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Monday March 19, 2018

CPSC Explains Efforts Towards Access and Clarity

CPSC reported on its duties to release certain documents and to create understandable and clear information. The first – on its FoIA performance ( – included discussion of two "success stories."


The first was the launch in August 2017 of a PAL (public access link) for making and tracking FoIA requests. That platform is at, and it includes sections on making requests and using the system.


It also has a link to a reading room that is supposed to give access to items proactively released. However, it is unclear if that is working as PSL could not generate any hits over numerous test searches, so it probably still is better to search the old format ( manually.


Interestingly, the PAL has a notice to avoid Safari and Mozilla browsers and to use only certain versions of Explorer. PSL also tried Chrome (the page loaded) and Microsoft Edge (it did not).


The second "success story" in the FoIA report was the expected completion during FY2018 of an electronic system for managing correspondences and manufacturer notifications. CPSC wrote, "When deployed, the system will speed up FOIA processing and significantly reduce printing, paperwork and mailing costs."


Elsewhere, the report asserted, "CPSC is in the process of identifying best practices to leverage technology to facilitate overall FoIA efficiency." The document also addressed activities like staff training, outreach, and backlogs.


Meanwhile, a separate report ( addresses CPSC's compliance during 2017 with the 2010 Plain Writing Act. It said rulemakings and rules that comply include documents on fireworks, clothing storage units, table saws, phthalates, toys, portable generators, bouncer, and bath tubs.


Other highlights include explanations of four training sessions of 25 hours classroom time.