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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Review of Selected Consumer Protection Programs of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services , Report No. 94-28, January 1995

  • We reviewed programs that regulate ballroom dance studios, business opportunities, health studios, home solicitation, sellers of travel, and telemarketing businesses.
  • DACS is generally successful in resolving complaints to consumers' satisfaction when it has an opportunity to mediate cases. However, the Department was unable to mediate the majority of consumer complaints it received because the businesses subject to the complaints had closed or because the matter was within the jurisdiction of another state agency. DACS lacks information on the status of complaints it refers to other state agencies.
  • Relatively few consumers have filed claims against businesses' surety bonds, and bond proceeds to date have allowed consumers to recover their damages. However, DACS's ability to administer the claims process is weakened because some surety bond companies may pay consumer claims without notifying the Department. This limits DACS's ability to prorate bond proceeds should consumers file claims that exceed a businesses' surety bond.
  • It does not appear to be desirable to privatize or transfer the programs to another state agency. While there are other state agencies that administer consumer protection functions, it is not clear that transferring these functions would improve program operations or reduce costs. However, it may be desirable to centralize the state's various consumer protection programs into a single agency; several agencies currently administer such programs.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Consumer Protection
Forest and Resource Protection
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS)

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 01-51 Justification Review: General Revenue Savings Possible in Consumer Protection Program, published in November 2001.
  • Report No. 96-76 Follow-up Report on Selected Consumer Protection Programs Administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, published in April 1997.

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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