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Monday May 11, 2020

CPSC to Hold Virtual Priorities/Agenda Hearing in Late May

CPSC's rescheduling of its priorities hearing for May 27 is not an indication that the agency is set to return to normal, in-person operations. Rather, the plan is for the session to be virtual, including remote presentations from stakeholders, likely about 10 to 12. The public will be able to watch a webcast live.


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The scheduled timeslot is 10:00am to 3:00pm Eastern with presumably a break for lunch. The notice ( told the public to direct specific questions to the Division of the Secretariat at or 240-863-8939.


The session – aiming to cover both FY2021 and FY2022 – originally was scheduled for April 15 but was postponed due to COVID-19 necessities. The agency began general work-from-home status in March (PSL, 3/13/20).


Meanwhile, over two rounds of comments, CPSC got six on-topic written submissions (see related story).


The eventual return to on-site status likely would follow a recent guidance from the Office of Personnel Management (PSL, 4/27/2020) that detailed considerations for agencies making such decisions, including virus status in the area. For CPSC, that is the Washington, D.C. region broadly, and Montgomery County, Maryland, specifically.


Early phase-in likely would involve gradual easing of telework and rotating teams across different days. Other considerations would include:

  • Vulnerable staff, healthy practices, processes for symptomatic people, and whether work needs to be on-site.

  • Facilities, customer-service, and operational practices ranging from cleaning to public interaction.

  • Travel decisions that account for differing situations in various regions of the nation.