Friday, January 21, 2011

Shredding the excess

On January 18, 2011 President Obama issued an Executive Order that expressed his desire to eliminate rules that “stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.” It should come as no surprise that companies and businesses are continuing to face the burden of government regulation and the challenge of providing opportunities and work for individuals throughout the country. In his recent op-ed, President Obama notes that government agencies need to “make sure we avoid excessive, inconsistent, and redundant regulation.”

As a Commissioner of an independent regulatory agency, I want to know how the CPSC can make this initiative a reality. I invite you to tell me which regulations have been costly to your organization or caused greater inefficiency, where there is very little safety enhancement to be derived. I want to know which rules or regulations your company is worried about, so that together we can move forward in creating jobs while also ensuring safety.

Over the next few weeks, and in the spirit of President Obama’s recent Order, I look forward to sharing with you some of the simple changes that I believe would go a long way in making a significant impact in achieving this goal. In addition, I look forward to receiving your examples and input about ways in which we can move the CPSC in the right direction.

Friday, January 14, 2011

In case you missed it...

This week, the Washington Post had a front-page article on the looming public database, including a balanced look at industry’s concerns. I did contact the reporter to clarify one key issue:

The article reads, “If a company says a complaint is false or would disclose confidential business information, the CPSC will decide whether to withhold or publish the complaint.” Well…not exactly. Unfortunately, the reporter was led to believe that the agency would be able to resolve all reports of material inaccuracy within the 10 period time period. This is completely unlikely.

On the contrary, the Commission has decided not to exercise any discretion and to go ahead and put up claims even where there is a material inaccuracy claim pending past 10 days. For example, if a manufacturer knows that the product in question is not theirs and files such a claim on the 9th day , it is highly unlikely that the Commission will even be able to resolve the claim by the end of the 10th day (let alone any other pending claims that week)—resulting in the inaccurate report still going up on the database.

And you guessed it—inaccurate information about a manufacturer or their product on a “.gov” database is not only detrimental to the manufacturer, but it is useless to consumers using the database.…