An October 27 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on CPSC's early-pandemic ports pullback gave two recommendations. Those involved better continuity plans and directives in the 2021 stimulus law involving de minimis shipments.
According to the report (bit.ly/3WiCOhP):
- Continuity: Lack of an adequate continuity plan led the agency to an evolving approach to worsening conditions and to insufficient flexibility to deal with varying situations at different ports. Besides zero product inspections at one port, reviews dropped "significantly" overall. GAO urged full assessment under two 2017 federal continuity directives with emphasis on port-inspection abilities and essential-function designations.
- De Minimis: Referring to shipments valued $800 or less, GAO acknowledged a recent CPSC plan to follow a sampling directive from the 2021 stimulus law. However, it faulted lack of timeframes and sample selection details. Meanwhile, CPSC has not met a second directive to set metrics for evaluating reduction of violative e-commerce shipments. There are plans to set such metrics in FY2024. GAO urged the setting of "actionable steps" towards both.