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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Performance Audit of the Consumer Complaint Process Administered by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation , Report No. 12156, August 1993

  • For the consumer complaint cases closed during the first three quarters of fiscal year 1992-93, Division of Regulation time goals generally were not met.
  • Boards and the Department imposed penalties that deviated from disciplinary guidelines in 45 (41%) of the 110 cases we reviewed. Twenty-seven of these 45 cases (60%) did not include documentation of reasons why final case decisions were not consistent with the guidelines. Also, the Division has not developed procedures to ensure that accurate and reliable cost per case information is available from the Complaint Management System. In order to make decisions about the amount of fines or costs to assess violators, Boards and the Department need accurate and reliable cost per case information.
  • Florida law authorizes the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) to assess violators the costs of investigating and prosecuting their cases. However, other Boards (or the Department, for professions without Boards) do not have this authority. During the last quarter of fiscal year 1991-92, the CILB assessed violators $17,398, or 92% of the CILB costs reported by the Division for investigating and prosecuting cases that were found to be violations. We estimated that if Boards and the Department had the same authority as the CILB and assessed costs at the same rate as did the CILB, the Department and Boards could have assessed violators $614,406 for investigating and prosecuting cases for the remaining four professions in our audit scope and $686,485 for the 38 other regulated professions during fiscal year 1991-92.
  • The Department has not developed goals and measurable objectives in its Agency Strategic Plan, Legislative Budget Requests, or other management planning documents that can be used to evaluate the success of the Division's complaint process.

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 05-15 OPPAGA Report: Greater Use of Alternative Resolution Could Aid Consumer Protection, published in March 2005.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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