Consumer Product Safety Commission:

Personnel Resources and Other Matters

HRD-88-57FS: Published: Apr 7, 1988. Publicly Released: Apr 29, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) ability to enforce its regulations, focusing on such personnel resource issues as staffing and the extent and duration of employee details and reassignments.

GAO found that: (1) CPSC has had two commissioner positions vacant since March 1, 1987; (2) the number of full-time employees declined about 38 percent, from 814 in April 1981 to 502 in August 1987; (3) regional office staff declined about 54 percent, from 271 to 126; (4) headquarters staff declined about 31 percent, from 543 to 376; (5) investigative, scientific and engineering, and legal personnel levels declined about 36 percent, 31 percent, and 35 percent, respectively; and (6) personnel levels in the CPSC Directorate for Compliance and Administrative Litigation declined about 35 percent, with attorneys showing a 65 percent decline. GAO also found that, of the seven directorate employees that CPSC detailed or transferred: (1) six worked in other CPSC offices; (2) one worked for another federal agency; and (3) five received both details and transfers or received details or transfers more than once. In addition, GAO found that, of 12 CPSC Senior Executive Service employees, 6 received details or transfers between January 1986 and October 1987, with the length of the details ranging from about 2 to 19 months.

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