The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday it was expanding its scrutiny of Boeing, increasing oversight of the company with an audit of 737 Max 9 production, a week after a panel in the body of one of those planes exploded during the flight. .

The audit will evaluate whether Boeing and its suppliers complied with approved quality control practices. The agency also said it would take a closer look at the Max 9 problems and investigate safety risks associated with the agency’s practice of outsourcing some oversight to authorized Boeing employees, which some lawmakers and safety experts criticized after two 737 Max 8 airplane crashes that killed 346 people. .

“It is time to reexamine the delegation of authority and evaluate any associated security risks,” agency Administrator Mike Whitaker said in a statement. “The grounding of the 737-9 and the multiple production-related issues identified in recent years require us to explore all options to reduce risk.”

There were no serious injuries from last week’s crash, but the episode could have been much more catastrophic if it had occurred when the plane was at cruising altitude; The panel exploded when the plane was at 16,000 feet and still climbing after taking off from Portland, Oregon. Investigators are focusing on what caused the panel, a plug from an unused exit door, to be suddenly torn off the plane.

For years, the FAA has outsourced some oversight of the certification of airplanes and airplane parts to corporate employees. After a lengthy investigation into the design, development and certification of the Max, House Democrats criticized that practice, saying the agency had outsourced too much responsibility to Boeing employees, who may not be independent enough.

Some aviation experts say the practice is necessary given the FAA’s limited resources and that changing it would require Congress to give the agency more money and authority to hire more professionals. Outsourcing of oversight is common among regulators, but a report from the Government Accountability Office in 2022 found that the FAA did not audit the practice as closely as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. That year, the agency said it had strengthened oversight of the practice by better protecting the company’s substitute employees from interference.

In his statement Friday, Whitaker, who recently became FAA administrator, said he would be willing to take another look at the program. He also said the agency was exploring using an independent third party to oversee Boeing’s inspections and its quality system.

On Thursday, the FAA announced an investigation into whether Boeing failed to ensure the plane met standards and was safe to operate.