Today the CPSC was briefed by staff about the complex public database required by the CPSIA. This was the opportunity for Commissioners to ask staff questions in preparation for voting on the database final rule. A number of very substantive questions were raised by Commissioners, both from the standpoint of what the proposed rule means and how the project will work. A number of other issues could have been raised. Unfortunately for the public, the majority gaveled the meeting to a close before Commissioners had the opportunity to complete their questions.
For example, I had several questions about the regulatory flexibility analysis that states the database will have no significant impact on small business. I strongly disagree with this analysis and wanted all of us to learn more about why the staff came out where they did. The majority did not allow me to ask those questions. Apparently, we will be voting on this proposal without the benefit of a public discussion with staff of major issues. What a strange way to encourage transparency! You should watch the tape, from start to finish, since we touched upon many issues that fundamentally affect how this database will operate, how good the information will be that is made available to the consumer, how dramatic the effect may be on manufacturers, large and small, and finally, how the majority can close off public discussion.