In our continuing effort to assist MARAD with its “new era of transparency,” I put out a request the other day for MARAD or anyone else to provide me with a copy of the criteria MARAD had created for restoring sea year to commercial ships. True to form, MARAD did not rise to the occasion. Fortunately, however, others did, and we were provided copies of the criteria from several different sources.
When I put out the request, I also stated my theory as to why MARAD did not want to make the criteria public:
“MARAD doesn’t want them made public because it knows it will be widely criticized when they are finally made public — because they will virtually mirror what industry proposed to MARAD on June 26, 2016 — only ten days after the
stand downcancellation was announced.”
Nailed it! (Except I got the date wrong — industry actually proposed the criteria on June 24, 2016, only eight days after the
stand down cancellation was announced.)
In the table below, I compare the June 24, 2016 industry proposal with the MARAD criteria as of January 12, 2017. The MARAD criteria mirror the industry proposals. What is most incredible about this is that industry actually proposed that more stringent criteria be applied. — MARAD took 7 months to water down the industry-proposed criteria.
|Industry proposal – June 24, 2016||MARAD criteria – January 12, 2017|
|“Develop and implement a process providing cadets [with] [a]n advocate with identified responsibilities onboard the vessel”||“Company-assigned ‘Mentors’ with defined duties to look after cadets aboard each ship”|
|“Formal policies and related materials prohibiting SA/SH”||“CEO-level company-wide message stressing zero tolerance of SASH.”|
|“Training programs involving company and union personnel implementing anti-SA/SH policies”||“Annual SASH Prevention Training required for crew”|
|“Evidence of mandatory review of policies by all shipboard personnel”||“Companies must verify that the crew will complete Annual SASH Prevention Training, and review and acknowledge the Company’s SASH policies”|
|“Formal policies and related materials prohibiting fraternization (dating / consensual relations) involving cadets”||“Zero-Tolerance policy regarding romantic or sexual relationships (including voluntary and consensual) between cadet and crew members”|
|“Provide written materials to the Academy that include the following:
•Formal policies and related materials prohibiting SA/SH
•Formal policies and related materials prohibiting fraternization (dating / consensual relations) involving cadets
•Evidence of mandatory review of policies by all shipboard personnel
•Training programs involving company and union personnel implementing anti-SA/SH policies
•Appropriate protocols governing reporting and investigation of SA/SH incidents”
|“Company submits all relevant policies to SCCT; certifies that they meet Federal requirements”|
|“Documented post-voyage debrief of each cadet by the company (forwarded to the Academy)”||“Standardized company debriefs of every cadet and mentor at completion of Sea Year time onboard;”|
|“Develop and implement a process providing cadets . . . [with a] [c]ompany representative ashore serving as advocate with 24/7 access”||No similar requirement imposed by MARAD|
|“Develop and implement a process providing cadets . . . [with a] [p]olicy related to shore leave by cadets”||No similar requirement imposed on the companies by MARAD (although it does create a shore leave policy imposed on the cadets) (In the proposal by industry, Maersk Lines had additional comments, which included recommending that the Academy develop a standard shore leave policy for cadets)|
For months, MARAD vilified an entire industry when it was the maritime industry that immediately stepped up to the plate and made concrete suggestions for a protocol for ensuring that midshipmen would be protected during sea year — a protocol that MARAD tweaked (and weakened) but otherwise adopted in toto.
The companies that made this proposal are:
|Alaska Tanker Company, LLC||Matson, Inc.|
|APL Maritime, Ltd.||National Shipping Corp.|
|Argent Marine||Overseas Shipholding, Inc.|
|Crowley Maritime Corp.||Patriot Shipping Co.|
|Keystone Shipping Co.||Saltchuk|
|Liberty Shipping||Tote Services, Inc.|
|Maersk Line, Limited|
They deserve our thanks. And an apology from MARAD.