The 2012 spending bill approved today by the House Financial Services and General Government appropriations subcommittee would prohibit the Consumer Product Safety Commission from expending funds on its consumer product safety database, according to OMB Watch, a nonprofit organization that works to improve government transparency and accountability.
The database allows consumers – and journalists – to search for safety information about products they have or are considering buying. It includes recalls and reports of harm and also gives consumers a way to submit such reports.
CPSC launched the database at SaferProducts.gov on March 11. In spite of the recent congressional support for the database, corporate allies have attacked the database because they want to shield their products from scrutiny, ostensibly due to information quality concerns.
OMB Watch reports the same provision was included in the one version of the 2011 spending bill but didn’t make it into the version that was passed. But the version that passed included a provision for the Government Accountability Office “to conduct a study on the database’s information quality, which GAO has not yet completed.”