BETHESDA – Today the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report on the results of a review of the CPSC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) program. Historically, the NEISS program gathered data on consumer-related injuries from hospital emergency rooms to measure the number of injuries associated with the thousands of different consumer products regulated by the CPSC. In 2000, the CPSC expanded the program to cover injuries outside of the jurisdiction of the CPSC, such as those related to motor vehicles, the work place, firearms, and tobacco. In addition to the CPSC, other government agencies, manufacturers, researchers, lawyers, and the general public also use data generated by the NEISS program. Federal agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reimburse the CPSC through Interagency Agreements for collecting and providing NEISS data for use in their programs.
The OIG retained the services of Kearney & Company (Kearney), an independent public accounting firm, to conduct this review. Kearney determined that the NEISS program did not have an adequate data governance program in place to ensure data quality. Additionally, the CPSC could not provide a legal opinion to support its decision to expand the NEISS program to include data on injuries outside of the CPSC’s jurisdiction. Finally, the CPSC could not sufficiently document estimated costs charged to other federal agencies as required by the Economy Act when using Interagency Agreements. The OIG made 12 recommendations to address these findings.