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 be asked to submit their petitions for public inspection instead.
This move comes in an effort to combat the belief by individuals and small businesses that they must hire former government officials, lawyers, or lobbyists in order to be heard by an agency. According to CFPB Director Rohit Chopra, ”Americans should be able to easily exercise their Constitutional rights without hiring a high-priced lawyer or lobbyist...Our new program will broaden access to the agency’s rulemaking process.”
All petitions, including attachments and other supporting materials, will become part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. Proprietary information or sensitive personal information, such as account numbers or Social Security numbers, or names of other individuals, should not be included. Petitions will not be edited to remove any identifying or contact information.
The CFPB may, in its discretion, decide not to post submissions and other materials, or portions thereof, including the following:
- Duplicate identical submissions (submitted by the same submitter(s) through different means)
- Copyrighted material owned by someone other than the submitter
- Confidential business information (CBI)
- Spam submissions
- Threats of harm or violence
- Submissions that are disavowed by the named author or submitter
The complete process for submitting a petition can be found here.