Federal agencies in diverse areas have developed third-party programs to assess whether regulated entities are in compliance with regulatory standards and other requirements. Through these programs, third parties assess the safety of imported food, children’s products, medical devices, cell phones and other telecommunications equipment, and electrical equipment used in workplaces. Third parties also ensure that products labeled as...
Third-Party Programs to Assess Regulatory Compliance
Project Stages:1. Gather ideas - Completed
2. Select ideas - Completed
3. Council approval - Completed
4. Picking a researcher - Completed
5. Committee consideration - Completed
6. Back to the council - Completed
7. Consideration by the full conference - Completed
8. Implementation - Current
Agencies in diverse areas of regulation are using or contemplating the use of private third parties to carry out inspections and verify that regulated entities are in conformity with standards and other requirements. Moreover, Congress appears enthusiastic about third-party verification, having mandated or authorized its use in recent legislation. For example, see Title III of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (Pub. L 111-353). Some agencies have used private inspectors to control quality, verify procurement preferences, and – to a very limited degree – enforce safety or economic regulations. Recommendation 2012-7 addresses issues that arise when agencies develop programs in which third parties assess whether regulated entities are in compliance with regulatory standards and other requirements. In some areas of regulation, Congress has directed agencies to develop a third-party program; in others, regulatory agencies have developed programs under existing statutory authority. The recommendation sets forth guidance for federal agencies that are establishing, or considering establishing, such programs.