CFPB expands access for public to engage with bureau

The CFPB on Wednesday announced that it intends to make it easier for the public to “meaningfully engage” with the bureau and request regulatory changes. Consumers can now submit petitions for rulemaking directly to the CFPB, which will be posted on public dockets for review and comment.

While the public has long had the ability to comment on rules and other initiatives, many individuals and small businesses believe that they must hire former government officials, lawyers or lobbyists in order to be heard by an agency, the CFPB said in a statement.

“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.”

The CFPB says the reforms will aim make it easier for individuals to directly submit a petition for rulemaking to the CFPB, and members of the public can request that the agency pursue a new rule, amend an existing one or repeal a rule. Former government employees and other individuals who are paid to influence the agency’s rulemaking agenda behind the scenes will then be asked to submit their petition for public inspection instead.

The bureau says the move is part of a series of steps it is taking “to ensure high standards of transparency and ethics, particularly when it comes to addressing the corrosive effects of the ‘revolving door.’”

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