Business Regulation and Consumer Protection:

Administrative Structure of the Consumer Product Safety Commission

T-HRD-88-4: Published: Oct 27, 1987. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 1987.

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GAO discussed the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) administrative structure. GAO believes that CPSC could benefit from changing its current structure to one headed by a single administrator, because: (1) there has been little stability in CPSC leadership since its establishment; (2) both Congress and the executive branch are able to exert significant political influence over CPSC; (3) there has not been much diversity in commissioners' votes over the past 5 years; (4) many high-level CPSC and other personnel felt that CPSC could benefit from a different structure; and (5) most other health and safety regulatory agencies have single administrators. GAO noted that opinions vary widely on whether CPSC should remain independent or be incorporated into another federal agency, but GAO could find no criteria for making such a determination.

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