Release of Commission report: The Commission has approved the release of the Federal Trade Commission's Preliminary Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2003-2008 for stakeholder review and comment, as required under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) and through guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget. Every three years, each government agency is required to prepare and submit an updated strategic plan regarding its program activities that covers at least the following five years. The FTC's last updated strategic plan was prepared in FY 2000. This Preliminary Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2003-2008 first presents an overview of the FTC's history and current activities, future goals, objectives, strategies, and performance measures for the next five years. It then details how the Commission will implement the plan in the areas of consumer protection and maintaining competition on an objective-by-objective basis. Finally, it includes a summary of the laws enforced by the Commission, an overview of the key components of the FTC, and a list of the agency's stakeholders.
The Commission vote to issue the preliminary plan was 5-0. It is available on the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov/opp/gpra/index.htm. Comments on the preliminary plan are requested by July 11 and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or James D. Baker, Assistant Chief Financial Officer for Budget, H-774, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580.
Publication of Federal Register notice: The Commission has approved a final rule change and conditional exemption related to the testing and labeling of clothes washers under the Appliance Labeling Rule (16 CFR Part 305). The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) established a new efficiency standard and test procedure for clothes washers, effective January 1, 2004. In anticipation of these changes, manufacturers will begin shipping hundreds of new energy efficient clothes washer models this summer. In late March, the FTC announced it was seeking public comment on a proposed rule change and exemption request submitted by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) to ease the transition to the new clothes washer standards and test. AHAM's request sought an exemption from certain Appliance Labeling Rule requirements, so manufacturers may begin using the new DOE test for EnergyGuide labeling purposes as soon as possible. AHAM also proposed permanent modifications to the EnergyGuide labels to identify the models that have been tested under the new procedure.
The Commission has considered comments received on the proposal, and approved publication of the Federal Register notice announcing the rule change and conditional exemption by a vote of 5-0. The notice, which will be published shortly, is now available on the Commission's Web site. (FTC File No. R611004; staff contact is Hampton Newsome, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2889.)
Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.