The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has established a new Freedom of Information Office to increase the Commission's responsiveness to public information requests.
While it has always been part of the Commission's "openness policy" to make information readily available to the public, the establishment of the new four-person office is expected to speed the availability of materials.
In addition to complying fully with the Freedom of Information Act as amended, the Commission decision to create the new special unit was based upon CPSC policy that public knowledge and participation in Commission activities is essential.
The amendments to the Freedom of Information Act, which become effective on February 19, 1975, state that the requestor of information will pay the actual costs of collecting and copying the information. However, the Commission has proposed regulations, published in the Federal Register on August 21, 1974, that would waive the first $25 of costs.
And the Commission has proposed that information will normally be provided within ten working days.
It was also proposed in the Commission's regulations that even information which may, at the discretion of the Commission, be exempted from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act would be released if it was found to be in the public interest and such release was not prohibited by law.
Mr. Vincent DeLuise was appointed Director of the Freedom of Information Office on January 13, 1975, and will supervise three full-time staff members.
Prior to joining the Commission, DeLuise worked for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service as an auditing supervisor and for the General Accounting Office as a legal researcher. DeLuise is currently a third-year law student at Catholic University, Washington, D.C.
The Freedom of Information Office will be located within the Office of CPSC Secretary Sadye Dunn. Requests for information can be mailed to the Freedom of Information Office, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 1750 K Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20207.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
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