CPSC's Weddle thinking more strategically

Wednesday - 4/7/2010, 4:34pm EDT

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April 8, 2010 -- For most of the past 30 years, the chief information officer's office in the Consumer Product Safety Commission focused on operations and maintenance of systems. But Congress changed that in 2008.

When the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 became law, Patrick Weddle's job changed dramatically. The CPSC CIO now is overseeing both a new product safety database and the strategy to modernize the commission's IT systems.

Weddle, who has been CIO since 2001, has a March 2011 deadline to make the database available to the public. He says the commission's plans can be found at www.saferproducts.gov, and eventually the site may prototype some parts of the database. Weddle says CPSC is meeting with companies and the public to develop the database's requirements.

Congress required CPSC to let companies comment on recalls or the public's concerns so Weddle is figuring out how best to let that happen.

As for the modernization effort, he says CPSC will not look to bleeding edge technologies, but rather proven ones to help bring its systems and databases into the 21st century.