals in state and federal enforcement proceedings and criminal investigations.

From 1994 to 1999, I was the Inspector General for the Department of Justice. I

conducted special investigations into allegations of misconduct, defective procedures and

incompetence in the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory; the FBI's conduct and

activities regarding the Aldrich Ames matter; the handling of classified information by

the FBI and the Department of Justice in the campaign finance investigation; the alleged

deception of a Congressional delegation by high-ranking officials of the Immigration and

Naturalization Service; and the Justice Department's role in the CIA crack cocaine

controversy.

From 1987 through 1989, I served as Associate Counsel in the Office of Independent

Counsel for Iran-Contra. In January through May 1989, I was one of three courtroom

lawyers for the government in the case of United States v. Oliver L. North. I supervised

a team of prosecutors and law enforcement agents that investigated allegations of

criminal misconduct against government officials and private citizens in connection with

provision of aid to the Contras in Nicaragua and serving as overall coordinator of the

Iran-Contra grand jury.

From 1983 to 1987, I served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office

for the Southern District of New York. During my tenure, I tried many lengthy and

complex cases and argued many appellate matters before the Second Circuit. I served as

Deputy Chief and Chief of the Office's Narcotics Unit.

From those experiences dealing with many organizations and institutions, I have

accumulated substantial experience in seeing what works and what does not in

organizations. I have had experience leading government agencies, as well as reviewing

the leadership styles in many agencies. Based on that experience, I am confident that I

can lead this organization and implement the changes that are necessary.

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement

As I said, I began my service as the Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management,

Regulation and Enforcement on June 21, 2010. So far, my understanding of the events

surrounding the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe are primarily based on the news

coverage, what I have read, and initial conversations with Department of the Interior

personnel. Therefore, my knowledge of the Bureau, its employees and its programs is at

a very early stage.

I look forward to becoming well-versed in the complex regulatory regime governing

offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling and the nation’s emerging and promising

offshore renewable programs. It already is apparent that the programs that this Bureau

manages are technologically complex and involve a highly specialized workforce. As an

agency, we will be thinking carefully about, and proceeding quickly with, reforming the

way the Bureau does business and oversees energy exploration and development.

My goal is to develop a set of recommendations for the Secretary and the President that

will improve the way the organization works. I am committed to eliminating improper

incentives and influences, creating a culture for the OCS program that is devoted to

vigorous and effective regulation and enforcement, and establishing the Bureau as an

agency that is focused on safety and environmental protections. To provide us with the

capacity to meet these commitments, I announced yesterday the establishment of an

investigations and review unit within the Bureau that can act quickly and will report

directly to me.

I understand that the Department has been conducting an extensive analysis of the

organization, its programs, and best practices in other countries and other agencies. I will

take advantage of the work that has already been done. We expect to release a plan in the

coming weeks that will guide the reorganization. I look forward to talking with you and

getting your input to educate this process.

These are important issues for the President, the Congress and the Nation. Under

Interior’s management, the Outer Continental Shelf currently provides 30 percent of the

Nation’s domestic oil production and almost 11 percent of its domestic natural gas

production. The Nation currently relies on the OCS program to continue to make

available the energy resources that we and our economy need. I look forward to the

challenges ahead, and to ensuring that we manage the development of the Nation’s

energy resources, while at the same time enforcing the law and aggressively regulating

oil and gas exploration and drilling to ensure that this activity is conducted in a manner

that is safe for workers and the environment. Thank you.