Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) project selection, use of cost-benefit analysis and risk assessment, and information release procedures, focusing on: (1) the criteria CPSC uses to select projects and the information it relies upon in making these choices; (2) the information CPSC draws on to perform risk assessment and cost-benefit analyses and CPSC's methodology for conducting cost-benefit analyses; and (3) CPSC's procedures for releasing manufacturer-specific information to the public and whether evidence exists that CPSC violated its statutory requirements concerning the release of such information.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Consumer Product Safety Commission||1. The Chairman, CPSC, should improve the quality of CPSC's injury, death, and exposure data by consulting with experts both within and outside the agency to: (1) prioritize CPSC's needs for additional statistically valid surveillance data on injuries and deaths related to consumer products and on exposure to consumer products and product-related hazards; (2) investigate the feasibility and cost of alternative means of obtaining these data; and (3) design data systems to collect and analyze this information.|
|Consumer Product Safety Commission||2. The Chairman, CPSC, should direct agency staff to develop and implement a project management tracking system to compile information on current agency projects. For each project, such a system should include, at a minimum, a description of the hazard addressed, start and end dates, project origin, and major agency action resulting from it.|
|Consumer Product Safety Commission||3. The Chairman, CPSC, should direct agency staff to develop and implement procedures to ensure that all cost-benefit analyses performed on behalf of CPSC are comprehensive and reported in sufficient detail, including providing measures of precision for underlying data, incorporating information on all important costs and benefits, and performing sensitivity analysis.|