Review of Consumer Product Safety Commission's Rejected Petition Requests

HRD-79-98: Published: Jul 10, 1979. Publicly Released: Aug 9, 1979.

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Any person or consumer organization may petition the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue, amend, or revoke a consumer product safety rule. Such a request should be filed with the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, and the petition must then be accepted or rejected within 120 days of receipt. Matters outside the jurisdiction of the Commission are forwarded to the responsible agency. A review was made of the adequacy, objectivity, and fairness of the petition-screening procedures used by the Office of the Secretary and the Office of the General Counsel of the Commission.

After making an examination of requests that the Commission staff had rejected as not meeting Commission petition criteria between January 1, 1977, and October 19, 1978, GAO generally agreed with the staff's decisions to reject requests. It was felt that the Office of the General Counsel and the Office of the Secretary do a good job in screening petition requests, and the staff has also assisted petitioners with revising rejected requests to enable their resubmission for review. However, all rejected petition requests were not entered into the log maintained by the Office of the Secretary or put into the files. In addition, procedures used by the Office of the Secretary and the Office of the Executive Director to control rejected petition requests were weak. The files of the Office of the Secretary were not complete, and the records were not sufficient to enable management to review the staff's handling of requests and to follow up on rejected requests referred to the technical staff.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Consumer Product Safety Commission should develop procedures for reviewing and controlling rejected petition requests.

    Agency Affected:


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