One of the main reasons I started blogging was to talk directly with folks who are impacted by CPSC actions. With the challenges of implementing the CPSIA, many businesses who did not even know about the CPSC are now finding out first-hand how extensive our powers and authorities are.
Blogging lets me flag important issues so that you do not have to become a regular reader of the Federal Register to know what we are up to. However, I have heard the comment made, both in response to my blog and in meetings I have with the public, that it does not appear that the agency is listening to or interested in the opinions of real people impacted by the law. Over and over, I hear things like “Why should I bother to comment when my comments won’t make any difference?”
My answer is simple: your comments can and do make a difference. I often circulate the comments I get on my blog to my colleagues and the senior staff of the agency. Thoughtful comments are discussed and considered inside the agency. And if you respond to formal requests for comments—such as the proposed rule about the database voted on last week and which will appear in the Federal Register soon—the agency has a legal obligation to consider and address your comments.
I realize that submitting comments takes a lot of time and resources but if you don’t let us know what you think, we don’t have your valuable information. Sure, we hear regularly from groups who say they represent important points of view but who have never actually created a job or met a payroll, much less tried to make sense out of the many regulations we issue. Your real world view fills a real agency need.