CFPB Launches New Way for Public to Directly Submit Rulemaking Petitions
Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched a new process that will allow the public to submit petitions for rulemaking directly to the agency, with submitted petitions posted on public dockets for review and comment. The new process is rooted in the agency’s belief that many individuals and small businesses feel they have to hire lawyers, lobbyists, or former government officials to be heard.
“Americans should be able to easily exercise their Constitutional rights without hiring a high-priced lawyer or lobbyist,” said Rohit Chopra, CFPB Director. “Our new program will broaden access to the agency’s rulemaking process.”
Under the new program, the public can request that the CFPB pursue a new rule, amend a current rule, or repeal a rule. Both former government employees and individuals who are paid to influence the CFPB’s rulemaking agenda behind the scenes will be requested instead to submit their petitions for public inspection.
The CFPB’s new process correlates with the Administrative Conference for the United States’ recommendations to improve transparency and ensure that the public can petition the government. The petitions will help the CFPB to identify consumer protection issues that may need rulemaking, reform, or more clarification.
Other steps the Bureau has taken in the pursuit of ethics and transparency include new staff guidance for reporting past government employees that are potentially misusing information they gathered while working in the government.