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Monday April 11, 2022

Amazon Wants Info from GAO Audit of CPSC Determinations/Recalls Work

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Amazon is seeking documents about CPSC from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to help build its defense in its forced recall case. The information involves a 2019-2020 audit of the agency's hazard determination and recall process.


The company asserts that two reasons make the request relevant. Substantively, the company wants to compare the details of its case to what GAO found is CPSC practice generally. Procedurally, lawyers for the company suggest they might find details relevant to its claims on due process and the Administrative Procedures Act, especially practice variability and policy deviations.


The subpoena application pointed to GAO findings that CPSC imposed timelines that did not account for differences among cases, failed to follow procedures to prioritize cases based on risk, did not follow through on giving compliance officers instructions on effectiveness checks, had faulty tracking of progress reports, and relied on a possibly incomplete effectiveness measure of correction rates. GAO urged five steps to remedy these findings (PSL, 11/30/20).


CPSC's Secretary Office issued the subpoena March 18.


Amazon's request argued:

"While some of the documents and information sought by the subpoena may be available through discovery of CPSC, Amazon believes some documents and information may be available only from GAO (or may be obtained more efficiently through GAO). For example, GAO summaries and analysis of CPSC data may provide an efficient and reliable way for Amazon to provide information to the CPSC. Amazon is prepared to discuss with GAO representatives ways to avoid duplication of effort and to reduce GAO’s burden, if any, in responding to the subpoena."